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  • How to Winterize Your Classic British Car

    It's been a hot summer, but winter is just around the corner. Cruising around with the top down has been fun, but it's time to start thinking about what you are going to do with your car when winter hits. Here are a few tips to help you winterize your British car.

    1. Gas and Engine
    Keep the fuel system protected by adding a container of fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and also filling the tank completely. Once the stabilized fuel has been added, take the car around the block a few times, to let it work through the system. Do this just before you store that car.

    2. Oil and Engine
    Change the filter as well as the oil itself, and be certain that you choose an oil that offers corrosion protection.

    3. Battery Charger
    Keep the battery from dying over the winter by hooking up a charger.

    4. Tires
    For best results through winter, store your car on jacks. Stack the tires in a corner and place cardboard between each one and cover.

    5. Paint and Body
    Protect your paint by thoroughly washing, drying, and waxing your car. As well, wash and dry any of the vinyl, leather, or rubber inside the car, and consider coating the seats and armrests with preservative to prevent cracking if you live in a cold, dry climate. Rust inhibitor can be applied to any unpainted metal surfaces, as well.

    6. Furry Stowaways
    To keep small furry animals from turning your car into their castle, stash mothballs inside the car and under the dashboard, and make sure you cover the tailpipe as well.

    7. Insurance
    Make sure your car is adequately insured. There are discounts for low-use, low-mileage vehicles that will help offset any premiums charged because the car is a classic and has extra value. Consult your insurance agent for the best plan, and if your car is over fifteen years old, be sure to ask about special collector policies.

    8. Clutch
    Put something heavy on the clutch pedal and keep it down. Over the winter the clutch plates can stick together.

    9. Cooling System
    Drain the cooling system completely and leave the petcock open and the radiator cap off so air can circulate. Disconnect the heater hoses and drain the heater too.

    10. Before Covering
    Before you encase your classic in its winter cocoon, the last things to do are:

    • Roll down your windows to allow for circulation
    • Place opened boxes of baking soda in various places to absorb moisture
    • Put a plastic bag over the carburetor to keep moisture out
    • Stuff an old rag up the tailpipe to keep vermin out.

    11. Cover
    Cover the car with a breathable cloth cover - not plastic, as the latter will only trap any condensation and encourage rust. Also, if your vehicle is a convertible, make sure you store it with the top up. This adds protection for the inside of the car, as well as preventing the soft top from shrinking.

    Visit BP Northwest for all your British car parts!

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