5 January 2010

Hagerty's Tips to Summarize Your Collector Vehicle

Traverse City, Mich. (Tuesday, January 05, 2010) -
Have you and your classic car been cooped up all winter waiting for the weather to clear so you can enjoy your first drive of the year?

Hagerty, the world’s leading provider of collector car insurance, has developed a list of tips to help collector car owners prepare their vehicles for the upcoming driving and show season. Older, collectible vehicles require special handling and care especially if they have been sitting for an extended period of time.

“Living in a cooler climate and owning collector vehicles for much of my life, there is a certain sense of excitement that comes with taking my car out for its first drive of the spring,” says Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty. “However, it’s important to take your time and correct any issues which may have resulted from having your car stored for the winter.”

Listed below are Hagerty’s Tips to “Summarize” Your Collector Vehicle.

Make sure all fluids are at correct levels. Open the hood and check all of your fluid levels. Also, look for puddles underneath your vehicle. A red puddle generally means automatic transmission fluid. A brown/black puddle under the engine is probably oil, while a green puddle can indicate an antifreeze leak.

Check the brake system. Before taking the vehicle on any trip be sure to check the operation of the brakes and that the brake fluid is at the proper level. The last thing you want is to be cruising along at a high speed and suddenly realize you cannot stop.

Check tire pressure and condition. When tires sit, especially in extreme temperature dips, it is normal to lose some of the pressure. Also, check to make sure there are no noticeable cracks in sidewalls as they are a clue to potential leaks.

Inspect belts and hoses. Check to ensure that there are no excessive cracks in the belt and that the radiator hose is not brittle or does not have an irregular soft spot.

Visually check for mice nests and chewed wires. Mice or other rodents may nest over the winter, particularly near your vehicles head-liner by the rear-view mirror.

Make sure all lights are working. Have someone assist you as you test each light. Replace bulbs as needed.

Check to see if your battery is fully charged – If the battery in your classic was not kept on a battery-tender during storage, we recommend that before you attempt to start your car, you hook up a battery charger for 4-6 hours (depending on rate of charge) to make sure you have a fully charged battery.

For your first drive of the year, make sure you drive your car locally. Do not drive the vehicle more than a few miles from your home or storage facility during its first drive of the season. Drive the vehicle easily, as it needs time to warm up. If there are any unusual noises, turn around and head back to investigate.

Check fluid levels again. After the first drive while the engine is still warm, check your fluid levels once again and look for leaks.

Hagerty Insurance Agency, Inc. is the leading insurance agency for collector vehicles in the world and host to the largest network of collector car owners. Hagerty offers insurance for collector cars, motorcycles and motorcycle safety equipment, tractors, automotive tools and spare parts, and even “automobilia” (any historic or collectible item linked with motor vehicles). Hagerty also offers overseas shipping/touring insurance coverage, commercial coverage and club liability coverage. For more information, call (800) 922-4050 or visit www.hagerty.com.