Hot Rod Housekeeping: How To Ensure Your Vintage Car Is Roadworthy

We all like to take pride in things that are precious to us. For some people, it’s their house and lawn. For others, it is their video game and console collection of hot rod or their personal library.

Others still take pride in their art, writing, or photography.

And, for a specific breed of folk, their vintage hot rod automobile is their source of pride and joy. And with good reason, as restoring a vintage car takes time, hard work and a fair amount of money.

Yet there’s no point in owning a vintage hot rod if you can’t take it for a drive and show it off. That’s why you need to ensure your pride and joy is fully roadworthy.

In this helpful blog, we’ll do some hot rod housekeeping, and you’ll learn how to ensure your vintage vehicle is ready to rock and roll.

Regular Servicing and Maintenance

This should be the first on your list. You need to ensure that you have a qualified mechanic to conduct transmission services and other ongoing servicing and maintenance on your hot rod.

Older cars’ engines are often more straightforward and less complex than newer vehicles; however, because of their age, they tend to be more finicky and need a more hands-on approach.

Once you’ve found a suitable mechanic (you might want to search for vintage car specialists in your area), ensure you keep bringing the hot rod in for scheduled maintenance as per your mechanic’s instructions.

This way, any mechanical issues that would cause your set of wheels to become unroadworthy are spotted ahead of time and repaired in a timely fashion.

Exhaust System Inspection

While the mechanic is at the job, request them to inspect the exhaust system for faults and leaks. Spewing black smoke as you drive is not pleasant for you or anyone else sharing the road and can also render your vehicle unroadworthy. The mechanic will be able to identify and rectify any issues here.

Check Tyre Pressure and Wear

The next thing to do is ensure that you are constantly checking your tyre pressure and wear. As a vintage hot rod enthusiast, you should know what pressure your tyres should be inflated to.

Check this once a week at the least and once every two weeks at the most. If they are deflated, inflate them to the appropriate PSI pressure.

While you’re inflating the tyres, check them for signs of wear. Most tyres will have a wear indicator which will tell you if your tyres need replacing.

Bald or worn tyres can make your car unroadworthy, so ensure that you replace the tyres when and if they are worn out.

Check Your Lights

Next up on the hot rod housekeeping list is to check each and every light on the car. Ensure they are all functioning and switch on.

Check the headlights, brake lights, reverse lights and indicators. Any blown bulbs should get replaced as soon as you can. Even one blown light means your vehicle is not roadworthy, so replace them post-haste.

Check Your Local Authorities Requirements

Each local authority, such as the state government, will have different restored and vintage automobiles requirements.

Often a roadworthy certificate is based upon these requirements. Learn what they are and ensure that your hot rod meets them.

You don’t want to drive an illegal car and risk a fine or having your pride and joy impounded, do you?


This might seem like a no brainer, but it’s illegal to drive a car that is not registered. As you own a vintage car, you should be able to get a special automobile club registration for the vehicle.

This particular registration allows you to drive the car a certain number of days per year – perfect for taking it out on the weekends for a spin.

Seat Belt Condition

The next thing to check is the condition of your seatbelts. By law, you are required to wear one, as are all passengers. Inspect the seat belt for wear, tear and fraying. If a seat belt is worn out, have it replaced.

While you’re at it, check that every seat belt fits tight and snug. A vintage car will not have all the modern safety features that new cars have. Hence, you need an excellent fitting seat belt to ensure your safety.

Again, a specialist mechanic can assist with this if you’re not confident doing the job yourself.

A Vintage Car Conclusion

Follow these tips to ensure your hot rod is roadworthy and safe to drive. Don’t underestimate the value of a good mechanic to look after your pride and joy.

It might cost you in the short term, nevertheless, it will guarantee a solid future for your vintage car and many hours of enjoyment as you cruise along to the radio, with no particular place to go.

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