Whether you look at your classic car as an investment, or if you love it like family, you need to protect it. You use your turn signal to make sure another driver doesn’t run into your car, you park in well-lit areas (if you park anywhere other than your own garage, that is), you’ve reviewed our tips for preventing classic car theft, etc. — but there are always risks out there waiting to take down your classic.
Here are six risks you want to review in order to keep your classic car safe and sound.
Unknown Risk #1: Road Salt
Road salts and other materials used to clear ice from the roadways have been the arch-enemy of classic cars since the beginning of the automobile. Classics don’t have the amount of underbody protection that new cars do, so they are at the most risk for rusted floorpans. With snow reaching nearly every mainland state, it’s something every classic car owner will have to deal with if they drive during colder months.
A yearly coat of undercoating will protect your metal floorpans from cancerous rust due to road salts. It’s also a good practice to wash the underside of your car after driving in the snow, but this option isn’t as realistic.
Unknown Risk #2: Cheap Car Covers
Car covers are a sneaky culprit of mildew and rust. Most people think waterproof car covers are the only way to go, but what they don’t realize is that moisture still gets in! Just because the falling rain isn’t reaching your paint, doesn’t mean the humidity isn’t. This moisture that naturally occurs under the waterproof cover is trapped and causing mildew and rust.
Solution: Breathable Car Covers
There’s a variety of car covers out there that address this problem. Choose the ones right for how you store the car (indoors is best!) and the moisture under the cover will evaporate before it has a chance to do its worst!
Unknown Risk #3: Theft Via Hotwired Ignition
Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to hotwire a classic car — really, they’re just easier to steal in general. Less complicated wiring, more accessible diagrams, and the typical lack of an alarm system puts them at huge risk.
Solution: Master Disconnect Switch
This is one of the most clever ways of outsmarting criminals — install a disconnect switch (out of sight!) and they’ll be puzzled! These switches kill the power to the battery whenever you decide.
Unknown Risk #4: Improper Storage
Sure, it’s inside, that’s the first step, but putting your car up for the winter, or whatever reason, is a task. Humidity, bugs, and dust are just some of the issues with improperly storing your car.
Dehumidifiers, mildew soaking products, pest control, and an indoor car cover can pretty much eliminate storage damage.
Unknown Risk #5: Fires Caused by Cheap Wiring Harnesses
Time and time again, we see a classic car on the news turned into a fireball. Follow up on these stories often shows wiring issues. If you replace your wiring harness and use a cheap setup, you might save a few bucks, but only at the risk of your vehicle’s safety. Cheap harnesses often use undersized wiring, and that in turn leads to overheating. Too much heat and you’ve got an electrical fire.
Solution: High Grade Wiring Harnesses
High quality wiring harnesses are a sound investment. With proper installation, they’ll ensure safe vehicle operation with no risk of overheating.
Unknown Risk #6: Water Damage
Even if you take every precaution in the world, a burst pipe over the garage can drown your car. Not to mention to risks if you aren’t careful around water — maybe that puddle is deeper than you think, or the rundown from the hill floods your driveway. Water can damage every single part on your car.
Water damage is tricky to combat! The best thing you can do is have a plan for such occasions. Usually, all it takes is moving your car to higher ground, but you have to be ready when the threat presents itself.
Keep these problems and their solutions in mind to reduce the risks of damage to your classic. No one wants to lose their car to preventable damage!