Need to Know Tips for Classic Car Maintenance

airtec micro ceramic

Owning a classic car is to own a piece of history, relive your youth, and turn a few heads when you take to the road. However, maintaining a classic car requires delicate care and constant attention. Here are a few tips to keep your vintage car running in peak condition:

  1. Choose the right Engine Oil. One of the most important fluids in any vehicle is the engine oil, it is responsible for lubrication, wear protection, and corrosion protection. However, engine oils are not all created equal and some definitely protect and lubricate far better than others. Here are some important things to look at:
  • Total Base Number. The total base number indicates the level of alkaline additives in the oil. This is important to know because through normal operation different acids built up inside the engine and if they are not neutralized by alkaline additives the acids will damage the engine. So it is important to note that in general high quality oils have higher TBN (total base number) values.
  • Wear Protection Additives. The amount and presence of wear protection additives will indicate how well engine oils reduce wear. Typical wear reduction additives include molybdenum disulfide (moly), boron nitride (micro ceramic), and PTFE (Teflon). Of the three mentioned Micro ceramic offers the best protection under high temperatures with moly in second and Teflon in a distant third. The amount of wear additives and type will indicate the protection level the oil is able to provide. Check out AirTec Micro Ceramic Oil additives for maximum protection
  • Viscosity index (VI). The Viscosity index of an engine oil shows how much the oil’s viscosity changes during temperature fluctuation. The high the VI number the more stable the engine oil is during temperature changes. This is important as temperatures greatly fluctuate within and engine and proper lubrication depends on oil stability.

2. Winterize your Classic Car. Winterize here doesn’t just mean get your car ready for winter, we’re talking about protecting a vehicle when it is not routinely driven. Here is a short list of things to winterize on your car

  • Check tire pressure. To maximize the lifespan of tires it is important to make sure they are properly inflated, especially is the vehicle is going to sit for a while.
  • Check Anti-freeze levels. This is more important in colder climate as low antifreeze levels can allow the coolant to freeze and damage the radiator, lines, or engine.
  • Stabilize gas/fuel. We recommend using non-ethanol fuels in classic cars as they were not made to withstand ethanol. Ethanol can not only corrode fuel system components, but it is also prone to taking in moisture, oxidation, and causing combustion issues. As classic cars spend a fair amount of time not being used it is crucial to stabilize the fuel, prevent oxidation, prevent corrosion, and maintain fuel combustion readiness. For fuel systems protection and fuel stabilization we recommend AirTec® Octane FS1 gasoline engines or AirTec® Cetane CS1 for diesel engines.
  1. Grease Joints and Wheel Bearings. A Classic car should always be greased before sitting for a length a time. Grease not only provides lubrication but also prevents corrosion, oxidation, and rust pitting, therefore, it is important to grease all the suspension points, u-joints, and wheels bearings before being stored. It is equally important to use a grease that is stable and will not oxidize during storage. We recommend a lithium complex grease with an additive that has high metal adhesion properties, this ensures the best corrosion protection and lubricity. We recommend taking the mess out of greasing and grease guns by using a Lube-Shuttle® System and a micro ceramic grease like AirTec® LI400 which meets or exceeds all the GC-LB requirements.

Following these simple, but important, precautions will ensure you classic car is only a key turn away from a cruise down main street or a trip down memory lane. Safe Travels.


Wesley Kolbe

At the helm of AET Systems, Wesley Kolbe merges tradition with innovation to provide top-quality lubricants and unmatched service, ensuring every client's machinery runs at its best.