Winter break for convertibles and classic cars: Increase tire pressure before parking
Created: 09/30/2022, 09:30 am
By: Sebastian Oppenheimer
Summer is over - and so is the time for many vintage cars and convertibles.
But before you return to your winter quarters, you should take a few tips to heart.
With the beginning of autumn, the well-deserved hibernation is due for many convertibles, oldtimers and youngtimers.
Wet, damp leaves and sometimes also salt on the streets can certainly affect the aged sheet metal.
Even if the vehicle is already being cared for, some additional preparations should be made before mothballing.
Before mothballing in a dry garage, the vehicle needs to be cleaned.
In the car wash, a program with underbody washing is recommended.
If you want to do something good for your darling, you can also treat him to a professional engine cleaning.
On the other hand, if you want to carry out cleaning yourself with a high-pressure cleaner, you should keep the nozzle at least half a meter away, among other things to protect rubber seals.
When steam blasting the engine compartment, areas such as the engine control, alternator and ignition coil should ideally be taped off beforehand so that they do not come into contact with water.
Attention: If an engine is cleaned with water, oil and grease will be washed away.
Therefore, according to the law, a water-intensive engine wash must be carried out in a special place with an oil separator.
Preparing convertibles and classic cars for the winter break: what tips you should take to heart
After cleaning the outside comes the cleaning of the inside.
First, the passenger compartment and trunk are thoroughly vacuumed, since dirt attracts moisture, which can provoke rust as well as unsightly odors.
If you have leather upholstery, these should then be treated with an appropriate care product.
It is advisable to replace a pollen filter to prevent mold.
Good ventilation of the interior serves the same purpose.
For this reason, the side windows ideally remain open a little during hibernation.
In the case of convertibles, it is also worth cleaning the soft top thoroughly with soapy water.
It then also remains slightly open to protect the fabric and the soft top mechanism.
Hinges can be sprayed with oil or grease, seals and other rubber parts rubbed with Vaseline or talcum powder to keep them supple.
Before the winter break, the vehicle is once again given a thorough cleaning.
(Iconic image) © Panthermedia/Imago
Prepare convertibles and classic cars for the winter break: fill up and change the oil
In addition, an oil change is recommended for the engine so that old suspended particles do not form acids that can damage the unit.
Then the oil level in the shift differential and in the rear axle differential, if present, is checked, which is often forgotten in vintage cars.
It is also advisable to park the car with a full tank.
If there is a lot of air in the tank, condensation can form, which leads to corrosion in metal tanks.
Special fuel additives also help against tank rust.
Incidentally, since the mid-1980s, most cars have had plastic tanks, so it doesn't matter how full the tank is.
Not to be forgotten are the windshield wiper system and cooling water;
Antifreeze prevents freezing here.
The windshield wipers are folded down so that the lips do not flatten.
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Prepare convertibles and classic cars for the winter break: keep the starter battery fit
It is also important to keep the starter battery fit.
It is advisable to remove it from older cars, but modern vehicles without a power supply can have problems with the electronics.
In the case of longer downtimes, the state of charge is maintained here with an appropriate device.
An increased pressure of 2.5 to 3 bar is recommended for the tires while they are stationary.
Regularly pushing the vehicle back and forth prevents flat tires and distributes oil and grease in gears and shafts.
In modern cars, it is also worth turning on the air conditioning briefly while the engine is running to lubricate the compressor.
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Prepare convertibles and classic cars for the winter break: Do not park unregistered vehicles in public
Every few years, classic car owners should also meticulously examine the cavity seal.
This applies in particular to cars with a self-supporting body, i.e. especially to post-war models.
But older vehicles with a frame design also have cavities.
The seal must be undamaged and intact, otherwise there is a risk of corrosion and costly repairs.
The ideal place for the car to hibernate is a dry and well-ventilated garage or hall.
Only a registered car may be parked on public roads, and the license plate must always be visible.
Otherwise the vehicle may be towed.