The reactivation of artefacts’ mechanisms is always a challenge for conservators and proper noninvasive diagnostic techniques, applicable directly on the artifacts, allows to perform a precocious diagnostic and to avoid damages. The ACUME_HV project (Acoustic Emission Monitoring of Historical Vehicles) represents the first use of acoustic emission (AE) as non-invasive technique for the diagnostic of historical vehicles. The aim of this project is to propose an objective, human-independent method that will help the personnel of the museums to take decisions concerning the reactivation of the historical vehicles’ engines using measurements and data and not only personal experience. In this paper the results of the first phase of the ACUME_HV project are presented. This first phase focused on the development of a protocol for the use of AE during cold tests.