The U.S. makes up about five percent of the entire world population, however, people in the U.S. are responsible for 45 percent of the world’s auto emissions. There’s a lot you can do to cut down your contribution to that statistic, but none of it involves getting a brand new vehicle. A few simple tricks will help you improve the way your vehicle runs, reduce how much you spend on gas, and improve the environment.
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Check Your Tires
Checking your car tires is a simple step and works surprisingly well to keep your vehicle moving smoothly. Check your tire pressure with a gauge and add air if your wheels are a little low. (You can usually get the correct range for your tire pressure in the owner’s manual or on the sticker inside the driver’s door.) Underinflated tires force the engine to work harder, which in turn burns more fuel. You will get more bang for your gas buck when you check the pressure in your tires and keep them filled up.
Clean it Out
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Everyone tends to accumulate junk in their vehicle, but yours may be reaching a tipping point. The more stuff you’ve got in your ride, the more fuel you’re wasting. Heavy objects weigh it down and make the engine work harder, which in turn burns up excess gas. Streamline your cargo, and lose anything that might be dragging down your fuel efficiency.
Take Off the Rack
Do you have a roof rack? Remove it! Chances are you seldom use it anyway, and it’s causing your ride to burn more fuel. In fact, the roof rack can cause enough drag to waste two extra tanks of gas every year. How much fuel have you wasted already?
Know When to Stop
Topping off the tank always seems like a good idea, but it’s actually harmful. That little extra bit of gas heightens the chance that you’ll release harmful emissions into the air. Topping off your tank fills up the emissions canister that’s built into modern vehicles, so overfilling your tank makes this canister completely useless. Topping off inadvertently causes more harm for the environment.
Conduct Regular Tune-Ups
Regular tune-ups and oil replacements will work wonders for your vehicle and keep you eco-friendly. To see a big difference in the amount of gas you use, change your oil and the air filters in your engine once every six months, and check the spark plugs to see if they need to be changed. However, when changing the oil remember to dispose of it properly. Don’t pour it into the ground or a plumbing system—take it to the proper waste management facilities. You can also switch to a reusable air filter to reduce your car waste.
Use a Drip Pan
When your vehicle is parked at home or in your assigned spot at work, place a drip pan under it to catch any drips or leaks. Simply catching these little fluid leaks will keep damage to the environment when it runs off into city drainage systems. (It will also save your driveway or garage from unsightly stains at the same time.)
Wash Without Water
You may not think about it, but washing your car the traditional way can be a big waste of water. Look for an earth-friendly waterless car wash product, which can be sprayed onto your vehicle and help clean it without water. It will save you gallons and gallons off your monthly bill (or tons of quarters at the car wash).