Maintaining Your Old Car With Patience And A Lot Of Duct Tape

To clarify, I’m not suggesting you really hold your old car together with duct tape. At the same time, I’m not saying that you haven’t considered that when things have looked their bleakest. Still, we’ve all had a car which has held some great meaning in our own eyes, or, quite simply, has just been a beautiful car that we’ve loved in its own right. If you know what I’m talking about, then you know how it feels when your car reaches that ripe old age at which you find you’ll do literally anything to keep it breathing.

Of course, there will come a time when you have to hold up your hands and give up. Nothing can last forever, and that’s very true for a complex machine such as a car. More than anything, it isn’t safe to drive a vehicle around which is temperamental and could put you at risk on the roads. Yet, that doesn’t mean your old beauty has kicked the dust just yet. Here’s some advice for those of you looking not just to preserve your classic car’s looks, but those of you looking to ensure it’s safe to drive for another few years, at the very least.

Take care of it.

I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes, and telling yourself that you do look after your car. Of course you do, because it’s your pride and joy. However, it is easy for us to get a little carried away with our classic cars, or simply an old-time favourite. Most people end up wearing their car out years before it should have bitten the dust, simply because they didn’t realise they were driving more recklessly than they should have been.

The same goes for your classic vehicle, and if you want to keep its heart beating for longer, you need to drive respectfully and cautiously. This is good advice anyway, of course, because it keeps you safer on the road, but it’s also great news for your car. The older it gets, the easier it will damage. Wear and tear to the tyres or the engine isn’t bad in small doses, but it builds over the years, so paying no attention to these small details might leave your car a pile of scrap metal when it should have lasted a good many more years. There may come a time when you need an Auto Repair garage too, but even they’ll give up at a certain point.

Protect it when you’re not driving.

This may sound excessive, and for an ordinary, modern car, I would agree. However, when you’re dealing with an old car, and especially if you’re dealing with a precious classic, covering your vehicle when you’re not using it is very important. You might think that you can only damage it when out on the road, but, like everything, simple weathering can be enough to wear out your aging machine.

Don’t be afraid to go for a drive.

I’m not saying you should scrap everything I just said, but, contrary to what you might think, taking your vehicle out on drives more often might be the ticket it needs to longer lease of life. Leaving it cooped up for too long could do more harm than good, as you need to be keeping the engine and all other elements of the car active, so as to stop them rusting.

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.