We all know that a key principle of modern eco cars is that they are fuel efficient, clean burning and made of environmentally friendly materials. These are key factors in addressing the ecological problems that our love affair with the car has generated, but there’s another facet to it: how you drive. You can still waste energy even with eco cars and hybrids if you don’t kno w how to operate and maintain them in ways that will optimize their green potential. Green driving tips will help you economize and cut down on needless energy wastage.
Gentle driving is key. Avoid high speed pull-offs and excessive braking – slowing gradually creates fuel economies, stops wear and tear on brake pads and cuts down on noxious CO2 vehicle emissions. Slowing down just a little will cut your gas bills more than you realise. You can get 10 percent more mileage by driving at 65 instead of 75 miles per hour. Taking it that little bit easier means you’re less likely to be involved in an accident and it’s also good for your stress levels.
Nothing raises the blood pressure like traffic congestion, which will also raise your fuel consumption and CO2 emissions because of all that stopping and starting. If you have the choice, leaving a bit earlier or later to avoid the worst of rush hour will pay dividends. So will journey planning so you can do one trip instead of two – warmed-up cars are more efficient and less polluting.
Some tips are simple but surprisingly effective. Try to park in the shade and use window shades to avoid using the air conditioner to cool down interiors. Not only is an air conditioner a major fuel guzzler, but it also works by means of environmentally unpleasant chemicals. Delay switching it on whenever you possibly can. Another simple economy measure is to empty unnecessary junk from the trunk. Extra weight means extra bills. Don’t fill up the tank if you don’t have to. A full tank is just extra weight to lug around.
Regular maintenance helps maintain optimum performance. An overactive automatic choke will cost you. So will worn or under-inflated tires, which impact on fuel consumption. Even non-eco cars can be fitted with energy efficient tires with low rolling resistance that improve energy performance. Inflate and rotate regularly. Regular tuning and servicing (including oil and air filters) helps your car to operate at peak. Your manual will help you achieve that peak performance, which is about easy, economical driving for you and less pain for the planet as well.
Some of these measures may only improve your fuel efficiency and emissions by a percent or two, but they really do add up, creating a significant effect. Best of all, they are simple to implement without cash outlay or much effort at all. Eco cars are about eco habits on the driver’s part, as well as high end design and engineering. A bit of thinking ahead can make all the difference to your peace of mind, the longevity of your car and to precious planet earth.