2. Regularly check and replace dirty air filters. An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a "rich" mixture-too much gas being burned for the amount of air -that wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power.
3. Check the spark plugs-if they haven't already been checked as part of the tune-up-and replace if necessary.
A vehicle can have four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles. This results in a lot of heat, electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug also causes misfiring, which wastes fuel.
4. Maintain the cooling system of your vehicle.
A cooling system thermostat that causes the engine to run too cold will lower the fuel efficiency of a car by as much as one or two mpg. There are also improved radiator caps on the market today that allow the cooling system to operate at a higher temperature before boiling over, increasing the system's efficiency and reducing emissions.
5. Get a free copy of the "Car Care Guide." The last step toward keeping a green car is to properly maintain and repair your car as outlined in the Car Care Council's "Car Care Guide."
The guide helps drivers understand their car, the care it needs, and when it needs it and why. Single copies of the free guide may be ordered on the Car Care Council Web site, www.carcare.org.
A free "Car Care Guide" can help drivers understand what care their car needs and how some car maintenance can lower emissions.