The Hot Rod Power Tour is going on right now and the drivers began their journey yesterday from Bowling Green, KY and will end up in Concord, NC on June 15th. They will be taking an awesome detour at the Wellborn Musclecar Museum in Alexander City, AL on Tuesday, June 12.

These cars did not just pop out of their garage since last season and hit the road. In order to make sure the cars can make such a journey, certain basics had to be checked for both safety and to make sure the “old gal” runs smoothly and doesn’t break down (or catch on fire!!).

The same goes for your classic or collectible car that you may only unveil during these dry summer nights at your local cruise-in. Before you head out, do the following checks and tweaks to keep your ride happy all summer long:

1)      Tires - check tires for any rot, tread separation, cracks, splitting or hardness and (indicating they are old and may need to be replaced). Of course, check tire-pressure, too. Looks can be deceiving. Even low-mile cars with tires that look fine may have issues. Be sure to really inspect them if they are more than 5 years old. Failing tires can be deadly.

2)      Brakes – A brake clean and inspection is a “no-brainer” before a serious road trip. Many would simply check the brake lines and hoses and call it “all good”. Be sure to the wheels and the drums. Leaks in the system, like the wheel cylinders, aren’t readily apparent and could mean the difference between making every stop on the map, or not being able to stop at all.

3)      Fuel system – most people know that old or bad gas can gum up a carburetor, but even a car only sitting for a year can have problems. Condensation can get in and gel up your system. Current fuel breaks down quicker that it did than it used to. Also be sure to check rubber fuel lines to make sure they are not dry, brittle or cracked. One thing worse than rebuilding a carburetor from bad fuel is starting a car fire because of a leaky fuel system.

4)      Fluids – Most people know to change all their fluids when bringing a car out for the season. What most people don’t do is drive the car for a while, checking the system for leaks, before they bring the car out on long-distance tour, missing dried out oil seals, cracked hoses in your coolant, braking and power-steering systems. This could turn your Tour or Dreams into an utter Nightmare!

5)      Electrical System – Everyone knows you should check your battery and change it if it doesn’t hold a charge, but what people often miss is a visual inspection of your wiring harnesses in your engine bay and underneath your dash, a home for many a mouse during the winter. An undetected short could leave your car dead on the side of the road or the victim of an electrical fire.

Go the extra mile when inspecting and preparing your car for the Summer long haul, the more miles it will take you.   Just another way to keep the hobby fun!

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