If you live in an area prone to nasty winter weather, you’ve probably developed a winterization and storage check-list for your classic car. Common winterizing steps include washing and waxing your vehicle, filling the gas tank and adding fuel stabilizer, changing the oil and filter, adding air and removing tires, checking the antifreeze, removing the battery, and placing your car on jack stands. For those of you nodding your heads, thinking “that sounds exactly like my fall routine,” we would like to suggest one additional task: winterizing your brake system.
Unlike AC systems, chrome packages, and updated interiors, brakes aren’t a luxury add-on. Brakes are an important safety system designed to keep drivers and passengers safe, so it makes sense to take the time winterize our brakes too. Winterizing your brake system is fast and easy. Just follow these three simple steps:
Change The Brake Fluid—Remember, brake fluid attracts moisture into the system. This can happen when the cap is removed, through the vent in the master cylinder lid, and even through older rubber brake hoses where the pores of the rubber are small enough to allow air in but not yet large enough to let fluid out. There is nothing that can be done to prevent air from entering the system but changing the fluid and putting fresh, dry brake fluid in the system is certainly something that will help over time.
Bleed The Brakes--Once the old brake fluid has been completely flushed out of the system, fill the entire system with a high quality brake fluid such as the Pentosin brake fluid we recommend and bleed the brakes. This will leave a fresh, dry system that should leave you with zero worries about rust creating havoc in your brake system during winter storage.
Don’t Neglect The Parking Brake Assembly--When raising the vehicle up to remove the wheels and tires, many folks set the park brake to aid in the process of jacking the car up instead of using a wheel chock. Once you have raised the car and removed the wheels and tires, reach inside and release the park brake. Leaving the park brake set all winter can lead to hardware fatigue or cause the pads to fuse to the rotor.
Properly winterizing your car protects your investment, minimizes repairs, and gives you the best chances of getting back out on the road quickly next spring. Don’t cut corners…remember your brakes. You’ll be glad you did!