Collector Vehicle Road Trip Checklist
Driving an old car is something that cannot compare to anything built in the last 40 years. The modern advancements of fuel injection, electronic ignition systems, radial tires, four-wheel disc brakes, overdrive transmissions and more offer great convenience for everyday driving. But at the same time, those modern features take the fun and adventure out of driving. When you drive an old car a great distance, it's always a good idea to make a checklist beforehand, so the car can be thoroughly checked. And while this checklist won't prevent an occasional breakdown, it will certainly help you be more prepared for a road trip in an old car. 1. Fluids--It's always a good idea to check the fluids in your car, even on short trips. Check the oil, coolant, transmission (if automatic), power steering (if applicable) and brake fluid. Make it a habit! The last thing you want on a road trip is for your collector vehicle to overheat, or have an oiling issue, so make a fluid check number one on your list. Or if you're going on a LONG road trip like the Great Race, the Hot Rod Power Tour or a cross-country trip "just because", we'd suggest changing fluids, filters and any other consumable items on the car. 2. Brakes--We don't have to tell you this, but the brakes on an old car aren't as efficient or powerful as the brakes in your daily driver and if a single piece of the braking system malfunctions, you may find yourself in a world of trouble. Many collector vehicles came from the factory with drum brakes without any type of power assist. These braking systems are very simple, but they are also susceptible to problems. A collapsed brake hose, a leaking wheel cylinder or a broken spring may wreak havoc on your braking system, and could even leave you with no brakes. During your pre-road-trip check, remove the brake drums and give each brake a visual inspection. This would also be a good time to double check your brake fluid level. 3. Tires--You knew we were going to bring up tires, right? By far, tires are one of the most overlooked aspect of any collector vehicle road trip. Whether you're running bias ply or radial tires, it's important to check air pressure and also check for any cracks or other damage. Low air pressure is the number one killer for tires, especially in the summer time, so make sure all four tires are inflated properly, and be sure to check the air in your spare tire as well. Checking, dry-rot or any other type of damage needs to be addressed before you take off on a road trip. It's also important to look out for irregular tire wear, as this is a sign of misaligned or worn out suspension components. If you need new tires for your road trip, please consider our wide selection of tires and call us at 866-516-3215 if you have any questions. 4. Clean--We know you're proud of your collector vehicle, and you likely obsess over keeping it clean. But here's something to consider before taking off on a road trip. Clean the underside of your car to get rid of any road grime, oil sludge or dirt. If the underside of your car is clean, it will help you easily spot a fluid leak. Oh, and if you're wondering the best way to keep your whitewalls clean, we suggest Wide White--it's a citrus-based cleaner that WILL NOT harm your whitewalls! We also offer Big Classic tire dressing for blackwall tires.