Antique Car Care – Beyond Oil Changes

Veteran classic car collectors know that there’s a lot that goes into keeping your antique vehicle in near perfect condition. If you’re looking for the basics on how to keep your antique beauty running for years, here are five tips. 

Foster a committed oil changing routine

Changing your car’s oil is Car Care 101, and this becomes increasingly important with antique cars. Antique cars differ from more recent models where oil changes take place every few thousand miles or so. Because owners want to keep their antique car around as long as possible, they are driven far less. How often you change the oil should become dependent upon length of time the oil has been in the engine, not the number of miles driven. A committed routine is essential to keep your car running well, a good rule to follow is to change the car’s oil every six months. 

Hand wash only

Automated car washes don’t have an antique car setting. They’re built to get the grime off even the dirtiest vehicles and can do so a little roughly. To preserve the exterior of your antique car, always wash by hand. When washing your car, avoid abrasive materials that can scratch the paint. It’s important to only use soft towels, mitts or sponges that are free of debris to wash the surface of your antique car. 

Antique Car Care | Encore Garage SWFL

Give a proper shine

Your antique car care routine is not complete without giving the vehicle a proper shine. At a minimum, your car should be waxed every six months. Here are three simple steps you should follow to give your car a proper shine: 

  • Make sure the car is dry before waxing
  • Apply wax out of direct sunlight to avoid it drying too quickly
  • Apply the thinnest coat possible over one small area at a time

Give the car a full inspection

Because antique cars aren’t driven as often, some owners forget that inspections need to be performed regularly to ensure the vehicle is running in tip-top shape and is safe to drive. This means checking brake pads, to make sure they’re not worn. You should also be checking other areas of the car for leaks such as brake lines, cylinders, calipers, engine, cooling system, power steering, transmission and drive axle. 

Store the car in a safe place

Storing your car in a safe place out of the elements will prevent it from incurring major damage. It’s also recommended to use a car cover even when storing a vehicle indoors. A cover will prevent additional dust and debris from damaging your vehicle. 

Storing your vehicle in a safe place is a great start, but it’s important to take it a step further to prevent further damage from pests. Fabric softening sheets, lavender moth balls and Irish Spring soap stored throughout the vehicle in its nooks and crannies are helpful in keeping pests like mice and other insects out of your antique car. 

Encore Garage has been enhancing garages throughout Southwest Florida since 2005, and specialize in quality floor coatings, cabinets and organizers. They are leaders in their field, having transformed over 6,000 garages into beautiful, clean and efficient spaces, perfect for storing and working on your antique car. For more information, visit