Car care is definitely a win-win situation.
Besides helping the environment, a properly
maintained and operated vehicle will run more
efficiently, will be safer, and will last
longer--up to 50% longer, according to a survey
of ASE-certified Master Auto Technicians. The
following tips should put you on the road to
environmentally conscious car care.
* Keep your engine tuned up. A misfiring spark
plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%.
Follow the service schedules listed in your
owner's manual. Replace filters and fluids as
* Check your tires for proper inflation.
Underinflation wastes fuel--your engine has to
work harder to push the vehicle. Wheels that are
out-of-line (as evidenced by uneven tread wear
or vehicle pulling) make the engine work harder,
too. Properly maintained tires will last longer,
meaning fewer scrap tires have to be disposed.
Every ten days, motorists who drive with
under-inflated tires and poorly maintained
engines waste 70 million gallons of gasoline.
Car Care Council
* Keep your air conditioner in top condition and
have it serviced only by a technician certified
competent to handle/recycle refrigerants. Air
conditioners contain CFCs--gases that have been
implicated in the depletion of the ozone layer.
According to the Environmental Protection
Agency, almost one third of the CFCs released
into the atmosphere come from mobile air
conditioners; some simply leaks out, but the
majority escapes during service and repair--so
it's important to choose a qualified technician.
* Do-it-yourselfers: dispose of used motor oil,
anti-freeze/coolant, tires, and old batteries
properly. Many repair facilities accept these
items. Or call your local municipal or county
government for recycling sites. Never dump used
oil or anti-freeze on the ground or in open
Each year twenty times the amount of oil spilled
by the tanker Exxon Valdez in Alaska is
improperly dumped into America's environment
Automotive Information Council
* Observe speed limits. Mileage decreases
sharply above 55 mph.
* Drive gently. Avoid sudden accelerations and
jerky stop-and-go's. Use cruise-control on open
highways to keep your speed as steady as
* Avoid excessive idling. Shut off the engine
while waiting for friends and family. Today's
vehicles are designed to "warm up" fast, so
forget about those five-minute warm ups on cold
* Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less
weight means better mileage. Store luggage/
cargo in the trunk rather than on the roof to
* Plan trips. Consolidate your daily errands to
eliminate unnecessary driving. Try to travel
when traffic is light to avoid stop-and-go
conditions. Join a car pool.
Remember, how your car runs, how you drive it,
and how its fluids, old parts, and tires are
disposed of all have serious consequences on