One of the biggest things you can do this Earth Day is pay a little attention to your vehicle. By changing a few habits and paying attention to maintenance, you can do your part in helping the environment. Here’s the Quality Automotive and Smog short list of things you can do to be a “Green Vehicle Owner”. Save gas, save on landfill material, save the planet.
1. Keep the engine running at peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent. Replace filters and fluids as recommended in the owner’s manual or by your Quality Automotive and Smog service technician.
2. Don’t ignore that ‘Service Engine’ light. Today’s vehicles have much cleaner tailpipe emissions that they did 30 years ago, but a poorly running engine or faulty exhaust system will pollute much more than it would otherwise.
3. 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.
4. Have your vehicle’s air conditioner 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.
5. 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.
6. Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight equals better gas mileage. Remove that roof-top luggage carrier after vacations to reduce air drag, too.
7. Removing rooftop boxes and racks when not needed. Roof top boxes and racks eat up your gas mileage. Remove then when not in use or when on a road trip where they are not needed.
8. If you do your own repairs, properly dispose of engine fluids and batteries. Some repair facilities accept these items from consumer. You can also contact local government for hazardous material drop-off/recycling stations. Remember too that improperly disposed fluids such as antifreeze can harm pets and wildlife.
9. Use Synthetic Oil. Synthetic oil needs to be changed less often, so there is less travel for changes and less oil waste.