Older vehicles often need good maintenance to keep them running well. As mechanical parts in a Ford Mustang or Model A wear down from use, drivers will want to give them extra attention – above and beyond what might be needed for a modern vehicle. Here are two traditional maintenance tips where classic cars can benefit from a different approach than modern cars.
Oil – If the classic Ford’s engine is cleaned regularly, or has been overhauled by the owner, detergent oil, that helps to keep the engine clean by preventing the build-up of sludge, will work. However, if there is already a buildup of deposit in the engine’s valves and cylinders caused by a driver not using detergent oil, it is recommended that the driver continue using the same oil. The reason is that those deposits help to keep the mechanics lubricated just like the oil, and if a switch were made to detergent oil to start cleaning out those deposits, the driver would need to replace the oil much more frequently down the road to keep the Ford running like a champ.
Transmission fluid – Between the 1950s and 1960s, whale oil was used in transmission fluids, however this practice discontinued in the 1970s because of its tendency to break down at higher temperatures (caused by higher engine temps). At that time, Ford used transmission oil identified as ESW M2C33-F in the vehicles it sold, and oil companies recreated this product, now called Type F transmission fluid – for drivers to purchase when a transmission flush was needed. Classic car drivers are recommended to use transmission oil that matches the product originally distributed when the car was built, and avoid using any modern fluids that work better with modern vehicles.
Do you have tips on how to maintain a classic?