Spring is just around the corner and that means getting your hot rod back out. Yeah, we know some of you live in a climate that you drive your classic 52 weeks out of the year. We’ll admit it, we are jealous. When bringing the car out of storage, there are some things that need to be checked and some maintenance that needs to be performed within the brake system.
- Brake Fluid: It seems obvious but it is one of the most overlooked things within the vehicle. You probably check the fluid level every once in a while but rarely change the fluid. Remember, brake fluid is hydroscopic meaning that it absorbs moisture into the fluid. You can’t see it but it is definitely happening. That means that your entire system has the perfect opportunity to rust from the inside out. Now is a good time to flush the entire brake system and replace it with some Pentosin Super Dot 4 brake fluid.
- Wheel Cylinders and Calipers: Over the period of time that the car wasn’t driven and in storage, the seals in both the wheel cylinders and the calipers could have dried up some and therefore become stuck within the bores. Check each to make sure that the internal components are moving freely and not leading to leaks and poor brake performance.
- Wheel Bearings: Your front brake rotors or brake drums are turning on some form of a bearing. This could be within a rotor or a hub assembly. Either way, they are subjected to a fair amount of abuse and should be looked at regularly and now is a great time. Pull them down and replace as necessary. At a bare minimum, if the bearings feel good, now is a great time to clean them out and re-pack with a high quality wheel bearing grease.
- Master cylinder: Just like the wheel cylinders and the calipers, the master cylinder has rubber seals inside that can become hardened and stuck. It could cause poor performance and a leak that you may not ever notice until it’s too late. This is especially possible if the master cylinder is mounted on a brake booster.
- Vacuum Hose: On cars equipped with a vacuum brake booster, something has to supply vacuum to the booster. This is generally done through a simple 11/32” rubber hose that goes from the engine manifold to the vacuum booster itself. It is in a place of high heat and could very easily dry out and crack. Replace the hose as necessary but be mindful of what you are replacing the hose with.
- Emergency Brake Cables: Your E-brake system also needs attention. The cables are generally a steel cable inside of a housing that can become stuck and therefore not hold the car as needed when applying the emergency brake.
Once you’ve finished looking over the brake system, there are some other simple items that you should also check when getting your car ready for the new season. Take a look below and check these off as you complete them to have a worry free summer.
Tire Pressure: If your ride has been stored in a non-climate controlled location chances are the air pressure has fallen off due to the cold weather. Make sure you inflate the tires back to the factory recommended PSI.
Check your battery: Some of you might have removed your battery for the winter when winterizing your ride. If you haven’t removed your battery make sure the winter hasn’t zapped too much juice from it by checking the voltage.
Check your fluids: You’ve checked over and even changed the brake fluid. Don’t neglect the rest of the fluids within the vehicle. Make sure all the fluids in your ride are up to snuff and that no leaks have developed around the seals.
Wiper Blades: It was a great year last year but your rides wipers may have taken a beating. Make sure they are in good shape and if not replace them.
Check your bulbs: Make sure your headlights, taillights and turn signals are functioning correctly. You don’t want to start off the spring with an unnecessary traffic stop.
Give it a wash: If your ride has been sitting in a garage uncovered for the winter it has probably collected some dust. Nothing says spring is almost here like the first wash of the season.
Start it up: After making sure your fluids, tires, electrical and pressures are good start it up and let it run for a bit.
Now that you have gone through some simple steps to get your car ready for the new season, sit back and relax knowing you are good to go. Happy driving.