First Hot Rod? 4 Steps to Properly Love & Care for Your Old Classic

Contributed by Hannah Whittenly

Getting your first hot rod or classic car is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do. If you want that excitement to last on through the years, though, you’ll need to take great care of your car. Fortunately, if you know what you’re doing, classic car care isn’t quite as difficult as you may think. Here are four of the top steps you need to take to keep your first hot rod looking and functioning at its best.

Keep It Clean and Properly Housed

Once you’ve bought your first hot rod, you’re going to want to do everything possible to keep its paint looking good and prevent weather wear. This means cleaning it often and storing it in a garage or outbuilding. Storing a hot rod outside is asking for trouble, since its paint will start to fade with exposure to rain and bright sunlight over enough time. You should also make sure you clean your car frequently to prevent dirt, dust or other road debris some accumulating on it. When you do clean it, be sure to wax it as well, since a layer of wax can help to protect your paint.

Run the Right Fuel

Older cars were often made to accept fuels that aren’t as easy to find today as they once were. If you have a car made before the era in which ethanol fuels became common, it’s usually best to find a gas station that sells non-ethanol fuel in order to keep your motor running its best. In most areas, you’ll be able to find at least one station that sells pure gasoline.

Know Where to Find Rare Parts

As much fun as owning a hot rod can be, repairs can be frustrating because parts are often hard to find. This means you need to know where to look for parts when you need them. Luckily, this task has gotten considerably easier thanks to the internet. Today, there are several classic car parts dealers that sell online. If you need a part for an old hot rod, this is generally the best place to start.

Keep up with Preventative Maintenance

Just like any other car, classics depend on routine maintenance to stay in top shape. Perform oil changes, fluid checks and other basic maintenance procedures on your hot rod just as you would on your daily driver. Even though it will see much less time on the road, it’s important to keep up with maintenance, as it will save you having to fix larger problems later on.

These are just a few of the simple, easy steps you can take to care for your hot rod properly. Put them to good use, and your classic automobile will give you years of fun and enjoyment.

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