St. Patrick's Day may have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be focused on green practices when it comes to your car. There are many proactive measures you can take in regard to your automobile that not only reduce your eco-footprint, but also save you some green as well - just in time for Earth Day. The key is to stick to scheduled vehicle maintenance and invest in the right aspects of your car to minimize any environmental impact as well as costs.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- The Car Care Council stressed that it's important to perform a routine tune up. Additionally, the council noted that it's crucial to check the gas cap and replace air filters on a regular basis. By doing this, you'll be reducing your fuel consumption and emissions, saving cash at the pump and also preserving the environment.
- Getting an oil change is another key aspect of vehicle maintenance. Cozi pointed out that it's best to use the manufacturer's recommended grade of oil, as the wrong kind can make an engine 2 percent less efficient.
- After any maintenance or auto repair is completed, be sure that tires, batteries, motor oil or other fluids are properly disposed of, and always recycle them if possible.
- Ensuring that the tires are adequately inflated is another critical step. The Chicago Tribune noted that ideally, your tires should have balanced body - as a multitude of tests have shown that too little or too much pressure can hinder a vehicle's fuel economy. Not to mention, properly inflated tires also have a longer life span, saving you money. According to the news source, if you keep your tires at the recommended psi, which can be found in the owner's manual or glove compartment door, you'll reap a 3.3 percent increase in fuel efficiency.
- Repowering your engine can do wonders when you're having major issues. The Car Care Council stressed that a rebuilt or remanufactured engine is just as effective for improving your vehicle's functionality and fuel-efficiency - plus it's far less expensive than investing in a new car.
Cleanliness and care
- Be careful at the gas pump, because simple oversights while you're filling up can cause a negative impact on your vehicle's fuel economy in addition to the environment. Cozy explained that spilled gas is highly toxic, so it's important to make sure your gas cap is on tight and working properly. Additionally, once the automatic nozzle shuts off, resist topping off. It's best to fuel up in the morning or evening to minimize evaporative emissions and always opt for stations that offer vapor recovery nozzles when possible.
- A grimy car is not a green car. Discovery Channel's "MythBusters" found that dirt and filth negatively impact the car's aerodynamics, creating more drag and ultimately, cutting fuel economy by nearly 10 percent.
- Remove any unnecessary weight from your vehicle, whether it's some extra seating or golf clubs in your trunk. Especially if you drive a small car, this can make a big difference. The Chicago Tribune reported that the EPA says taking out 100 pounds can reduce your mpg by up to 2 percent.
- Where you park your car on a hot day can also affect your fuel efficiency. When the temperature outside is high, go for a garage or a shady spot to reduce how much fuel evaporates and also how much energy is required to cool the car down.
- Don't forget to keep an eye on warning or check engine lights. A faulty sensor that sends the wrong signal can cause your engine to consume too much fuel. While you're at it, keep an eye on your miles per gallon so you're constantly monitoring your fuel economy.