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It’s cold outside. How to protect your Healey over winter

Posted: Thursday, 24 March 2022 @ 09:31

Mechanic inspecting Austin Healey engine

Classic cars, Austin Healey’s included, need some extra TLC over the winter months.

To help best protect your pride-and-joy throughout this chilly season, here are a magnificent seven top tips from the original, and world’s largest, supplier of Austin Healey spare parts – A H Spares.

1 - Wash & Polish

Cleaning Big Healey

Although it’s winter, it’s time to give your Healey a spring clean. Thoroughly clean the exterior with car shampoo to remove all the grime and apply wax polish to body work and chrome. (Bird droppings, tree resin etc can bite into the paint if left for too long). Finish by cleaning and vacuuming the interior. It will then be good and ready to go when the weather turns warmer.

2 - Coolant

Cleaning Engine coolant

The coolant in your engine not only offers protection against freezing it also has anti corrosion properties, which decrease over time. Check and top up your anti-freeze or drain and replenish the whole system if required.

Castrol Antifreeze

Part ID: LUB250 | Castrol Antifreeze

Castrol antifreeze is a mono ethylene glycol-based coolant with excellent corrosion protection for all metals.

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3 - Fuel Tank

Retro Shell petrol pump at A H Spares

All unprotected metal exposed to air can corrode, this also applies to fuel tanks. Fill the tank with fuel so there is little or no air circulation in the tank. For long periods of storage it may also be sensible to add a fuel preservative.

4 - Engine


During a season of driving the engine oil will become contaminated with all manner of dirt and chemicals which can cause corrosion on the internals of your engine. Changing your oil regularly is a recommendation which everyone knows but changing the oil and filter at the end of the season rather than at the start prevents corrosion during the winter months.

Castrol classic oil 1 gallon

Part ID: LUB201 | Castrol Classic Oil - 1 Gallon

Castrol Classic XL 20W-50 for pre-1980 modern classic cars. Offers excellent oil consumption and a very high level of engine wear protection.

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5 - Tyres


When your car is left stationary for long periods it is possible for flat spotting to occur, where the tyre is in contact with the floor. Jack the vehicle up on stands so the tyres are not in contact with the floor to help prevent this, alternatively tyre trainers can be used which spread the load over a greater proportion of the tyre. Alternatively, if these options are not possible then increasing the tyre pressure to the maximum shown on the side wall will help.

Castrol classic oil 1 gallon

Part ID: WHE185 | Tyre Trainer - Pair

  • Reduces side wall cracking on older tyres.
  • Slot together design for use on wider profile tyres.
  • Suitable for cars, trailers, caravans etc.
  • Possible garage stop position markers.

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6 - Wipers

Austin Healey windscreen wipers on onld newspaper pages.

If wipers remain unmoved for a long period of time they can form a bond with the windscreen. Remember to lift them off the glass or put a newspaper underneath.

7 - Battery

6-volt Austin Healey battery

It can be sensible to remove the battery and keep it indoors, or use a battery conditioner to keep charge in the battery to stop it going flat. It will then be ready to spark into life when spring arrives!

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