Owning a hybrid or electric car may not be affordable for everyone right now, there are plenty of ways to reduce your vehicle’s carbon wheel print, regardless of its age and model type.
Fortunately, even if you can’t get a new, more efficient vehicle, there are a handful of things you can do to make whatever vehicle you do have more environmentally friendly.
A recent experiment by Chevrolet used two identical compact cars on the same routine every day, but the vehicles were driven by different people with very different driving habits. The results of this experiment show that a few small changes in our driving habits could make the car more eco-friendly and saving on gas each month.
Simple Ways to Make Your Vehicle More Eco-Friendly
It’s not that difficult or time-consuming to make some main changes to your vehicle that will make it more eco-friendly. Here are seven simple ways to make your ride more eco-friendly.
1. Check Your Tires
Making sure your tires are using the correct tire pressure is one of the easiest ways to make your vehicle more eco-friendly. And it also improves the traction and driving experience. If your tires’ pressure is not well maintained, your engine will use more gas to keep them moving.
The best way to find what the normal tire pressure should be is to check the inside of your driver’s door for a sticker that lists the suggested pressure range for your tires. Also, a great investment is to buy a tire pressure gauge to regularly check all four tires.
2. Remove Extra Weight
A heavy car will use more gas. If you store your golf clubs, guitar amps, ski equipment, and other heavy items in your vehicle, it will require you to spend more money on gas to keep the engine running.
Reducing the weight of your vehicle by as little as 10 percent can improve your fuel economy by 6 percent or more. With that in mind, leave what you can at home, and over time you should notice nice savings in gas expenses. The same is true for unused car accessories. As Men’s Fitness magazine notes, removing your vehicle’s roof rack will improve your fuel economy by about 5 percent.
3. Get Regular Tune-Ups
Another easy way to make your vehicle more eco-friendly is getting regular tune-ups which can result in a 4 percent boost in your gas mileage.
Maintaining your vehicle helps you save gas and it also creates less pollution and operates more efficiently.
4. Avoid Overusing the A/C
Yes, Los Angeles gets plenty warm in the middle of summer, but using the A/C in your car as sparingly as possible is great for the planet. Excess use of your car’s air conditioner puts a strain on your car’s electrical system, which makes the engine gobble up gas.
Have a mechanic check the A/C system to be sure the refrigerant is at the right level; that way, when you do use it, it will work as efficiently as possible. Then see if you can skip the A/C on days when it’s warm — but not too hot — and open the windows and/or sunroof instead to get some cooler air.
5. Accelerate Smoothly
As soon as the streetlight turns green, resist the urge to put force on the pedal as rapidly accelerating uses up a lot of gas. The same is if you have to slam on your brakes right before the next intersection. By accelerating smoothly, you can increase the mileage of your vehicle by 20%, making your car more eco-friendly.
Additionally, when you’re driving for long distances, use your cruise control function, as this will keep your car at a gas-friendly speed and prevent a lot of back and forth acceleration and deceleration.
6. Drive with your Windows Up
Many people think that fresh air is better than driving with the A/C on. The truth is that keeping your windows down adds more wind resistance pushing your car in the opposite direction you’re trying to go. This cause to burn more fuel. If you drive with your windows up, you’ll save more fuel in the long run.
7. Use the Car Wash
At first look, it may seem like a greener option if you wash your car in your driveway, but the reality is completely different. Doing that actually is environmentally unfriendly and causes more harm than good. The water that runs off your car is usually loaded with gasoline, oil and exhaust residue goes straight into rivers and wetlands, where it damages the ecosystem.
When commercial car washes are required by law to drain their wastewater into sewer systems, where it gets treated before being sent back into our waterways. Additionally, commercial car washes employ both computer-controlled systems and high-pressure nozzles to minimize water usage.
Read more about sustainable travel in our section.
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