Friday, July 15, 2016

Eco Friendly Tips for Your Car

We all know that our cars are not the most economically friendly inventions. Since 1970, CO2 emissions have increased nearly 90%! Read on to learn how you can reduce your car’s carbon footprint (and save a bit of cash while doing so).

Clean It Out

While it pays to be prepared, you’re also paying extra to keep your emergency kit and other items in the back of your car. Every 100 pounds reduces your MPG by 1%, and if you have a smaller car, that extra weight will affect you fuel economy even more. 

Automakers do all they can to reduce the weight of their cars to make them more fuel efficient, but you can also do the same.

Maintain Your Tires

It is important to maintain your tires not only to keep you safe, but proper tire pressure will also save your gas mileage. Determine what your psi should be, and then consistently check your tire pressure using a pressure gage. 

 Refill your tires when necessary. You could also install low-rolling-resistance tires, or “smart tires” that waste less energy than other tires.

Use the Right Gasoline Grade

Most cars will run on regular gasoline without compromising performance. If your owner’s manual suggests that you use premium grade, but doesn’t require that you use it, you can

save money by switching to a lower grade. 

The only effect you may see is a decrease in acceleration power, but that might not be such a bad thing after all.

Drive Conservatively

If you are an aggressive driver, you are likely losing fuel economy. To save gas, and consequently the environment, accelerate slowly, don’t speed (driving above 55 mph will decrease fuel economy by 13% every 10 miles), use cruise control, and avoid idling whenever possible. 

You should never idle for longer than 10 seconds, unless you are in traffic (it is illegal to turn off your car when on city streets). It’s only a myth that restarting your car burns excessive amounts of gas, as cars these days are made to warm up very quickly.

Avoid Traffic

Rush hour traffic causes you to idle your car and waste gasoline. Whenever possible, avoid traffic. Either find another route, or wait it out.

Combine Trips

Whenever you can, combine trips to save gas. Stop by the grocery store on your way home from work, or carpool with a coworker or neighbor. If you’re only going a short distance, walk or take public transit. 

 If you can’t get where you’re trying to go with public transit, find out if you can ride part of the way and drive (or bike) the rest. Another way to save gas is to avoid getting lost. 

When you get lost or take a wrong turn, you may add 15 minutes or more to your trip. Before you leave, make sure that you know where you are going and that you have good directions.

Stop Using the AC

Consistently using the air conditioning can increase fuel cost by 21% or more (according to Consumer Energy Center). MythBusters recently did an episode to see if using the AC really does affect your fuel economy, and they found that rolling down the windows is more fuel efficient. 

They filled up two SUVs with 5 gallons of fuel and took them out on a track. The AC SUFV stopped 15 miles before the SUV with its windows down. Of course, there are some days where it is just too miserable to not use the AC, but on mild days, roll down the windows.  
However, once you hit about 40 mph, the drag on your vehicle no longer makes this an efficient option, and you should again roll up the windows and turn on the AC (or just the fan, if you can stand it).

Drive a Green Car

The best thing you can do to be more eco friendly is to buy an eco friendly car. There are many hybrids on the market that are cleaner, more efficient, and will save you money on gas. 

 If you can’t yet afford a new hybrid or electric car, find a car with high gas mileage, or purchase a used eco-friendly car. 

Some of the most eco-friendly cars currently on the market for 2016 are: the Toyota Prius c, Nissan Versa Note, BMW X3, Lexus CT 200h, Mazda CX-5, Mazda Mazda3, Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, and the Toyota Prius v. 

 If you are looking to buy a new car, you can use this calculator to find out just how much money you’re going to save by switching.

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