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6 Tips For Maintaining Your Classic Car

Classic car lovers, listen up! Whether you purchased your car in mint condition, or have slowly but surely been working it back to a beautiful state, your vintage charmer will need ongoing maintenance to preserve its glamor. 

But that’s just part of the joy of ownership, right?

Keep reading as we go through some of our best tips for maintaining your classic car and what you’ll need to know. 

1. Nothing Beats Originality

When it comes to preserving the value of your investment, it pays to pass on upgrades. Original, stock parts are far more valuable and appealing in the classic car market than replacement parts or upgrades. For the uninitiated, “original” refers to the parts that were included in the vehicle when it was first purchased new. If an original part fails, the recommendation is to replace it with a stock replacement part, as opposed to a modern part.

While it might be tempting to make some unique modifications, it’s not typically worth it if you plan to one day resell. Although repairing a part of finding a stock part may sometimes be pricier, your car’s resale value can drastically drop when you do this. Just say no!

2. Be Religious About Maintenance 

Your vehicle maintenance schedule should be regular and consistent. This is important for all cars, but especially the classics! Will this be pricey? Sometimes, yes. But regular maintenance will ensure you’re able to catch any problems before they get worse, as well as adding to your documentation that you cared for the car well, in case future owners want to see that if and when you resell the car. 

Regular maintenance for a classic car should include, at a minimum:

  • Check and change the engine oil 
  • Check spark plugs, ignition wires, distributor cap, and rotor, as well as air and gas filters
  • Check battery connections and all fluid levels, including coolant
  • Check tires and add air, if needed


3. Commit to Cleanliness 

Keeping the vehicle clean is another essential to preserving its value. If you don’t, it can do a number on the car’s paint job, and even hurt the vehicle’s performance. It may seem like no big deal, but if you slack on cleaning, you will pay a price down the line.

Feel free to keep it simple here: a bucket, soft rag, an automotive soap, and finish it as all you need on hand. Make sure to dry the exterior of your car thoroughly with the soft rag (or a chamois), which will remove any residual soap and help prevent watermarks from appearing. 

You’ll also want to regularly wash out the wheel wells, and vacuum and wipe down the interior of your car to avoid dust and dirt build-up.

4. ”Wax On, Wax Off” 

Another great maintenance tip is to complete your wash with a nice wax. Waxing preserves and protects your paint finish, and really makes your car shine! 

If the paint on your car is chipped, you may need to go to a professional detailer to revive the look—but if your paint is already in good condition, adding a quality wax after washing your car is key to keeping it that way.

5. Keep it Safe and Protected 

We know you probably want to show off your classic beauty, but one of the worst things you can do is leave your car outside for an extended period of time, exposed to the elements and temperature changes. 

While the next best option is keeping the car in your garage, that’s not ideal either if you’re not regularly driving it. Instead, we recommend looking into a long-term car storage option like The Vault. 

Our storage facilities are climate-controlled, so your car stays in top condition, and provides a safe and clean space for long-term storage. Some of the other benefits of long-term car storage include:

  • Maximum security — The Vault has 3 access points that have been reinforced for extra security, as well as the full-service building monitoring with sensors, motion detectors, and 10 video cameras
  • In-house detailing — we’ll give your car the TLC it deserves, including basic washes to full show-quality detail
  • Peace of mind — our staff is trained in long-term car maintenance, which ensures that your car will receive the right kind of specialized care

6. Take It For A Spin At Least Once A Month 

Lastly, make sure that you’re revving up that engine at least once a month! This prevents a lot of problems from building up, if it’s not being driven regularly. As it sits, the seals and rubber can dry up, leading to leaks and other preventable issues.

We recommend driving your car at least once, if not twice, per month, and keep it hot for about 30 minutes at a time if you can. But we probably don’t need to remind you to do this—after all, showing off your classic car to the world is one of the best parts of ownership, isn’t it?

Classic and Luxury Car Storage with the Vault 

Looking for the best classic and luxury car storage near you? At the Vault, we’re proud to service the greater San Diego area, with locations in downtown San Diego and Miramar. Whether you need storage for your daily driver or collection management services of Miramar, our team will give you and your car a higher level of personal attention and service.

To learn more, call us at 619-333-8898 or fill out our contact form, and one of our car storage experts will connect with you!