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.

Product Of The Week – Classic Castrol Oil

Choosing the correct engine oil for your classic motor is critical in ensuring it runs smoothly with maximum wear protection.

Older vehicles require a different formulation to newer models. Unlike engine oils for modern engines that are required to adhere with the most recent API ratings of SN/CF as well as ACEA and OEM specs, classic car oils tend to have somewhat opposing characteristics. They feature cork or graphite seals, a greater dependence on ‘splash’ or ‘cling’ lubrication as well as lower revving with greater machine clearances.

That’s where Classic Castrol Oil comes in.

Castrol is the world leading manufacturer and distributor of lubricating oils to the transportation industry. Based in the UK, the company operates directly in over 40 countries, with a delivery network that branches throughout over 140 countries.

Founded by Charles “Cheers” Wakefield in 1899, the company (named CC Wakefield& Company) began by producing lubricants for trains and heavy machinery before expanding to automobiles and planes in the early 20th Century. Faced with new engine types, a challenge existed in trying to manufacture an oil that was slippery enough in cooler temperatures and thick enough to withstand hotter temperatures in order to work efficiently. After some research, Wakefield noticed that adding castor oil created the ideal consistency – hence creating the brand name ‘Castrol’.

Promoting his product through the sponsorship of landspeed record attempts and motoring events, Wakefield was able to expand the brand, introducing new lines of lubricants catering to car manufacturer’s individual engines.

Since then, Castrol oil has played a key role in many exciting transporting events, from lubricating the largest ocean liner of its time’s maiden voyage in 1967 to having direct involvement in NASAs first ‘Rover’ mission to Mars in 2012. It’s probably safe to say that when Wakefield invented the substance he never imagined his product would end up assisting in an interplanetary space mission a century later!

So what is it about Castrol classic engine oil that sets it apart from the rest? Well, there are a number of things:

1. It remains the right consistency in hotter temperatures. This is very important because clogging can easily occur in the oil galleries if the oil becomes too thick.
2. It features less detergent than modern oils. In classic vehicles, carbon has built up over the years which can be scoured off by detergents, causing it to flake and create blockages. Sometimes this can cause oil leaks, because it breaks away carbon that is actually acting as a seal. So, Castrol uses less detergent to help maintain good vehicle health.
• Castrol oil has anti-wear additives which ensure that if there is a breakdown in the oil film between moving parts, permanent engine damage is prevented.
• It contains the correct anti corrosion inhibitors, so that the components are well protected.
• It is designed using the original formula as a foundation, but also with the latest appropriate technology and carefully balanced additives for optimal protection.

So which Castrol oil product is right for you? Well, the answer depends on your vehicle type and age. We have a wide range of Castrol engine oils, gear oils and two stroke oils so head over to our dedicated Castrol Oil page now and place your order.