- A bit of a clean and it'll be fine (Photo: Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash)

Your old car has lasted this long. Don't mess it up now

Look after your vintage motor, and it'll look after you. Well, it won't fall apart, anyway. As much. Probably

6w ago
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Progress. It's a wonderful thing. Everything is better now than it used to be. OK, some things are worse, but when it comes to cars, they're safer, better made, more efficient and faster.

Of course, that's not the end of the story. If that were true of everything about cars, then no one would want classics. But millions of people love a heritage vehicle, often because of intangible things. Nostalgia. History. A love of things going wrong and fixing them.

If you're one of these classic fans, then you'll no doubt be handier with a spanner than someone who just leases the latest Honda and never opens the bonnet. And you'll know that it's crucial to give your classic ride some love. It's got soul, but it's delicate. So be nice to it. Here's how.

Keep things slippery

Glug glug glug, etc

Glug glug glug, etc

Your car's engine has been running for decades, and things can get worn. And when things wear, they get expensive. So for heaven's sake, lube it up good. But don't just bung in any old oil you have lying around. Old engines aren't the same as new ones, and they have different requirements. Speciality oil, like Liqui Moly's Classic Motor Oil range, will look after engines with or without oil filters, and stop metal bits rubbing and wearing. You can also get additives, such as Motor Oil Saver, which will regenerate rubber and plastic engine seals – shaft seals, valve stem seals and the like – and help prevent unwanted pools of oil on the driveway.

Don't forget the gearbox either; older gearboxes can be cranky at the best of times, so keep things loosey-goosey with a dedicated product, such as Liqui Moly Classic Transmission Oil or Gear-Oil additive.

Keep it clean

SO SHINY (Photo: Garett Mizunaka on Unsplash)

SO SHINY (Photo: Garett Mizunaka on Unsplash)

It's no good having great lube if you're trudging years worth of crud through the engine. A product like Motor Clean, added to your car's internals, can flush out and clean all the accumulated nonsense when you change your oil. As well as preventing damage, it'll make everything run better too. The same goes for cars with injectors: Injection Cleaner will get rid of deposits and stop new ones forming, making everything run silky smooth. For older cars, Carburetor and Valve Cleaner will... well, the name kind of tells you what it'll do.

Keep it comfortable

This bear had a fuel stabliser before it went into hibernation. Probably (Photo: Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash)

This bear had a fuel stabliser before it went into hibernation. Probably (Photo: Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash)

Not everyone daily drives their classic car, and there may well be long periods where it's parked up. This isn't always good for it, as a lack of use can lead to corrosion within the mechanical bits, and even within the fuel. Research suggests that just 30 days of inactivity can start to mess up fuel sitting in your car's tank, as it can oxidise. However, add a fuel stabiliser and it'll form a protective layer to stop air messing with it. Liqui Moly's Gasoline Stabilizer should do the trick.

Don't forget the non-mechanical bits

Always pflege your car's leder to keep it fresh

Always pflege your car's leder to keep it fresh

It's no good having a tip-top engine if the rest of the car looks like a dog's breakfast. Use a leather care product like, er, Leather Care. Look, no one said the names had to be fancy... It'll stop the leather upholstery cracking and fading. Foam cleaner will keep upholstery and carpets clean, and Chrome Gloss Cream will shine up the shiny bits and keep rust at bay.

Oh, and it should probably go without saying, but clean and polish the paintwork. But you knew that already, right?

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