Written By: Kristin Brocoff Kristinsblog@carmd.com
In celebration of Earth Day, CarMD® shares the following tips for how drivers can help be more environmentally conscious, particularly as gas prices remain at all-time highs and the price of gasoline hovers near $4 a gallon again:
• Avoid unnecessary driving by planning your trips wisely, making efficient routes and stops, and buying online when you can.
• Keep your car well maintained by following your vehicle’s service manual and getting regular oil changes.
• Replace dirty air filters. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 15 cents a gallon. Want to do it yourself? Click here for a how-to video from CarMD.
• Ensure proper tire maintenance, tread and inflation. A properly inflated tire can increase gas mileage 10 percent to 30 percent. (Ideal inflation should be listed on the sidewall of the tire). For more information about proper tire maintenance, be sure to visit our Youtube page with videos like this one
• Tighten the gas cap after every fill-up.
• Avoid stop-and-go traffic by driving at off-peak times.
• Limit idling. Did you know idling for over 10 seconds uses more gas and causes more pollution than simply restarting your engine?
• Select the most efficient vehicle for your lifestyle (if you don’t need an 8-seat SUV on a regular basis, don’t buy one. Instead, consider renting a bigger vehicle for the few occasions in which you need it).
• Don’t lug around extra cargo. Every hundred pounds decreases your gas mileage by a couple of miles per gallon. Be sure to empty your trunk of extras and remove that cargo space case on the roof rack if you don’t need it.
• If budget allows, consider purchasing a green vehicle, such as a hybrid.
• Get your annual or bi-annual emissions test. A majority of states and some local agencies require you to get your car “smogged” before you can sell it or register it.
• Never drive for extended periods of time with an illuminated “Check Engine” light.
CarMD’s technology is tied to the nation’s “Check Engine” light health. Beginning in 1996, the U.S. government mandated that vehicle manufacturers put on-board diagnostic computers on all cars, light trucks, SUVs and minivans – foreign and domestic. If you drive a 1996 or newer vehicle, it’s equipped with this on-board diagnostic system. This early-warning system looks for problems associated with emission output and triggers the Check Engine light on when a problem occurs that could negatively affect the vehicle’s emissions output. A Check Engine light can mean anything from a loose gas cap, which reduces gas mileage, to a more catastrophic and costly problem that can negatively impact a vehicle’s safety and hurt the environment.
Kristin Brocoff, marketing manager at CarMD.com Corp, helped develop the CarMD® Vehicle Health System. She has over 16 years of experience in marketing and public relations, including a decade in the automotive aftermarket. She serves as a member of the AskPatty.com female friendly advisory panel and the Car Care Council Women’s Board. Kristin is committed to empowering drivers – women in particular – to make smart decisions about car maintenance. She has appeared on regional and national TV and radio programs, including Fox News, Extra! TV, The Motorman Show, and more. Kristin currently resides in Las Vegas, and is a full-time working mom to two active kids and a dog.
Questions about my blog? Comment here or email me at Kristinsblog@CarMD.com