However, before we head out the door with car-keys in hand, if we give some thought to the impact our travels make we can make choices to reduce our carbon footprint and feel, Yes! I am doing something! Every bit helps.
First of all, drive selectively and with pre-planning. For a day of errands, plan your route effectively. Know the places you must visit and work the other stops into the route along the way. Also consider making the heaviest purchase last, if possible.
Keep your vehicle as light as possible. Of course everyone needs safety precautions in the trunk like a spare tire and change kit, blankets, water, and candles for example. Beyond the basic emergency kit do what you can to reduce weight. Don’t carry around items that are not essential. Added weight lowers your gas mileage. You pay more. The planet pays more. So lighten the load and we all win!
Endeavour to make it a pleasant drive. Know you will get there when you get there. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes fuel and generates stress. Driving with calm and kindness is safer for everyone. You might end up saving more than just gas money.
Avoid excessive idling. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked. It only takes a few seconds worth of fuel to restart your vehicle. However turning your engine on and off excessively may increase starter wear.
Keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure can improve your gas mileage. Properly inflated tires are also safer and last longer. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a label inside the driver’s doorjamb and in your owner’s manual. Don’t use the maximum pressure printed on the tire’s sidewall.
Be sure to keep your car in good running condition. Regular maintenance can vastly reduce wear and tear. Let’s keep our vehicles as long as possible. Of course going without a vehicle is best of all! Next best option is a highly efficient hybrid or such. But for many of us the reality is that we have a car and need to use it. So let’s keep that car healthy! It helps keep us all more healthy.
Here is one of the best books on car care out there. As for me? I bring cookies to my neighborhood service station to thank the guys for taking such great care of my older car. I’ve been going to them for years and I know they’re honest when they say things like, “Well, it all looks good. Brakes have a bit of wear but they’ll be good for another year or two. And your tires are wearing altogether too slowly.” They know me and my humor, and as predicted that made me laugh out loud! No replacement sale on my tires for them this year. So when you find a great service station, tell your friends and family, and especially tell the guys themselves. And maybe bring cookies.
How To Make Your Vehicle Last Forever, by Tom Torbjornsen – For many people, a well-maintained automobile is a source of pride and peace of mind. But for others, the idea of routine maintenance is daunting. How to Make Your Car Last Forever will guide you through the minefield of preventative maintenance, repair, extended warranties, and magic elixirs that claim to cure everything from oil consumption to male-pattern baldness! Author, car repair expert, and host of satellite radio show America’s Car Show with Tom Torbjornsen, Tom Torbjornsen has seen it all in his 40 years in the automobile industry. Let him show you how to extend the life of your car indefinitely. In How to Make Your Car Last Forever, he explains the what, when, and why’s of automotive maintenance and repairs in easy-to-understand terms. Simple how-to projects supplement the learning with step-by-step instructions that will save you time and money. While you may not want your car to last forever, Torbjornsen’s advice will help you preserve it indefinitely while maximizing resale value down the road. Preventative maintenance is the key to the automotive fountain of youth. Let Tom Torbjornsen show you the way!
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Motorbooks; First edition (Oct 3 2010)