Not every car is electric or a hybrid, but there are ways that even cars that run on traditional internal combustion engines can be gentler on the environment. Sometimes, it’s as simple as changing your driving habits, making slight adjustments to the vehicle, or keeping things cleaner. Give the earth and everyone else a chance to breathe! Read on to learn how to make your car more eco-friendly.
Regular Tune-ups and Other Maintenance
On average, you should get a tune-up for your car every 10,000 to 12,000 miles, though your specific make and model might work on a different schedule (ask your mechanic). During a tune-up, your mechanic will review your engine and the surrounding parts and then clean things up, replace faulty parts, and do any fix-it work necessary. This process helps the car run more smoothly, reduces emissions, and increases your car’s efficiency overall. Make sure you charge car’s every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. Dirty oil makes your engine work harder, which means it burns more fuel and emits more harmful gasses. Keep your car clean and healthy!
Check the Tire Pressure
One of the simplest ways to maintain your car is also the most effective. Low tire pressure puts an unnecessary burden on your engine as much as dirty oil and air filters do. Pick up a pocket tire gauge and keep your tires’ pressure at standard PSI levels (indicated on a sticker inside your car’s driver door). Check them for any issues that can cause lost traction, burst, or have a flat tire. Helping your tires last longer also keeps them out of landfills.
Keep It Clean
A clean car is a happy car, and a happy car is a more fuel-efficient one. On one level, a clean car faces less wind resistance, provides clearer windshields (and, therefore, a better view of the road), and faces fewer impediments overall from grit and grime in the wheel wells, undercarriage, and engine. Consider visiting the car wash rather than cleaning the car in your driveway. As some expert sources point out, car washes store and process the wastewater left by washing cars, whereas driveway runoff—which can contain toxic materials like oil, gas, tar, and more—can enter and contaminate the waterways.
Keep Things Light
When pondering how to make your car more eco-friendly, take a load off your conscience by taking a load off your car. Make sure your car isn’t carrying more weight than it needs to. When you take a road trip, travel light and pack only what you really need. Don’t use your car for extra storage of heavy objects and materials. Remove your roof rack, bike rack, and other devices until you really need them. Finally, carpool with friends so that there are fewer vehicles on the road overall. Less work for your car means less carbon monoxide and other harmful gasses in the air.