Spring Start Up Tips

If you are the proud owner of a classic vehicle then it’s that exciting time of the year when we can start thinking of getting back on the road!


However, before you pull on the driving gloves and hop into your pride and joy you may just want to read on and check these 10 important tips, tasks and advice.


1. The first thing is to make sure that you are properly insured. Invicta will always make sure that you have quality and competitive cover in place on your vehicle. If you are already insured with us, you will receive your renewal details in plenty of time and can call any of our customer advisors for one-to-one expert advice if you require it.


2. Check your car’s fluid levels: brakes, radiator, engine oil, gearbox and back axle. Or better yet, change all of the fluids, unless you did that during the winter (as you said you would, remember?).


3. Replace your wiper blades. It won’t start raining until you’re 50 miles from home, on a Sunday, somewhere rural where there is nowhere to buy parts! Most garages or Halfords probably won’t have your wipers anyway if your car is a classic.


4. Check your tyres and inflate them to the correct pressure. Also look for cracked sidewalls and treads. The tyre that’s low, you think it might have a nail in it? Don’t just blow it up, check. Also wiggle the valve stems in case they are perished. By the way, how old are your tyres? Never mind if they don’t look worn. Old tyres get hard and eventually start coming apart in chunks. In the meantime, they don’t grip the road at all, especially if the ground is wet. Maybe you should just buy some new ones? While the wheels are off you can see how you brakes are holding up. Maybe it’s time for brakes too, shoes or pads and maybe discs or drums. See if they can be turned first. You’ll need to be there to approve that, or your garage might decide to order some new ones and pitch yours for scrap.


5. Grease the wheel bearings while the wheels are off, and check out all of the grease fittings to make sure they are all working. If you can’t get grease to come out of the king pins, jack the car up and lift the wheel off the ground and see if that helps. Also have somebody turn the steering back and forth when you are greasing kingpins and tie rods end.


6. Flush the radiator and check your hoses. How old are the hoses? If they’re more than four years, replace them. Use new clamps. Even if the hoses are recent, check the clamps have not worked loose and tighten them.


7. Check your battery levels and if you don’t have a battery tender, replace your battery. In fact if it’s more than five years old replace it anyway. Sure you can charge it up, but changes in temperature are sometime the last straw. It’s hard to get a jump start if you’ve stopped somewhere nice for a picnic – and there’s nobody there.


8. You put stabiliser in the fuel tank and filled it all the way up so there won’t be any condensation or rust, didn’t you? Now put some octane booster in the petrol and add some carburettor cleaner. Warm the car up first, then drive it about 50 miles – enough so that you can put fresh petrol in the tank.


9. So, before you leave on your first drive of the season, walk around the car and make sure all the lights work. Have somebody step on the brake pedal and see that the brake lights and indicators work. Also make sure your number plate light functions.


10. Last but not least, before you head off remember to tell somebody where you’re going and take a mobile phone with you just in case you have an issue which you can’t fix yourself. We would also recommend taking out our excellent Classic Car Breakdown policy which will give you 12 months full breakdown cover anywhere in Europe.


All that leaves us to say is happy motoring and we look forward to seeing you at one of the many Classic Car Shows that we are sponsoring this year!


Thank you to Paul Duchene at Hagerty Insurance.

Invicta House, Amherst Hill, Riverhead, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2EL
Tel: 01732 471950 Email: info@invictainsuranceservices.co.uk
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