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Eco Car: 5 Ways to Have a Greener Ride

Dixie Somers

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Pollution is inevitable when you own and drive a vehicle, but the impact you have on the environment as a whole is something in your control. Modifying your driving habits and making minor changes to how you operate your vehicle can help reduce your carbon footprint and save you money on gas. Keep these five tips in mind the next time you get in the driver’s seat to make your car more eco-friendly.

Reduce Weight

Heavier cars use more fuel than lighter ones. Take out unnecessary items such as tools or boxes that you might be carrying around. It might be tempting to keep items in the back for a “just in case” situation, but your fuel mileage is suffering as a result. Do a thorough clean-out of your trunk or back storage area and see the difference in economy.

Fill it Right

Avoid topping off your tank after the lever clicks to indicate that it’s full. The vapors get held in the emissions canister, which is designed to prevent the vapors from getting into the atmosphere. “Topping up” negates this and essentially wastes money. Always ensure your gas cap is tightened completely to prevent vapors from escaping.

Keep the AC Off

Air conditioning might be essential if you’re in sweltering heat, but it also uses from 13 to 21 percent more fuel. Air conditioning causes extra strain on your engine to run and uses more gas. If you need to use it, ensure that your air conditioning system is properly maintained and serviced. As a general rule, keep your windows down for air circulation at low speeds and close them when on highways and freeways to avoid aerodynamic drag.

Stay on top of Emissions

One of the main reasons your check engine light will come on is that the system detects an emissions problem. This is harmful for the environment and, depending on the issue, can significantly affect your fuel usage. Get your car inspected as soon as possible and fix the issue to keep more money in your pocket in the long-term and avoid sending additional pollution into the air.

Tune it up

Certain parts on your car need to be replaced regularly, such as your oil filter, air filter and fuel filter. Extra strain on the engine with dirty oil contributes to excess gas usage. Old spark plugs cause your engine to be less efficient and should be changed every 30,000 miles. An oxygen sensor controls how the air and fuel mix and a faulty one can send excess fuel to the engine. A bad O2 sensor should trigger your check engine light. You can visit a place like U Pull & Pay to find parts for your vehicle.

Driving doesn’t have to cost as much as it does. Reduce your environmental footprint by implementing these five eco-friendly tips, and you’ll be doing your part to care for the environment as you drive.


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