How to Keep Your Classic Car in Good Condition


Are you looking for a quick-fix solution to keep your classic car in good condition? Unfortunately, that’s rarely the answer.

Remember that your classic car has endured years of weather and it may have even passed through multiple owners. It’s the regular car maintenance that’s going to make the difference.

Here are a few general maintenance tips for keeping your classic car in good condition.

Keep up with regular oil changes

One of the first things you should know about older cars is that they require more frequent maintenance – especially oil changes. Nothing will enhance the longevity of your classic car like regular oil changes. So when you’re taking efforts to keep your classic car in good condition, start with oil changes.

Change transmission fluid

Just like with oil changes, classic cars need more attention to things like transmission fluid. You’ll want to replace the coolant with a mixture of half coolant and distilled water. This helps protect the transmission system from erosion or damaging deposits.

While you’re at it, you’ll want to flush the cooling system once a year. This is a tip that’s appropriate for all cars – new and old.

Wash and wax your classic car regularly

This may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s so important that it’s worth noting. You’ll want to wash your car regularly to ensure you’re removing all the gunk and keeping your vehicle’s paint fresh and shiny. Over time, your car will collect impurities that can corrode the paint.

And about every three to six months, add a wax to your washing routine. This adds another layer to help protect the paint.

Keep your car out of the sun

Sun is probably the biggest enemy of your classic car. So keep it garaged, if at all possible. And if you know you’re not going to be using your car for a few months or more, consider getting a storage space for it. Your classic car will be safer in its own space than in a personal garage where it could easily get scratches or dings.

You’ll still want to take it out for a drive every month or two, but you can rest easy knowing it’s protected.  

Avoid driving long distances

Whether you have the original engine or a newer model, you’ll probably want to avoid putting unnecessary mileage on your vehicle. So if you have to go on a long trip, consider using an auto shipper instead. By going this route, your car will be safely stored and transported. You can deliver it cross-country without an ounce of wear or tear.

Check your classic car’s ball joints

This tip is easy yet important. Ball joints should be very well greased at all times, so you’ll want to check them regularly to ensure they’re well lubed. If they aren’t, add some grease.

The number one reason why ball joints fail is that they get dry. But when they’re well-greased, they can last for the life of your car.

Similarly, you’ll want to repack your wheel bearings with the grease that’s recommended for your vehicle. In order to do this, you’ll need to inspect, clean and repack them. It’s a bit of a job, but it’s an inexpensive way to help keep your car from breaking down later on down the road.

Like almost anything worth having, classic cars require a bit of extra love and attention. And that’s why owning a classic car isn’t for everyone. If you don’t maintain it properly, the signs of degradation will become obvious much faster than they would with a new vehicle.

Tom Brown
Tom Brown is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United States. He holds a diverse background in automotive marketing and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.