Just like you take care of personal hygiene or clean the house regularly, you need to maintain your car. However, few drivers know that car maintenance can be eco-friendly if you are into green cleaners and smart upkeep advice.
Wash the car less often
Self-service car washes seem to be popping up everywhere. However, the chemicals they use are cheap, which means that they pollute the environment and don’t treat your car well. Instead of driving the cart to a public car wash, why not wash it in your driveway using green cleaners.
In general, you should look to wash the car as less often as possible. Ideally, you should wash it once a month. Be sure to use a high-pressure washer to save water. The soap you use should be biodegradable and you should use an old cloth instead of buying a brand new sponge.
The right tire pressure will get you a long way
Checking tire pressure is among the most disregarded maintenance procedures. However, if you manage to have the correct tire pressure, you can increase the fuel efficiency of your vehicle by several percent.
This translates into less money spent on gas and improved safety. Moreover, you prolong the lifespan of the tires by checking the pressure inside them regularly.
Inspect air filters every month
You have seen how you can save both money and the environment by manipulating something as simple as air. The same can be said of air filters that need to be checked once a month. The procedure involves cleaning dirty air filters and replacing faulty ones.
It’s enough for an air filter to be dirty (nor necessarily clogged) to cause you trouble. If you have any desire to maintain good gas mileage, then you will make the effort to inspect air filters regularly.
Cut short the idling
You probably grew up believing that a car has to idle for a while after you turn it on. This is a fallacy; as such a “warm-up” period actually damages the engine in the long run. Moreover, the car unnecessarily releases carbon monoxide and other harmful emissions.
The best warm-up your vehicle will ever get is putting it into “drive” and hitting the road. When the weather outside is warm, never let the car engine run in idle. Mind you, idling is necessary in subzero, winter temperatures but no longer than 2 minutes.
Let professionals take over maintenance
Car maintenance is no child’s play, so if you’re unable to maintain your vehicle in a proper working condition, do what rent-a-cars do: hire professionals. Nowadays, you can easily get car maintenance quotes online, so there is no need to go from a detailing shop to a mechanic back and forth.
Service your car regularly
Speaking of car professionals, don’t forget about your mechanic even if nothing on the car fails for a long time (knock on wood).
There are a lot of auto repair shops, so we have no doubt you will find a reputable and trustworthy mechanic. During a regular checkup, mechanics will check for leaks, oil levels, engine issues, cracks in the windshield, etc.
Don’t pour motor oil down the drain
During a regular checkup, motor oil is often replaced. If you are doing this on your own, don’t pour the oil down the drain or throw it in the trash. Oil is recyclable, as car repair shops accept used oil since they recycle it.
Not only will you get a small fee for the oil but you will help eliminate a major wildlife health hazard. Oil spills have a devastating impact on animals, especially marine life.
An overweight vehicle
We have mentioned several times the importance of regulating fuel consumption. One way to achieve this is to ensure the total weight of the car is within limits.
There is no reason to store the toolbox of gym weights in the trunk. For this reason, the interior of the car should be kept tidy, so there isn’t any clutter neither in the back seat nor in the trunk.
Don’t waste energy
We think that only our households waste energy. However, you can waste a lot of energy in the car as well, if you are reckless enough. For instance, go easy with seat heaters and the defrost system.
Furthermore, don’t turn the AC when you can cool down the car by opening the windows (this works at speeds lower than 70 kilometers per hour).
Keep possession of your four-wheeler
If you have grown emotionally attached to your four-wheeler, the environment will actually benefit from this. Namely, if you resist the temptation to buy a brand new car model, you prevent another car from ending up on the landfill. Most car parts are recyclable but not all; some just have to go underground.
These were just 10 eco-friendly ways to maintain your car. As time goes by, we are sure you will find out new ways to reduce the cost of upkeep and help protect the environment. Car ownership is a privilege and a passion but you have to take it responsibly.
Written by Ron Wolf
About the Author
Ronald Wolf is a freelance writer and hobby designer with a passion for DIY projects.
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