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Classic Car Spring Maintenance Checklist

If you’re anything like us here at Steele, we know you can’t wait for car show season to start back up again! But, before you take off the cover and pull your classic back out of the garage this Spring, it’ll need a little TLC.


I asked the enthusiasts here what they do for their classics each Spring and put together this list to help you get your ride road ready!

  1. Change the oil. Even if you changed it last year moisture can build up in the oil tank over time and that’s definitely a show stopper for your engine. So, err on the side of caution and change it out. Don’t forget to change the filter too!
  2. Check the belts and hoses. Make sure they’re in good working order with no cracks, swelling, fraying or leaking. If anything looks out of sorts, replace it. Summertime heat is rough on these parts and you don’t want to end up stranded on the side of the road because of a break.
  3. Air up and inspect the tires. Make sure they’re at the correct PSI, have no flat spots, plenty of tread and aren’t dried out or cracking.
  4. Check the battery for corrosion on the connections. If the battery was stored in the car during the winter months there could be some corrosion buildup. Remove the cables and clean them up with a wire brush using a mix of baking soda and water if there is.
  5. Check the fluid levels. Make sure everything is filled up and ready to go. Also check the floor or ground under the vehicle to make sure there are no leaks and investigate anything you see there to make sure those systems and reservoirs are sound.
  6. Check the wires. Mice love to take up residence in cars over the winter and chew through wires. I’ve spoken to many an upset customer about this….. those mice are sneaky!
  7. Give it a tank of fresh gas. This isn’t necessarily a concern if your car has only been stored for a few months and winterized properly with a fuel stabilizer. If not, you may want to use a water probe to ensure there’s no water in your fuel or, more simply, just drain the tank and refill it.
  8. Do a once over to make sure everything’s in good mechanical condition. Start the vehicle- does anything sound off? Try and think back- were there any issues last year that you didn’t fix that need your attention now?
  9. Slowly back out of the garage and test your brakes. This one’s self-explanatory- safety first, folks.
  10. Test all outside lights. Speaking of safety first- grab a friend and have them help you make sure your brake lights, turn signals, headlights and running lights work. Bulbs burn out all the time, start the season off right by making sure they’re all good to go.
  11. Check your weatherstripping. Ever gone to a car show or cruise and gotten stuck in an unexpected rain storm? Make sure your ride is sealed up tight to protect the interior and prevent rust. For more on exactly how to do that, check out our blog post: When to Replace Your Weatherstripping.
  12. And finally, Make it shine. Give the exterior a good wash and wax and detail the interior to freshen it up and make it look perfect for your favorite car show.

And now you’re all ready to go!

Are we missing something from this list? If there’s something you do religiously to get your classic show ready in the Spring, we want to hear from you! You’re input could be put on the list for next year 🙂

Steele not only has all the products you need but all the knowledge you need to get the job done right, too. If you have questions about rubber parts or weatherstripping on your Classic Car, Truck, Hot Rod or even your boat, trailer or RV, feel free to reach out to us! You can call us at 800-650-4482 or contact us through our website. Check out our YouTube channel for our full library of how-to/installation videos.