Classic and vintage car owners warned about winter threat to vehicles

Classic and vintage car owners warned about winter threat to vehicles

Classic and vintage cars owners are well aware of the care and attention it requires to keep an ageing vehicle from rusting away, let alone road worthy.

But Lucas Oils is warning enthusiasts that the winter months hold hidden dangers that lurk deep within fuel tanks and can have detrimental effects on fuel systems and engines.

According to Lucas Oils, the first threat is Ethanol or ethyl alcohol - added to petrol - which can destroy original fuel pipes from the inside. The second threat is degradation of fuel that occurs naturally over time and causes various ignition problems.

Both problems can cause untold damage to older cars or motorbikes even if the owner has stored their prize possessions in a garage or winter lay-up.

A Lucas Oils spokesperson said, "Ethanol is a low cost solvent added to fuel because it cleans engines as the fuel burns. That improves the efficiency of the engine and helps to reduce exhaust emissions.

"Unfortunately, is incompatible with earlier materials used in the manufacture of many original fuel pipe materials."

The problem can apply to vehicles built as recently as 10 years ago. The winter storage and lack of winter use allows the concentration of ethanol to attack the pipe-work, hardening, corroding and perishing it from the inside out.

"The second threat comes from the degradation of the fuel itself," says our Lucas Oils source.

"All fuel has a shelf life, but modern additives have helped reduce it even more. Overwintered fuel degrades. Degraded fuel clogs carburettors, fuel injectors and plugs. Draining the system can be troublesome, expensive - as well as dangerous."

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