When it comes to driving, ecology and protecting the environment may not necessarily be the first things that spring to mind, unlike speed, performance, and other important parameters that tend to take up the prime spot as the most important things about a motor vehicle.
That said, what would be fairly important is fuel economy and this parameter could be considered an ecology-related issue. Add to that the fact that protecting the environment through a series of measures related to driving and car maintenance can potentially save a couple of baby seals on the North Pole – and you see why following a couple of these tips may be something you should consider taking up.
In this article, we’re going to propose some techniques and tips that you can follow to become a ‘greener’ driver. As you will see, it’s not all about impressing your progressive friends, as there are some real benefits from these that are related to the well-being and longevity of your car, too.
Here’s the lot.
Perform Regular Oil Changes
While internal combustion engines are relatively low-maintenance, they still need to be taken care of every now and again.
Among others, one of the most important maintenance tasks when engines are in question, in particular, would be the oil levels. The thing is, oil acts as a lubricant in an engine, so if there’s no oil in it to keep the pistons running smoothly, you can soon say goodbye to your engine – which is, by the way, probably the most expensive part of the car. (So, if you’re ever in a situation where you have to change the entire engine, you may as well just buy a new car.)
Luckily for the folk who have no experience in changing the oil in your vehicle, the procedure is fairly simple. If you only need to add more oil to the amount of oil already in the engine (because oil levels are low), all you need to do is unscrew the small cap on the engine, pour some oil, and then screw it back on.
On the other hand, if all the oil from the engine needs to be drained and replaced, you should take your car to your local mechanic.
The improperly oiled engine has a shorter living span and in situations where you have a leak or you forgot to add more oil, your engine can fail altogether. So, to ensure your engine lasts a long time, check the oil levels regularly.
Mind the Tire Pressure
This entry has mainly got to do with the fuel economy rather than the exhaust system or the engine.
The thing is, if your tires are deflated, your engine is going to need more power to move the entire car, which then affects the fuel economy negatively. To prevent this and enhance the fuel economy to the maximum for your model, make sure to always have your tires inflated to their optimal level (which is usually anywhere from 30 to 35 PSI).
Also, during the winter you may want to keep the tire pressure at a lower end of this spectrum because during the winter you'll be driving at lower speeds and you need more grip on the road.
Change Gears Faster
In case you have a car with a manual gearbox, changing gears at the right moment is going to play a large role in how much fuel you’re using up in your driving.
The thing is, while driving fast in a lower gear may produce that engine noise we all love, that noise also means wasted fuel, as the engine is using more of it in order to make the car go faster while in a gear that’s not designed to go that fast.
So, in order to save fuel, make sure to always change your gears as soon as your car hits about 2,500 RPM or 2,000 RPM for diesel models. While doing this properly and at the right exact moment will take some practice and experience, the basics of it you’ll learn during your driving lessons, so you don’t need to worry about not being able to do it or anything.
All in all, driving in a greener way does not mean you’ll have to buy a Prius or install a solar panel on the roof of your car. As long as you perform regular car maintenance, mind your tires, and adapt your style of driving somewhat, you will be in an excellent position to prolong the life of your vehicle, save some fuel money, and help the environment too.
Written by Zac Walker
About the Author
Zac Walker is a teacher, an interior design enthusiast and a part-time writer.
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