Keeping Your Vehicle in Tune with the Environment
Facts You Should Know About Your Car
Source: Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)
Keep Your Engine Tuned Up
A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent. Follow the service schedules listed in your owner's manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended.
Check Your Tires
Check your tires for proper inflation. Underinflation wastes fuel — your engine has to work harder to push the vehicle. Wheels that are out-of-line (as evidenced by uneven tread wear or vehicle pulling) make the engine work harder, too. Properly maintained tires will last longer, meaning fewer scrap tires have to be disposed.
Service Your Air Conditioner
Keep your air conditioner in top condition and have it serviced only by a technician who has been certified to handle/recycle refrigerants. Air conditioners contain CFCs — gases that have been implicated in the depletion of the ozone layer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, almost one-third of the CFCs released into the atmosphere come from mobile air conditioners; some simply leak out, but the majority escape during service and repair so it's important to choose a qualified technician.
Every 10 days, motorists who drive with under-inflated tires and poorly maintained engines waste 70 million gallons of gasoline.
-Car Care Council
Dispose of used motor oil, antifreeze/coolant, tires and old batteries properly. Many repair facilities accept these items. Or call your local municipal or county government for recycling sites. Never dump used oil or antifreeze on the ground or in open streams.
Observe Speed Limits Gas mileage decreases sharply above 55 mph or 95 kph. Avoid sudden accelerations and jerky stop-and-go's. Use cruise control on open highways to keep your speed as steady as possible.
Avoid Excessive Idling
Shut off the engine while waiting for friends and family. Today's vehicles are designed to warm up quickly, so forget about those long warm-ups on cold winter mornings.
Remove Excess Items
Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage. Store luggage/cargo in the trunk rather than on the roof to reduce air drag.
Each year 20 times the amount of oil spilled by the tanker Exxon Valdez in Alaska is improperly dumped into America's environment by do-it-yourselfers.
-Automotive Information Council
Consolidate your daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving. Try to travel when traffic is light to avoid stop-and-go conditions. Join a car pool. Remember, how your car runs, how you drive it and how its fluids, old parts and tires are disposed of all have serious impacts on the environment.
It's Up to You: Dirty or Clean
Car care is definitely a win-win situation. Besides helping the environment, a properly maintained and operated vehicle will run more efficiently, will be safer and will last longer - up to 50 percent longer - according to a survey of ASE-Certified Master Auto Technicians. These tips should put you on the road to environmentally-conscious car care.