5 steps to cleaning your collector car
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5 steps to cleaning your collector car

by Rick Drewry April 01, 2024

Proper car maintenance and cleaning of your collector car are not optional—they are vital to ensuring you preserve your vehicle’s allure and value. Follow these 5 steps to give your ride some much needed TLC before you head out for the season’s collector car shows and parades.

Step 1: Paint

  • Get the most of your paint by applying a ceramic coating to provide a protective coating that can last years

Step 2: Jambs

  • Pay attention to the door jambs and the jambs inside the hood and the trunk
  • Clean door jambs thoroughly and apply wax
  • Avoid letting dirt and leaves build up in those areas

Step 3: Weatherstripping

  • Treat the rubber seals for the door and the trunk to keep them from getting hard and brittle, so they last longer and seal better

Step 4: Engine Compartment

  • Check if the engine has oil build up, use an engine degreaser to remove the residue before cleaning the engine compartment
  • Spray the engine compartment down with a multipurpose cleaner and wipe everything dry using old towels
  • If using water to spray off the engine, avoid getting the distributor or coil wet

Step 5: Interior

  • Vacuum and shampoo the carpet
  • Clean the seats with the appropriate cleaning solution for vinyl, leather, or cloth seats
  • Take the time to use a soft paint brush or toothbrush to clean the dash and get all the dust and dirt out of the small crevices
  • Chemically clean hard surfaces like the dash, door panels, and center console
  • Apply a protective coating to hard surfaces
  • Clean the glass thoroughly

Pay attention to small details when cleaning your collector car. Doing a thorough cleaning inside and out and maintaining the car regularly will make the upkeep easier and your ride more enjoyable. 

For information only. Not applicable to all situations.

Rick Drewry

Rick Drewry is a Senior Claims Specialist, Collector Vehicle & Motorcycle, at American Modern Insurance Group. He has been passionate about collector cars since he was a kid. He has owned and restored collector cars for 30 years.