Did you give Mother Earth a little extra love yesterday? You can help protect the planet all year long by following a few simple strategies when it comes to driving and servicing your vehicle. Along with being good for the environment, these easy-to implement practices will help your car last longer and command a higher resale price.
- Keep the engine running at peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%. Replace filters and fluids as recommended in the owner’s manual.
- Don’t ignore your “Check Engine” light. Today’s vehicles have much cleaner tailpipe emissions than they did 30 years ago, but a poorly running engine or faulty exhaust system will cause your vehicle to pollute much more than it would otherwise.
- Keep tires properly inflated and aligned. Not only will you reduce the engine’s effort and, thus, gasoline consumption, your tires will last longer too, saving you money and easing the burden at recycling centers.
- Have your vehicle’s A/C serviced only by a technician certified to handle and recycle refrigerants. Older air conditioners contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which could be released into the atmosphere through improper service.
- Avoid speeding and sudden accelerations. Both of these habits guzzle gas. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine. Consolidate daily errands to one trip to eliminate unnecessary driving.
- Remove excess items from your vehicle. Less weight equals better gas mileage. If you have a roof-top luggage carrier, remove it when you’re not using it to reduce air drag too.
- Make sure your auto repair shop properly disposes of engine fluids and batteries. Improperly disposed fluids, such as antifreeze can harm pets and wildlife.