Spring Start-up: Tips for getting your classic back on the road
One of the best things about spring is that it’s time to put that Mustang, MG or Marmon back on the road. All it really takes is a little common sense and a little bit of time.
For starters, if the car has been on a trickle charger all winter, disconnect the charger and reconnect the battery. Otherwise, it’s a good idea just to charge the battery for a few days.
Next, check the coolant, oil, transmission fluid or oil and brake fluids to make sure the levels are right where they should be. While you’re under the hood, it’s a perfect time to check the condition of belts and hoses. You may also want to make sure that you don’t have any unwanted residents, like mice.
This is also an excellent time to pull out the tire gauge and make sure that all five tires have correct air pressure readings, which you’ll find in your owner’s manual.
If you can roll the car outside before starting it, that’s always a good idea. If the car has an electric fuel pump, turn the key one notch and let it click away. Not only does that get fuel up to the carburetors, it gives you a chance to look for fuel leaks.
Now it’s time to start the car. As soon as it’s running, take a good look to make sure there are no fuel or coolant leaks. You may also want to have someone depress the brake pedal while you look inside the wheels and at the brake hoses and to make sure that the pedal feels nice and firm. Taking your car out for the first time and discovering you have no brakes is a good way to ruin any day.