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Green Driving Guide
Buying green is just the first step in reducing the environmental impacts of automobile use. Your choice of vehicle is most important, but how you drive and how well you maintain your car, SUV, van, or light truck will also make a difference.
Measuring fuel consumption
Without an onboard computer you can calculate average fuel utilization over any period by following the steps below.
Fill the tank and record the mileage
Keep track of any consequent fuel purchases (it’s not necessary to entirely fill the tank again until you’re ready to work out your mpg.)
Preferably go back to the same pump at the same garage you first filled the car and fill the tank again to the same level
Now divide the total mileage ever since the first fill up by the total number of liters used and then multiply by 4.546 to get miles per gallon (for instance if you’ve crossed 1000 miles and used 101 liters of gas, your average mpg = (1000/101) x 4.546 = 45mpg)
Rather than comparing your new progressed fuel consumption with the official combined fuel consumption you could set up baseline average fuel consumption for your present driving style using the steps above.
Check your own car or SUVs fuel economy every few weeks: If you notice it slipping, that could mean you have a minor problem with the engine or your brakes. Using this advance caution, you can fix problems before you have a breakdown on the road. You may want to talk to your car dealer for further advice. For people using
Keep your car or SUV tires properly inflated: Tires should be pumped up to the pressure suggested for your vehicle; this information is usually printed inside the door frame or in your owner’s instruction manual. For every 3 pounds below advised pressure, fuel economy goes down by about 1%. Tires can roughly lose about 1 pound of pressure in a month, so verify the air pressure often and always before going on a long trip or carrying heavy weights. Underinflated tires can detract from handling, safety, and how long the tires will last too.
Buy low-rolling-resistance (LRR) replacement tires: Switching to a classic set of substitute tires lowers a vehicle’s fuel economy as much as 4%. LRR tires, alternatively, are particularly designed to improve a vehicle’s fuel economy. Numerous major tire producers now produce LRR models, so when it comes time to change your tires, seek out a set of LRRs.
Get a service: If go to a mechanic or you do it yourself, a tune-up can enhance your car or SUVs fuel economy. Follow owner’s instruction manual guidelines. Be certain to verify for worn spark plugs, exhausted brakes, and low transmission solution; have your car or SUVs wheels aligned and tires rotated; and replace the air filter if needed. Make sure all used car or SUV vehicle liquids are recycled or disposed of carefully.
Change the oil: Additionally making your car or SUV last longer, changing the oil and oil filter on a regular basis will also aid fuel economy. Check your owner’s instruction manual for exact suggestions about how often to change. Ask the tune-up station if they reprocess the used oil, or if you do it yourself, take your old oil to someplace that does recycle. Ask for reprocessed oil as a replacement.
Have your ride’s discharge control system checked every so often: Take it in for service if a device panel warning light comes on.
Before you start you journey
Don’t get lost: Plan unfamiliar journeys to reduce the chance of getting lost – try the AA Route planner or consider a ‘Sat Navigation’ if you often drive unknown routes. Check the traffic news before you go too.
Get rid of the unnecessary weight: Extra weight means extra fuel so if there’s stuff in the boot you don’t need on the journey take it out and leave it at home.
Simplify: Roof supports create additional wind resistance and so adds to fuel consumption. If you don’t require it take it off, if you do, pack carefully to avoid the added drag.
Combine short trips: Cold starts are inefficient so it pays to combine errands such as buying the paper, dropping-off the recycling, or collecting the kids into one trip rather than making multiple short trips.
Consider options: If it’s a short trip (a few miles or so) consider walking or cycling rather than taking the car – fuel consumption is worse when the engine’s cold and pollution will be greater too until the emissions control system gets up to normal temperature.
While driving your car or SUV
Leave promptly: Don’t start the car or SUV engine until you’re ready to go. This avoids any fuel wastage owing to needless idling and makes sure that the engine warms up as quickly as possible.
Drive efficiently: Drive efficiently, increase the speed smoothly and read the road ahead to avoid needless braking.
Slow down efficiently: When you have to reduce the speed or to stop, lose the pace smoothly by releasing the accelerator in time, leaving the car or SUV in gear.
Continuing: If you can keep the car or SUV moving at all times, is so much better. Stopping then starting all over again uses more fuel than keeping rolling.
Change up earlier: Change gear immediately possible without laboring the engine – try changing up at an engine speed of around 2000 rpm in a diesel car or around 2500 rpm in a petrol car. This can make such a difference to fuel utilization that all cars in the future are probably to be fixed with Gear Shift indicators that light a lamp on the control panel to point out the most efficient gear change points.
Reduce air conditioning: Air conditioning increases fuel consumption at low speeds, but at higher speeds the effects is less noticeable. So if it’s a hot day it’s more reasonable to open the windows around town and keep the air conditioning for high speed driving. Don’t leave air conditioner on at all times – you should use it at least once a week throughout the year even if to maintain the system in good condition.
Turn it off: Any electrical load raises fuel burning up, so turn off your heated rear windscreen, demister blowers and headlights, when you don’t need them.
Follow the speed limits: Drive at or within the speed limit – the faster you go the greater the fuel consumption and the greater the pollution too. According to the Department for Transport driving at 70mph utilize up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. Cruising at 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph.
Don’t be idle: If you do get caught in a queue avoid wasting your car or SUVs fuel by turning the engine off if it looks like you could be waiting for more than three minutes.
In summers always park your cars or SUVs in the shade in summer to keep it cool and minimize loss of fuel.
Use garage to keep your car or SUV warm in winter and cool in summer.
In case you have to park outdoors, windshield shades can reduce on the hot heat plus helps keep the frost off in the winter.
Most of the Americans too frequently take gas for granted, forgetting that it is reasonably a dangerous substance. Petrol fumes are toxic and carcinogenic; they cause pollution; and spilled gas can contaminate the water and poison wildlife. And it’s extremely flammable, as well.
Use regular fuel unless your owner’s instruction manual states otherwise. In case your car or SUV requires premium, high-octane gas improve neither fuel economy nor performance and will just waste your money.
Don’t overfill the fuel tank or try to top it off beyond where the automatic nozzle clicks off. Spilled fuel evaporates to worsen smoke formation as well as can leak into groundwater.
Go to gas stations that have vapor-recovery nozzles (those black, accordion-looking plastic devices attached to the nozzle) whenever you can.
The benefits of smarter car or SUV driving
By becoming a smarter driver you can:
• Reduce your annual fuel bills
• Cut your carbon emissions
• Reduce wear and tear on the vehicle
• Enjoy safer, less stressful journeys.
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