These days, driving green and being concerned about the environment can be easier than it sounds. Here are some tips to get you on the road and headed in the right direction:
Scheduling regular tune-ups and getting in the habit of routine maintenance will help curb pollution and burn less fuel. According to some experts, motorists can save up to 4 percent on the cost of fuel and up to whopping 40 percent by replacing a bad oxygen sensor. Experts also say that changing your vehicle’s air filter can improve efficiency by at least 10 percent.
According to the Car Care Council, approximately 2 billion gallons of gas could be saved every year if tires on every car in America were inflated correctly. Experts at the Car Care Council say that tires which are ill-inflated add rolling resistance that makes the engine work harder to move the vehicle. Look in your vehicle manual for proper tire pressure. Sometimes the correct tire pressure for your vehicle is also located inside the driver door.
3. Lighten Up
Remember that extra items weigh your vehicle down and can cause an increase in gas usage, so get rid of things you don’t need, clean out your trunk and eliminate heavy and/or bulky items except for tings you really need, like the spare tire and your emergency kit.
4. Cap It
Experts say that about 17 percent of vehicles on the road have damage, loose or even missing gas caps, which cause approximately 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year, so check your gas caps for wear, make sure they fit tightly and possibly consider getting a locking gas cap with a key.
5. How’s My Driving?
Be aware of the way you drive and realize that how you drive has a quite a bit to do with the fuel economy of your vehicle. Aggressive driving decreases your miles per gallon and will increase wear on your car, so it’s a good idea to avoid sudden stops and starts, maintain the speed limit and minimize unnecessary miles by combining errands in one trip instead of a few each day.
If you do your own auto maintenance, remember to recycle or properly dispose all fluids and other things you use, including tires, motor oil and batteries. Also remember than anti-freeze is poisonous to pets and humans. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, two ounces of ethylene glycol antifreeze can kill a dog, while one teaspoon can be lethal to a cat, and two tablespoons can be hazardous to children. Recovered antifreeze is recyclable and should never be placed in garbage, storm drains or sewer systems.
A good replacement for traditional ethylene glycol based anti-freeze is one with propylene glycol. The Humane Society of the United States advises that if accidentally swallowed in a small amount, anti-freeze made with propylene glycol will not hurt pets, wildlife, or people and is much safer than anti-freeze made with ethylene glycol. Check out the Sierra Antifreeze/Coolant web site for more information on the benefits of this kind of alternative.