How Drivers Can Make their Cars More Eco-Friendly

Automotive service technician

As we become more conscious of how our actions affect the environment, drivers everywhere want to know what they can do to help lessen their carbon footprint. While not everyone can afford a super-cool Tesla (at approximately $75,000) or the more affordable Chevrolet Volt ($35,000), there are still ways you make your regular old gas-guzzler friendlier towards our planet.

If you’re planning to enroll in auto mechanic school, or have already begun your courses, read on to find out what recommendations you can give future clients to help make their cars more eco-friendly.

Your Tires Can Make All the Difference

What tires you use and how well you maintain them can make a huge difference when it comes to how much gas your vehicles consumes. Professionals in auto careers might recommend that clients switch to low-rolling-resistance tires, which reduce the heat emitted from the rubber and helps save gas.

Mechanics might also recommend to clients that to be more eco-friendly with their car, tires should always be filled with the correct air pressure. When a tire is low on air, it works harder to turn, and makes the engine work harder, burning more gas.

To always be sure of your air pressure, it’s good practice to keep a tire gauge in your car on long highway journeys.

Think Twice About Blasting the Air Conditioner

Nothing is worse than opening your car door on a sunny day to get that unpleasant waft of stale, hot air. In these conditions, you might be tempted to use air conditioning—but resist this desire! Air conditioning will cost you 14-24% more fuel, and also drains your battery. Even though opening the windows reduces the aerodynamics of your car, it’s still better for your wallet, and your lungs to cool off with fresh air.

Reduce Weight in the Car, or Drive a Lighter Vehicle

Still have that bag of clothes to donate in the back of the car? Or that tent and sleeping bags from your last camping trip? Auto pros say to keep these unnecessary items out of the vehicle. This extra weight adds up and makes your car heavier, costing you more fuel.

If you notice that a client’s car has accumulated quite the collection of odds and ends, you might suggest that they do an inventory to keep only what’s necessary.

Change your Spark Plugs Regularly

As every automotive service technician student knows, the spark plug is the heart of what makes a car run. Sparks plugs actually create the electricity that combusts the car’s gasoline and makes the motor run.

As the spark plug ages, it can build up a deposit—making the car’s engine more unreliable. Misfiring spark plugs can actually cost drivers a 30% reduction of fuel economy! For best result, auto mechanics often recommend to clients that they have their spark plug changed every 50,000 kilometers.

Reduce Your Acceleration to Reduce Fuel Consumption

Rapidly accelerating, braking and speeding all have one thing in common: they waste gas. Aggressive driving and constant acceleration can cost car owners up to 30% on their fuel economy. Since most cars have an “optimal” gas mileage (which is situated around most average city speed limits), it’s best to drive as normally as possible. The best way to reduce acceleration when driving on the highway is to use cruise control, and stay at the speed limit.

What other tips have you learned in your auto mechanic courses that can help car owners be more eco-friendly?

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