How to Ensure Your Oldtimer is Safe to Drive
Cars are a must-have for many people because they make our lives easier. Most car owners cannot imagine ditching their cars and running their errands without one. If you drive, the first vehicle you owned was perhaps a proud moment and many would want to keep it years after purchasing the car. An oldtimer that reminds you of happy moments is definitely worth keeping.
To keep your oldtimer running, you need to give it extra attention. This might not necessarily mean paying more, but rather focusing on preventive maintenance and good driving habits. With good care, you can comfortably add more kilometers to the odometer and have a safe and reliable car that will take you almost anywhere. So, how do you exactly ensure that your oldtimer is safe to drive?
1. Drive It
You got that right, keep driving your oldtimer. If you inherited the family car or have never simply sold your first car, driving it regularly can be what it needs to keep running smoothly. It is common to see old functional cars sitting idle in garages, with the occasional drive happening once a month. While this might help to prevent wear and tear, driving your car regularly actually helps to keep it running well.
When you bring your oldtimer on the road, you will help to keep the integrity and patency of the different parts and systems of your car. Not driving the car for long will lead to the buildup of dirt and debris which might compromise the parts and systems and might even lead to an accident. According to legal experts at JoyeLawFirm.com, if you are involved in an accident while driving your old car, you can still get compensated, especially if it isn’t your fault. Whenever you are with your oldtimer on the road, always observe sensible driving habits and avoid stretching it beyond its limits.
2. Observe The Maintenance Schedule
Most new cars will not require frequent maintenance. However, as your car ages, parts, and systems become more susceptible to wear and tear. This could be compounded if you ignore warning lights and postpone routine maintenance. A classic car needs to be checked more frequently for any wear and tear. A good place to start is consulting the car’s user manual. This outlines when you should take your oldtimer to the mechanic for scheduled maintenance. If you don’t have it, consult your mechanic to schedule a session. With an old-timer, you can expect to go more often to the mechanic to have your car maintained, but this is wiser than to pay a huge sum for a costly repair.
3. Check Your Braking System
Don’t wait till you learn the hard way. Faulty brakes can pose a great risk to you and other occupants of the car. Start with the brake fluid reservoir and check its consistency and color and if the brake fluid is within the minimum line. Your braking system is fine if the fluid is within or above the minimum line. Dark brake fluid is a clear indicator that you need to change it. If it is low in the reservoir, get a mechanic to look into the matter.
Brake pads thickness is another element you should be on the lookout for. While at it, inspect the thickness of the rotors. If anything seems off, you need to take your oldtimer to a mechanic. Brake failure can lead to accidents.
4. Inspect The Cooling System
The components in your car’s cooling system will gradually feel the effects of age after some years. An engine that has faulty temperature regulation might malfunction, leading to further complications. Under your car’s hood lies a system of hoses, bolts, and delicate parts that perform the all-important function of regulating temperature.
Pay attention to the radiator hoses, water pump, and radiator. Replace coolant hoses and check if the radiator itself needs to be fixed. You might also need to replace the head gasket to ensure the engine works under the right temperature.
5. Change Oil and Oil Filter
As your car ages, parts become more vulnerable and may not perform as well as when the car was new. More friction between parts means that you will need more engine oil to keep them lubricated. Regular oil changes for your old car are important. The frequency will increase but is better to pay a few more dollars than to pay for entire parts worn out by intense friction. Check the oil filter and replace it if it is faulty. Note the date you changed the oil and the mileage so that you remember when you are due for the next appointment.
Cruising down the highway in your classic car can be really fun. It is even better when you follow the tips above to ensure that your oldtimer works like a charm and drives without a fault.