Coming out of winter – ensuring classic machinery is ready for use.

Winter, whilst cold in most workshops, is an ideal time to sort out all the niggling jobs, such as that suspension squeak from the rear or replacing failing components.  The current cost of heating doesn’t help the process of getting into the workshop, but with Spring around the corner, this is a great time to start prepping our classic machinery.


Running through a complete service is a great way of getting your vehicle ready for the road.  Most of the old manuals have a full-service list, with many of the pre-war and ‘50’s cars having extensive maintenance schedules.  Given time of year, some oils will need warming, to loosen their viscosity, I tend to warm them over a bucket of hot water, particularly the really “treacle” like oils such as those for the steering box.  Undertaking this work on a dry day is vital to ensure you can warm the vehicle thoroughly before starting work, as well as the ability to test run them post service or repair.


Whilst most of the vehicles we run will not need MOT’s, its often worthwhile having one done by someone with an understanding of older vehicles.  One of my friends owns a garage and (for revenue reasons) only works on modern vehicles, however, he is always willing to undertake MOT’s, which can “show up” issues that can be missed on a service, given the availability of the MOT ramp and braking equipment.


Most manufacturers suggest that tyres are replaced at circa 8 years old, whilst many classic owners lose track of their tyre age.  Their ‘date of birth’ is written on the tyre sidewall. Look out for a four-digit code. The first two figures represent the calendar week in which it was made (from 1 to 52) and the second two figures are the year of manufacture. for all your classic fasteners needs.