HRIA - Hints From the HRIA

SEMA Member News - March/April 2010

Winterizing Your Car and Yourself


Winter is the time to get your car and yourself ready for the upcoming car-show season and to stay in touch with SEMA.  

Regardless of where you live, winter months involve preparing your car, truck or street rod for the upcoming spring and summer car season. However, those months are also a great time to prepare yourself with the same effort you put into your vehicle. The following ideas from the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) may help you stay involved with the hot-rod industry and hobby. Whether you are in the cold of the Northeast or the heat of the West Coast, there’s plenty for a hot rodder to do during the winter.
Protect Your Vehicle

Add a gas treatment to your fuel. Over time, water vapor can build up in your gas lines and can freeze when temperatures drop, blocking your fuel lines. Keep your battery charged by using a trickle charger, or remove the battery and place it in a moderate temperature. A mild protectorant, such as WD-40, works great for keeping rust from growing on exposed metal parts. Touch up exhaust manifolds with high-temperature paint. Ask your car club friends about other tips for winterizing your vehicle.

Contact Your Representative

Over the winter, federal and state governments hold key sessions, including committee hearings focused on the automotive industry and the hot-rod hobby. Take a moment to find out who your state and federal representatives are, then send them a short letter about your involvement in the hot-rod hobby. Offer your expertise and insights to your representatives, and you may be pleasantly surprised when their staffs contact you regarding future issues. Most important, don’t let your representatives forget that the “hot-rod lobby” is alive and well.

Check All Systems

Before storing your vehicle, review key components. Belts and hoses are likely to expand and contract as the temperature changes, so check them over for wear or cracks. Be sure that the antifreeze/coolant you are using is appropriate for the area you live in, and be sure to check the levels when the engine is cold. Regularly check your sparkplugs for corrosion or oxidation, and check the pressure in your tires. Some folks recommend increasing your tire pressure by a few extra pounds over the winter.

Stay Informed

Now is the time to be sure that you are informed about issues in the hot-rod industry. If you are not familiar with your state DMV’s laws and regulations related to hot rods, restorations and custom vehicles, take the time to find out. You should also become familiar with the “Hot Rod Bill” template supported by SEMA. The best way to stay informed is to become “PAC approved” through SEMA. This allows SEMA to provide you with timely information about legislation in your area that may impact you and your vehicle. Visit here for more information.

Keep It Clean

Winterizing your hot rod is an annual ritual for hot rodders across the country. But don’t forget to stay involved with HRIA.  

Before storing your vehicle for the winter, be sure to give it a once-over wash—including the undercarriage—followed by a good waxing. You may also want to grease door and hood hinges after cleaning your car. Thoroughly clean the interior and remove floor and trunk mats. This prevents any trapped moisture from damaging the vehicle. Tape over or plug your exhaust pipes to prevent mice and other critters from making a new home.
Get Involved

HRIA provides many opportunities for members to get involved in their industry and in the council. The goal of HRIA is to protect our hobby as well as provide growth and opportunities for the next generation of hot rodders. There are several committees in HRIA that require only brief time commitments from volunteers, including those for youth awareness, publicity, council news and awards. Throughout the coming year, HRIA membership meetings will take place across the country. Check the HRIA calendar and plan to attend a committee meeting this year. Visit here for more information.

Get Out!

The winter months are a great time to take in some really cool car shows and events. From the Grand National Roadster Show to the Hotrod & Restoration Show, there are countless opportunities to see some great cars and get new ideas for your next project. Most likely, there are also great car shows in your local area as well. Your attendance at national and local events helps support the clubs, builders, manufacturers and suppliers that fuel our hobby.