Servicing & Repairing MG, Triumph, Austin Healey, Jaguar, Morgan, Morris, Sunbeam, Alfa Romeo
and other pre '80's European cars
Keeping British Cars alive in the Midwest
Erika A. Madawick
Autosport, Inc. 2020
Tucker’s tips for
Basic Maintenance of a British car
1. Open bonnet, check all fluids, coolant, oil, clutch & brake, fan belt tension. Top up as necessary.
2. Check carb oil, once a month during driving season.
3. Do a walk around and make visual inspection of tires and outside of vehicle.
4. After turning ign. switch on, wait for fuel pump click, except for TR’s. Look at gauges, fuel, temp & oil should be at rest unless engine is warm. Charge lamp should be on.
5. If all is well, put car in neutral, foot off the clutch, and no throttle, if cold, pull choke all way out and start engine, wait until oil pressure is normal and charge light goes out before pushing the choke in a bit. Depending on time of year will be how long one has to keep the choke on and how far out it will be.
6. I usually wait a couple of minutes before moving off the mark.
7. Feel the car out for the first few minutes or mile or so and if all feels well, off you go.
8. I like to check tire pressure about once a month during warm months, more often during cold months. Around 30 psi., depending on driver and type of tire. Don’t forget the spare.
9. You must use 89 or higher octain petrol.
10. In colder weather you will have to turn the carbs down a few flats to make it richer.
11. A couple of times a year, don’t forget to check the battery water, a pain but important.
12. Keep car clean, monitor fluid usage, so you can adjust adding a fluid. Keep brake fluid, oil and a small quantity of coolant with you along with your tools and spares.
13. Keep a small record of mileage and maintenance in the car, so you know when & what was done
14. Tell someone of your route. Carry a cell phone, credit card, registration and insurance card with you, just incase.
15. Carry some wet weather and cold weather clothes with you in case it rains, although it never does in Indiana.
16. Enjoy your British car and share it if you can!