Buying a second hand car is always a great way to get a good motor at an affordable price. However, the performance might not always be as high as you would expect. Fortunately, there are a few areas you can easily and quickly improve.
Does the car handle oddly or otherwise feel unusual? When it comes to driver comfort there are two main areas to look at. The suspension may be broken, causing the car to dip at a certain angle. Simply push down on your car and notice if it wobbles in any given corner – this will highly any obvious faults that need repairing.
Secondly, if you haven’t made any changes to the wheels since buying the car, you might need to improve the tyre pressure in each wheel. An imbalance here and impact your driving comfort.
Engine maintenance is vital but, given that it’s a second hand car, it’s not always easy to confirm how much work the previous owner put into basic servicing. While it’s best to take this to a garage, there are a few things you can yourself.
Changing the air filter, for instance, will allow a better air intake to your motor. You can also ensure the car is topped up with oil, antifreeze and other fluids, as the seller was likely not keeping these full.
You never quite realise how many lights are in a car until they start to dim. If your new car has some decent milage, the chances are the bulbs are dimming. Even if this isn’t the case, the glass or plastic in front of the bulbs might need cleaning, just to improve the quality of light.
This also applies to the dashboard as well. Many drivers can claim about a poor driving experience, not noticing it is because they’re struggling to read their dashboard at night. If you get some spare bulbs, you can replace dashboard lights yourself. It doesn’t seem like much, but the difference it makes to your driving experience is noticeable.
Whether old or new, your car needs to brake quickly when you hit the pedal. An easy way to check this is to check the brake rotor for indents or marks. Deep scores such as these suggest it’s high time to replace (or machine) the rotors. You can also check the wear indicator on the brake pad itself. The wear indicator is what makes the biggest squeaks when your brakes need replacing, so if you see it getting close, change your brakes now and save yourself some hassle in a few months.
Likewise, you might find your car is using more fuel that you would expect. There are many areas that influence this, such as excess weight and aerodynamics – roof racks add drag and require more fuel, for instance – but these are easy to solve.
What you might want to look at, again, are the tyres. If you’re using the old tyres, the tread has likely worn away and added to the rolling resistance. Swap these out for new ones and your car should go much more smoothly.
These tips are some of the best ways to restore a previously-owned car into a performance vehicle. This isn’t just great for repairing your newly-acquired vehicle, either. Keeping a vehicle in good condition can often help improve the value when it comes to sell your old car, too.