Classic Car Spring Checklist

Post Time - 9:54 AM Post By - admin

Whether you are waiting to make a mark this spring with your first round of golf, the first cast of the fishing season, or for those who live on lakes putting the dock in for the season, spring is just around the corner.

If you are an avid car enthusiast, the mark of spring can take shape in many different ways. The first drive of the season, the first car show or swap meet, the first cruise night, or simply pulling the car cover off and giving your ride a fresh coat of wax.

Lentz Auto Body wants to remind you, before you take your prized possession out for a spin, consider having your vehicle inspected.

A second set of eyes inspecting your vehicle for any number of issues that you may have overlooked is always a wise choice. Loose jam nuts on steering components, bad
grounds on headlights, heater hoses positioned too close to rapidly moving belts, and burnt out license plate lights, are just a few items to be on the lookout for.

Especially if you are planning on entering your classic beauty into any local club events. Often they require safety inspections prior to participating.

Before putting your ride on the road consider having it safety inspected, this will be time well spent and will pay off with a season of worry free driving.

If you are a DIY’er, check out the list before to ensure there are items you are not overlooking.


  • Do all tires have the same amount of tread? Outside & inside tread..
  • Are all tires the same size? (Check tire size markings on tire sidewalls.)
  • Are all tires the same brand?
  • Is there a spare tire, jack, and lug wrench? If the vehicle has locking hubcaps, is there a key for removing them?
  • Is the spare tire inflated (Press hard against the side with your thumb; the tire should be firm.)


  • Does the vehicle sit level?
  • Bounce each corner of the vehicle. Do all corners respond the same? (Corners should only bounce once or twice before stopping.)
  • Do you hear a creaking noise when bouncing the vehicle’s corners?


  • Do all interior lights and dash bulbs work?


  • Do all accessories, such as the heater, air conditioner, audio system, and alarm system, operate fully? Test all functions of each.

Engine Compartment

  • Are there signs of oil or fluid leaks?
  • Run the engine at full operating temperature. Are there abnormal smells that might be due to leaking fluids on hot engine parts? Is the oil cap clean, dirty or milky?
  • Are there unusual noises, such as clattering or metallic sounds, or sharp hissing, in the engine compartment when the engine is running? (Normal sound is smooth whirring of belts and fan.)
  • Does anything appear to be missing?

Under the Vehicle

  • Are there fluid leaks on the underside of the engine and transmission, at axle ends, at brake line connections, or on the ground beneath the vehicle? Green fluid is usually antifreeze; reddish fluid is usually power steering or transmission fluid; dark brown or black fluid is usually oil or brake fluid.
  • Does anything appear missing, such as bolts, clamps, brackets or cables?
  • Examine exhaust when the car is operating at normal temperature. Do you see white or blue smoke? (Both can indicate an engine problem, especially if the smoke burns your eyes. A small amount of steam is normal, especially in cold weather.)


  • Does the engine start easily?
  • Does the engine stall at any time?
  • Does the engine idle smoothly?
  • Does the idle speed seem too slow or fast?
  • Does the engine hesitate or stumble on acceleration?
  • Does the engine run smoothly during operation?
  • Does the engine seem to lack power?
  • If the vehicle has cruise control, do all features work correctly? Do engine or other system warning lights appear? Temp gauge normal?
  • Does the engine diesel (continue running) when shut off?

Transmission and Clutch

  • Is automatic shifting smooth? Under a faster acceleration too?
  • On a manual-shift vehicle, is take-off smooth, without grabbing or jerking?
  • On a manual-shift vehicle, accelerate hard in a higher gear (third or fourth) or while going uphill.
  • If engine rpms rise without a corresponding increase in vxsehicle speed, the clutch could be slipping. It may need to be adjusted or replaced.
  • On a manual-shift vehicle, try shifting to a lower gear when going slowly. Does the transmission shift easily, without grinding?


  • Apply the brakes several times at different speeds. Also try a sudden stop. Does the vehicle pull to one side when brakes are applied?
  • Do brakes stop the vehicle adequately?
  • If the vehicle has anti-lock brakes (ABS), try stopping suddenly. Do wheels lock? (A pulsing brake pedal is normal.)
  • Does the parking brake hold firmly and release completely?


  • Does the vehicle pull to one side during normal operation?
  • Is steering difficult at any speed?
  • Turn sharply in both directions. Do you hear clunking or other noises, or feel rubbing or binding?
  • Does the vehicle shake or vibrate while moving? (Take the vehicle up to freeway speed for this test.)

With over a half century of automotive collision expertise, Lentz Auto Body is the preferred choice in Belford, NJ for all of your automotive needs. For a complete list of our services contact us today at 732.787.0800.

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