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Winterize Your Classic

If the warm weather seems far away and the thought of cruising with a set of snow chains on doesn't appeal to you, then it's time to tuck your car away for a few months.

This is a brief guide to helping your car survive another long cold winter while you make plans to attend exciting events next summer.

First things first. Go for one last drive.
This serves two purposes.

  1. It's fun
  2. It allows your car to get up to operating temperature.

Bringing your engine up to temperature is important to burn off contaminants in the oil and it also gets rid of moisture in the exhaust system. If you've waited too long and it's a bit too cool to get the engine up to temperature, use a piece of cardboard in front of the rad to help things along. Be careful not to overheat it this way.
While you are out cruising, stop by a car wash and clean the undercarriage. Then stop and fill the tank with high grade gasoline, be sure and add the appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer before filling up the tank. This will thoroughly mix the stabilizer with the fuel. Now drive straight home and wash and scrub up the outside of the car. Clean the car as if you were entering it in a show and shine. If it's been awhile since you've waxed it, today is a good day to apply another coat. Dry everything thoroughly. Perhaps grease those door and hood hinges while things are drying off. It's been suggested to pour a bit of 2 stroke oil into the carb just before shutting it down. The idea is to lightly coat the internals with oil. The 2 stroke oil will burn off clean when started again compared to conventional oil. I've never done this, but the idea sounds solid. Some shop manuals recommend that you change the oil at this time, your choice.

Once you have the car parked for it's winter sleep here are a few more points to consider.


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