Changing of the seasons






You wouldnít really know it by the weather weíve been having this late in the year, but winter is just about here and there are many things to do.


You have to clean out the gutters, drain and insulate the swamp cooler, check out the furnace, etc., as well as a few other things I am sure your spouse will think of. Even the bears are getting ready for hibernating by eating heavy and storing up fat.


For the most part, touring season is over for a while and its time to put your dear old car away. Letís go over a few things to do first. As you know, I am basically talking about the old flatheads, but the principles will apply to the later models.


It is a good idea to put a light coat of wax for more than one reason. First of all, it will keep down oxidation as well as preventing any airborne vapors from settling into the finish. Even more important is that it will be a lot easier to clean up when you take it out for the first outing of spring.


A very important item is to fill your gas tank, especially if you are storing the car outside or in an unheated garage. This will prevent condensation from forming in the tank. The variance from freezing to above freezing will utilize any air space in your tank to condense the moisture in the air.


You will also want to check your anti-freeze and possibly change it. In these old cast iron engines, you never want to keep the same antifreeze in for more than two years, even if it shows it protects to a low temperature. There are many more functions to your coolant than just keeping it from freezing. When you put in new coolant, you should make sure your block and heater are drained. Check your service manual for the location of these drains. After changing and putting in a 50/50 solution, be sure you run it for awhile to circulate and give a good mixing to the solution.


Itís a good time to change the oilóespecially if you have near 1,000 miles or itís been a year since changing. Many people (myself included change it every fall, regardless of mileage. Donít forget to change the filter if you have one, Again, after you change the oil, you want to run the car until warm before you let it set for awhile. This will clean out any moisture you may have accumulated over the year and you will find your car will start better in the spring.


Check out your tires and make sure you donít have any slow leaks. You can ruin a tire if it sits flat for any length of time. After you check your tires, check your valve stems to make sure you didnít cause them to leak. A good cap on the valve stems will usually prevent this.


Even if your car is stored inside, you should put a cover on it if it is going to sit more than a couple of weeks. There are many different types of covers available depending on the type of use.


If you have done all this, you can rest assured that if a special occasion comes up, your car will be ready to go on a momentís notice. Donít forget to refill the gas tank after you drive it for a special event or tour.


After all, any day you can drive a LaSalle (or Caddy), itís got to be a good day.


See ya next month.