Checklist: How to best remove a classic from winter storage

Photography Credit: Chris Tropea

Here are some steps to get your classic ready for springtime–and check out the video at the bottom of the screen to dive deeper. 

  • Open up the hood and inspect your engine. Look for anything amiss–check your fluid levels and make sure everything looks shipshape.
  • Check for puddles of fluid under the car. Repair any issues before the car hits the road. Brake calipers and cylinders can leak onto the wheels themselves, so look carefully.
  • Clean the battery terminals and reconnect the wires after you make sure that the battery is fully charged.
  • Check and set your tire pressures.
  • Unplug the coil wire and crank the engine for about 30 seconds. This will build oil pressure throughout the engine and help lubricate the now-dry engine.
  • Make sure that fuel is getting to the carburetor or fuel injection. Check for any fuel leaks and repair if necessary.
  • Now plug in the coil wire and start the engine. Then allow it to idle at a fast 1500 to 2000 rpm for a minute or so. Go back around the car while looking for leaks or issues.
  • Give the brake and clutch pedals a push or two to make sure they feel normal. Double check for any leaks from the master cylinder, wheel cylinders and clutch cylinder after your footwork.
  • Go for a short drive around your neighborhood and return home after a few miles. Go back over the car and look for any new issues, leaks or problems.
  • Now it’s time to put on some miles. After a few drives, give the car another once-over. Make sure everything is working correctly–parts like thermostats in the cooling system have a habit of getting sticky after a long nap. Finish up by adjusting the carbs and bleeding the brakes to make sure that everything is ready for a pleasant season of driving.


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