If you’ve recently bought a used car, it might not take too long before its little idiosyncrasies start to show. Shopping smart when buying used can help you make sure you avoid getting stuck with a lemon, but pre-owned cars are more likely to start acting up earlier than new cars. However, you can help restore it with the following tips.

Start with Fresh Fluids

Unless you’re getting a car refurbished, there’s a good chance that you’re going to have some old and inefficient fluids in there. As such, one of the cheapest ways to immediately boost the performance of the car is to flush every fluid. This includes power steering fluid, brake fluids, motor oil, transmission oil, antifreeze, and differential fluid. Most of these need to be changed on a regular basis, but a lot of drivers don’t even think about power steering or brake fluid often, so they are some of the most important to flush and replace when first buying a used car.

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Give it an Engine Makeover

The engine is the heart of the car’s performance and any improvements you can make to the engine can greatly improve its efficiency, its power output, and the risk of stalling, amongst other issues. However, you don’t necessarily need to replace the whole engine. Even replacing things like fasteners with track tech can make a major difference as to how the car drives. Figure out how much you can budget towards engine improvements, as it’s likely to be where you will make the most difference in how the car actually drives.

Tighten up Your Handling

There are some parts of the car that almost always benefits you to replace when you buy used. The struts (or shocks) and ball joints are some of the key parts you want to replace with tighter and newer replacements. This can have a huge impact on the handling of the car, such as decreasing your stopping speed, making the drive quieter, and better turning. If you don’t feel particularly confident in the handling of your car, then you can replace these parts without all that much effort.

Don’t Forget the Tires

A good pair of tires are supposed to last for years, but there’s a good chance that the tires that came with the vehicle have already seen better days. Changing the tires yourself can help you save a penny, too, so you just have to spend on the tire, itself. This is one of the easiest and yet most impactful changes you can make to an old car, creating a noticeable change in the drive itself. If you’re not in a position to fully change the tire, then it might be worth seeing if they’re rotated right and have the right pressure, instead.

A used car is never going to act like a new car, not unless you start wholesale replacing as many parts as you can. However, with the tips above, you can certainly make it feel a lot more lively and powerful than it currently is.

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