June 22, 2007

Care Care Council recommends five steps to a “greener” car


2007 Volvo S80 V8 AWD
2007 Volvo S80 V8 AWD. Click image to enlarge


There are preventive maintenance steps every vehicle owner can take to make sure their car is as “green” or environmentally friendly as possible, according to the Car Care Council. These five simple preventive maintenance steps can help protect the environment by improving gas mileage, and save money at the pump.

1. The first step is to keep your car properly tuned for optimum performance. A well-tuned engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel economy and produces the lowest level of emissions.

2. The second step is to regularly check and replace dirty air filters. An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture — too much gas being burned for the amount of air — that wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power.

3. The third step is have the spark plugs checked — if they haven’t already been checked as part of the tune-up — and replaced if necessary. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel.

4. The fourth step is to maintain the cooling system of your vehicle. A cooling system thermostat that causes the engine to run too cold will lower the fuel efficiency of a car by as much as one or two mpg.

5. The last step toward keeping a “green” car is to properly maintain and repair your car as outlined in the council’s Car Care Guide. The guide helps drivers understand their car, the care it needs, and when it needs it and why. Single copies of the free guide may be ordered on the Car Care Council Web site, CarCare.org.

In addition to proper vehicle maintenance, vehicles can be more fuel- efficient if tires are properly inflated and if drivers observe the speed limit, avoid aggressive driving and excessive idling, and adhere to an errand list to eliminate extra trips to the store for forgotten items.

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