Driving a Classic British car in our hot Houston weather requires some attention and care to ensure optimal performance and prevent potential issues. Here are nine of our recommended best practices:
- Cooling System Maintenance: Ensure that the cooling system is in good condition. Regularly check the coolant level, hoses, and radiator for any leaks or damage. Clean the radiator fins to promote proper airflow.
- Engine Oil and Lubrication: Use the correct grade of engine oil recommended by the manufacturer for hot weather conditions. Consider using a high-quality synthetic oil that offers better heat resistance. Regularly check the oil level to ensure proper lubrication for all the engine components. Along with BG and Castrol®, we offer, and are, the US distributor for Morris Lubricants.
- Adequate Airflow: Classic British cars do not have advanced cooling systems. They lack air flow, capacity and circulation. Avoid driving in heavy traffic or idling for prolonged periods as it will lead to overheating. Imagine being on I-10 West bound at 5:00pm with your air conditioning on in an XKE. (YES – it does happen). There is rarely little to be done permanently to fix these inherent overheating problems, but keeping them in the best repair and off the known-to-be-heavy-traffic-hot-roads will keep you safe and ready for better-weather touring.
- Parking Considerations: Park your car in shaded areas whenever possible to minimize heat soak. Consider using a windshield sunshade or window visors to reduce the interior temperature.
- Fluid Levels and Maintenance: Regularly check and maintain fluid levels such as brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid. Hot weather can increase the strain on these systems, so keeping them properly maintained is crucial.
- Tires and Pressure: Check tire pressure regularly and ensure they are inflated to the recommended levels. Hot pavement can lead to increased tire pressure, so it’s important to monitor and adjust as necessary.
- Fuel Considerations: Classic cars do not have modern fuel system components that are designed for ethanol-blended fuels. A gasoline stabilizer such as Sta-Bil along with Marvel Mystery Oil is a MUST. If you are so inclined, run ethanol-free gasoline.
- Regular Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for your classic British car. Regularly inspect and service the vehicle to address any issues promptly to keep it running smoothly.
- Driver Comfort: Hot weather can be uncomfortable, so consider using sunshades, seat covers, or ventilated seat cushions to help keep the interior cool. Stay hydrated and use sun protection, such as wearing a hat and applying sunscreen, especially during extended drives.
Remember, most Classic British cars have specific considerations when driving in the heat of summer, so make sure you consult your owner’s manual. Call us or visit our website to schedule a service request to make sure that any minor issues don’t turn into major ones.
Your Motorcars Service Team.