Is Your Classic Car Ready For Summer?

With the May bank holiday behind us, it’s safe to say that summer is well and truly on its way. But is your classic motor ready to hit the road again? Many owners tuck their classic cars away in the winter, anxiously anticipating the arrival of warmer weather. But that means you need to be extra vigilant in ensuring your motor is in optimal condition before taking it for a top-down spin around the countryside.

Here’s some basic checks you can complete before you embark on your next driving adventure:

 
Tyres and Brakes

 
It’s critical to make sure your tyres are in tip-top condition, so check the pressure first and that the tread is still legal. Then, hunt for any cracks in the tyre walls, along with any stones or nails that have potentially burrowed their way in during the winter and tighten the wheel nuts. As for the brakes, make sure the pads have plenty of life left in them and that the fluid levels are correct. If the brake pedals feel spongey when you push down on them, you may need to bleed the breaking system to remove any air and replace the brake fluid.

 
Oil

 
Check your oil level. If it’s low, you’ll need to top it up before you get going. Castrol classic oil is a superior product specifically designed for vintage and classic cars because it remains the right consistency at hotter temperatures and features less detergent than modern oils. To learn more about why Castrol oil is the best oil product for your classic car, click here.

 
Cooling System

 
It is vital to have an efficient cooling system in an older vehicle to prevent overheating. Check all parts within the system, including the hose, seals and radiator for leaks as well as the fan belt. You should also watch out for any perishing in rubber pipes. Should you need replacement radiator hoses, joiners or valves, you can find these on our dedicated page. Don’t forget to top up the coolant!

 
Lights, Wipers and Battery

 
Starting at the front of the car, test your main beam, side lights, fog lights, indicators and dipped beam. It usually helps to have a second person present to do this. Then move to the back and check the brake lights, reversing light and fog lights. Should any of these be faulty, use our Speedy Delivery Service to order yourself some bulbs. Ensure your wipers are in good condition with no ‘scudding’ on the screen. Should your wipers seem a tad worn out or damaged, order some more from our dedicated wiper page. As for the battery, you may have left this to trickle charge over the winter, in which case simply make sure you have enough charge to get going.

 
Clean and wax

 
You want your classic motor to look spick and span for the road, right? During the winter your motor will have likely acquired some grime and muck from the atmosphere. In which case, give it a wash with some good quality shampoo conditioner, wipe down the windows, clean out the wheels, and finish up with a touch of wax for that extra shine.

 
We know you can’t wait to get out and about in your classic vehicle again. But safety is paramount, so these simple checks are essentially before you get behind the wheel after an extended break.

Why It’s Important To Bleed Your Classic Car Brakes

If you’ve ever had to perform an emergency stop, you’ll know just how critical it is to have an optimally functioning braking system on your classic vehicle.
And much the same way that other systems in your classic car need servicing and maintaining, your brakes are no different. One effective way to preserve the integrity of your classic car’s braking system is through a process referred to as ‘brake bleeding’, which is why we’ve made our Silverline Brake Bleeding Kit our Product Of The Week.


So what does it mean to bleed a brake? And why is it so essential?

Well, the entire braking system within your classic motor is dependent on the hydraulic power of brake fluid to function. However, over time, moisture and air are introduced into the system, which take their toll on the effectiveness of the brakes themselves. Have you ever felt a spongey sensation when pushing down on the brake pedal? Or perhaps noticed that the pedal is reaching closer to the carpet than it usually does while waiting at the traffic lights? This is an indication that air has entered the system through the brake lines, usually because brake fluid level dropped too low in the master cylinder reservoir.

The bleeding process essentially removes the air from the master cylinder, brake lines, callipers and wheel cylinders. When you do this, the brake fluid itself will also need to be replaced because it will likely be contaminated with atmospheric dirt and may have absorbed moisture from the air resulting in a lower boiling point of the fluid – so giving it a fresh batch of fluid will inevitably result in an improvement in its braking quality.
Typically a brake should only be bled every couple of years, but brakes that are exhibiting unusual behaviours is indicative that bleeding may be required.

The principle of the Silverline Brake Bleeding Kit is to ”suck” the fluid through the system using a vacuum pump. It’s easy to use, even for beginners, as the kit contains a handy pressure pump and all other necessary accessories to enable you to perform one-person bleeding without the need to depress the brake pedal.
If you’d like to learn more about brake bleeding kits or place an order for your classic car, head over to our dedicated page today.