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How to Maintain and Take Care of Your New Classic Car 

So you’ve bought a classic car. You’re probably spending the time driving with the top down, or cruising to Cars and Coffee on a Sunday. And while it may be smooth sailing for now, there are a few things that every classic car owner should consider. Now, if you’re a pro, and buy cars often, you can probably ignore this. However, if you’re relatively new to buying classic or modern enthusiast cars, then this list is for you.

Let’s assume a few things about your classic car. For one, we have to assume that it is in relatively okay running condition. In addition, let’s assume that it is not a car in need of a full engine rebuild or anything of that sort. Next, we’ll take into consideration how you bought your car and whether it was using an online auction house, or purchasing in person. Lastly, let’s assume that your car falls in the range of 1985 and older. Ok so now that we’ve got that down, let’s take a look at three things to consider after buying a classic car. 

What to Do After Buying a Classic Car 

So you’ve got the car in your driveway and you’re ready to go for the first drive with your car. Well, you may want to check this list before heading out on a night in the town. The first thing that any new car owner should do is check the maintenance records if available, and check all the fluids. Personally, I like to do a complete fluid change, minus the transmission fluid (assuming its in decent shape).

This means swapping the oil, bleeding the brakes, adding or replacing coolant, cleaning out the gas tank/replacing with fresh gas, and checking for any areas where fluids may be leaking. This is an important step for both peace of mind and your cars longevity. 

While it may seem small, these fluids are the reason that your car runs smoothly, and may continue to do so in the long term. The next step is to check all of the hoses and see the condition of the rubber and whether or not they need replacing. Once all that is done, owners should check the tires for wear and tread life. Most tires have a date code stamped on them.

A quick Google search can also help to identify what the various numbers on the tire mean. Lastly, a classic car owner should do a thorough inspection visually and using ones senses, to see if there are any underlying issues. This means listening, smelling, and looking for any indication of a problem. Make sure that the car is putting out the right amount of power, and that the brakes/transmission/clutch work as they should. Once all that is out of the way, it’s time to go for a drive. 

Maintaining and Up-keeping Your Classic Car 

One of the best or worst parts of owning a classic car depending on your penchant for auto mechanics, is the upkeep. This means ensuring that everything is up to speed, and that your car is running smoothly. For those who are taking their first dive into the classic car world, this may not be familiar to you. With modern cars, a computer will usually tell you what’s wrong and how to fix it. However, with classic cars, its up to you (or a mechanic) to figure that out. 

Obviously if your car is in perfect condition, you may not need to do anything. But, it never hurts to get an oil change and rotate your tires. In addition to this, let’s talk about upgrades for a second. A lot of old cars may seem great on a poster, but when driving there are a few upgrades that can help to make the driving experience better.

This could be swapping out drum brakes for disks, replacing the suspension for an upgraded set, or completely swapping an engine depending on your preference. If you’re a purist, forget I mentioned any of this. But, if you simply want a fast and reliable classic car, upgrades can sometimes be necessary.


The Bottom Line 

So now your car is in good shape. It made it to and from Cars and Coffee with no issues. This period of bliss is the best part of owning a classic car. And if you maintain your vehicle, you can continue to drive it worry free whenever you’d like. However, if you simply continue to drive it with no maintenance, you might be looking at a headache down the line.

Regardless, buying a classic car is a thrilling experience, and owning a classic car can last a lifetime. Whether you bought your car at an online auction house or from a used car lot, maintenance and upkeep will always be your cars best friend.