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Car Maintenance Tip 6: Proper Car Maintenance Helps Protect The Environment

Transportation is the primary source of greenhouse gas pollution in the United States. With approximately 250 million passenger vehicles on the road, car owners need to be conscious of their carbon footprint. What car you drive, how you drive it and how good your car maintenance is all determines the amount of gas consumed and your environmental impact.

Here are some simple ways you can keep extraneous carbon monoxide out of the atmosphere:

  • When driving, avoid sudden starts and stops and go the speed limit. Jerky and aggressive driving is less fuel-efficient and increases wear and tear on your vehicle.
  • Regular tune-ups will help you burn less gas, pollute less and avoid car trouble later on. Clean air filters, working oxygen sensors and properly maintained oil all increase MPG.
  • Get rid of the dead weight. Items in your car that are not needed, weigh the vehicle down, causing an increase in gas usage. However, emergency items like a spare tire, flares and a first-aid kit are important to have at all times.
  • Correct tire pressure can save three to five cents per gallon and reduce the risk of engine damage. Tires that are not inflated properly add rolling resistance that makes the engine work harder to move the vehicle. Ideally, tire pressure should be checked once a month.
  • Reduce air conditioning use by trying alternative methods to keep your car cool, such as rolled-down windows, parking in the shade and reflective windshield shades. Air conditioning systems should be inspected annually.
  • 147 million gallons of gas vaporize every year due to loose, damaged or missing gas caps. Make sure yours is present and in working order.