When bringing any car out of long-term storage it is important to change ALL the fluids, this includes the engine oil. Even if you installed fresh oil before putting it away, if it’s been sitting for more than a year the oil needs to be changed before ever thinking of turning the key. We commonly think of changing oil after a predetermined number of miles but just as important is the effects of time and environment on oil. Temperature changes, and the fact that the crankcase is vented to the air contributes to oil taking on moisture and degrading over time.
It’s important to consider the types of oil you are using to replace your oil with. Modern oils have removed the Zinc as part of their formulation, to help preserve the catalytic converters on late-model cars. While this formula change benefits modern engines in older classic cars equipped with flat tappet lifters the zinc was needed to prevent damage to the camshaft and lifters. Mark Simpson explains a couple of different options classic car owners should consider when selecting an oil to use and discusses the classic car oiling systems and how they affect our oil selection choices.
As a matter of common practice it’s always a good idea to replace your oil filter whenever you change oil. Simpson explains how few cars from the mid 1930s and earlier were equipped with oil filters, but with their introduction, many early cars were retrofitted with canister style oil filters. Earlier cars however relied on a large oil drain plug to remove debris from the engine but unfortunately this method does not remove contaminants from being circulated throughout the oiling system. Join Mark as he completes an oil change on our project car as he endeavors to bring it out of long-term storage.