Consider something that plays a large part in your everyday life - your vehicle.
There are several steps you can take with your current vehicle to protect the environment and save money.
* Stay in Tune
Regularly have an automotive technician check your vehicle's mechanics with a thorough checkup. This is especially important before long trips, but should be done regularly if a driver is frequently in stop-and-go traffic. These tuneups can reduce vehicle emissions, too.
* Conduct a clean sweep. Be aware of extra cargo because additional weight in your vehicle makes it work harder and lessens your fuel efficiency. So, if you have a trunk full of junk, empty it out for better fuel economy.
* Don't Let Pressure Get You Down
When tires lose air pressure, drivers lose miles per gallon and unnecessarily waste fuel. A drop of 8 pounds per square inch (psi) can equal: approximately 2 mpg fuel-economy loss, 18 percent loss of your vehicle's load-carrying capacity and 25 percent tire treadwear loss. Therefore, it is important to make sure to check the tire pressure on all four tires - and the spare - at least once per month, but avoid over-inflating tires, as it is dangerous and will cause tires to wear prematurely. To obtain an accurate pressure reading, your vehicle must be idle for three hours or have been driven for less than a mile at the time of testing.
* Stay in Motion
Today, there is no need to let your car idle. Limit idling because it creates excess emissions and may damage the catalytic converter. Not to mention, idling for more than thirty seconds consumes more fuel than turning off and then re-starting the engine.
* Slow Things Down
Driving 75 mph instead of 65 mph will lower your fuel efficiency by about 10 percent and dramatically increase tailpipe pollution. Try dropping your highway speed by 10 mph for a greener ride.
For more information, visit www.carcare.org.