Let’s face it, stuff can go wrong with a classic car just sitting still and if you’ve let the car sit for decades or bought a car that has, you’ll have to take a few precautions before ever considering firing up the engine. When bringing any car out of storage you should begin with a total car assessment, to gain a better understanding of the condition of the car and its various components.
This top-to-bottom total car assessment assumes you’ll need to change ALL fluids, but more importantly it can reveal leaky wheel and master cylinders, cooling system leaks, rodent and storage damage, electrical system hazards, fuel system problems and so much more. Join Mark Simpson as he begins our classic car assessment by making certain the engine still turns over. Knowing this is key to developing a plan for our restoration going forward. Simpson also shares some important tips to using a hand crank to turn start older cars and prevent injuring yourself in doing so.
Next we’ll take a close look at the cooling system and explore potential causes for a loss of coolant over the years. His car assessment included evaluating all hoses, connections, radiator, frost plugs, and water pump. A record is kept to ensure any and all issues that are discovered during the car assessment process are addressed before starting the car.
Engine oil goes bad, even when a car is in storage, and even though it’s a good practice to change it, oil can also help you identify a bad head gasket or even cracked block or head if there is moisture present in the oil. Often cars that have been in storage for years will also need new batteries, but it’s also a great time to evaluate your battery cables and all electrical connections.
Once our car assessment is complete it’s always a great idea to give your ride a good bath before beginning any real work. While dust and dirt can help you locate problems your car may have developed in storage, it can also act like sandpaper to the car’s paint. A good cleaning will prevent damage and make working on your ride more enjoyable.