Spring Checklist for Smooth Driving

Chances are, you’ve been storing your classic VW somewhere over winter, safe from the harsh elements. Whether that’s indoors or out, you’re probably excited for the comings of spring to get out on the road again.

Just as you did before you put your car away for winter, there are still some preliminary precautions to take before getting it back on the road, come spring.

karmann ghia side badge

Inspect for rust

It’s no secret that these cars are susceptible to rust, so when exposed to the wind, rain, and snow, this risk is even higher.

Before getting back on the road, it is important to check for spots of rust. Check beneath the car, visually inspect the floorpan with a flashlight, and pay particular attention to the battery tray and pedal areas.

Look out for critters

When the cold hits, the neighbourhood rodents are sure to be looking for somewhere warm to hide. Unfortunately, cars fit the bill perfectly of attracting pests.

Common signifiers are rodent droppings, loose nesting materials, and bits of food. It is also crucial to check the wiring, as small animals with sharp teeth and your pride and joy do not make for a good combination, and can pose a fire risk.

Visually inspect any optimum hiding places, such as the wheel wells, engine bay, and the trunk.

Check for leaks

Many of us have been there — you get a bit of debris or dirt on your windscreen, just to find that you’ve got no wiper fluid. Now, imagine replenishing your fluids and oils, to find that your car had developed a loosened or cracked hose.

You might have already emptied all tanks before putting your car away for winter, but it’s important to pop open your engine lid and make sure you check your hoses and fittings – basically wherever you could possibly spring a leak. This includes oil, transmission, brake, and wipers, as well as all grease fittings. Pipes expand and contract with changes in temperature, even when not in use.

Check your battery

You probably disconnected your battery cables before hibernating your car for the winter. Before reconnecting, check and clean the battery terminals. It’s a good idea to check the voltage too, and to give it a charge if it’s lower than expected.

Tire check

Inspect your tires by checking the tread depth, the sidewalls for any cracks, and by testing and correcting the pressure. It’s also a good idea to check the integrity of the wheel bolts.


You’ve already spent time underneath your car, checking hoses and lines for cracks, but it’s important to also physically check your brakes and handbrake to ensure the integrity of the condition, as this can deteriorate even when not in use.

Check the feel of the brake pedal too, before properly getting out on the road.


Visually expect lights for proper operation.

Windows & Wipers

Small reminder to replace wiper fluid, if you haven’t already…

For safety’s sake, inspect your windows for any cracks or chips. Also check your wipers as the wiper rubbers can dry out and split when stored.


Although it’s not necessarily mandatory, it’s good practice to take your classic Karmann Ghia for an MOT, even if just to get a second opinion on its integrity and safety.

If you need support with maintaining your classic VW Karmann Ghia or any other air-cooled VW, including the many services we offer, get in touch today!

01424 752217 / sales@californianclassics.co.uk
WhatsApp: +447498 519426
1959 Karmann Ghia, completed by Californian Classics
White Karmann Ghia with domed hubcap
66 Karman Ghia Coupe