Ottawa, Ontario – Car Care Canada has released seven simple preventative maintenance tips that will help to make a vehicle as “green” and environmentally friendly as possible.

Keep it clean. Check the labels of polishing compounds, engine fluids and cleaners to make sure they are recognized as environmentally friendly. Do not pour oil, antifreeze or other fluids into sewers, on the ground or into the floor drains; take them to a certified recycling location for disposal.

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. A 21-century tuneup for modern vehicles includes checking the battery, engine, powertrain control, fuel, ignition and emissions. A proper tuneup can improve gas mileage by an average of four per cent, and fixing a serious maintenance problem such as a faulty oxygen sensor can improve fuel efficiency by as much as 40 per cent.

Check and replace dirty air filters. A filter clogged with dirt, dust and insects creates a “rich” mixture, with too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes fuel and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve fuel mileage by as much as 10 per cent.

Have the spark plugs checked. Spark plugs can fire as many as two million times every 1,000 kilometres. A dirty or worn plug can cause misfiring, which wastes fuel.

Maintain the cooling system. A thermostat that causes the engine to run too cold will lower the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Improved radiator caps now on the market allow the cooling systems to operate at a higher temperature before boiling over, increasing the system’s efficiency and reducing emissions.

Watch your tires and your speed. 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.

Go green, clean and lean. Visit Car Care Canada for a link to the free Family Road Trip Guide, which includes tips for saving gas and protecting the environment.

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