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  1. Keeping an older car for many years can be great for your budget. As your car ages, you'll be able to pay it off, leaving you with less debt. The problem, though, is that old cars tend to be a little harder on the environment than newer vehicles. By taking a few smart steps, though, you can make your vehicle more environmentally friendly. To help you save the planet, here are a few tips on how to reduce the carbon footprint of your older car. Maintain Your Tires Since your tires are constantly moving, any changes in your tires can have a big effect on your car's fuel economy. By properly maintaining your tires, you can help shrink your vehicle's carbon footprint. One important step is to make sure that your tires are properly inflated at all times. This will help to prevent excess friction that can decrease your fuel economy. Maintain Your Air Conditioner During the summer, there is no larger user of fuel in your vehicle than the air conditioner. It's vital, then, that you keep it properly maintained. If the refrigerant levels are too low, it will cause your air conditioner to work harder, resulting in higher fuel use. When your air conditioner has reached the end of its life, it's important to make plans for a new AC system installation so that you can keep your vehicle cool without having to open your windows, which can increase drag. Change the Oil Your vehicle depends on clean oil to keep all of its internal components properly lubricated. As your engine oil ages, it will begin to lose its effectiveness as it collects microscopic byproducts of combustion. This causes the engine to have to work harder to produce the same amount of power, which causes your fuel consumption to increase. By regularly checking and replacing your oil, you can help your car last longer and ensure it's easy on the environment. Reduce the Weight One simple step you can take to improve your car's fuel economy is to reduce the excess weight that you carry around. If your vehicle has a lot of trash in it or if you're constantly hauling around clothes, toys, or other items, you can make surprising gains in fuel economy by simply leaving these items at home. Just be sure not to remove any essential safety items that you might need if you get stuck on the side of the road. Even cars that are well-maintained eventually expire. If your vehicle is becoming less and less efficient, it's important to know when to put it out of its misery so that your carbon footprint isn't unnecessarily large. Though it can be hard to say goodbye to an older vehicle, it's also exciting to experience the thrill of all the features that a new vehicle has to offer.