Green Up Your Driving

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February 6, 2012

We have all seen the latest hybrids and electric vehicles to hit the road. These green vehicles can help lower your carbon footprint, but they can be pricey. What if you can’t afford a hybrid or electric vehicle, but want to be a little greener on the road? Green up your current vehicle with these simple to follow driving tips.

Don’t be a Jerk

Jerky and aggressive driving can really do a number on your MPGs. So drive conservatively. Avoid sudden starts and stops. Try to maintain as smooth a ride as possible, your passengers will thank you, and you will get the most MPGs possible out of your vehicle.

When I was learning to drive my mom always said to “pretend there is a glass of water on your dash that you can’t spill”. This is exactly what we should be doing on a daily basis. This one act alone can really increase your distance between fill-ups.

Aggressive driving can also lead to more wear and tear on your vehicle. If your vehicle is not in its best running order you can expect to see those MPGs start to drop dramatically.

Make it Count

Make every trip count. Try to combine errands. Instead of going to the bank on Thursday, the post office on Friday, and the grocery store on Saturday, you should consider combining those into one trip. Even if you live just a few miles away from these locations, combining your trips can really add up over time.

Don’t Skimp on Tune-Ups

Tune-ups are not an evil trick played on you by your local dealership or automotive repair shop. Tune-ups are a necessary part of driving. Did you know that simply replacing your dirty air filter can increase your energy efficiency by up to 10%. That is huge. Tune-ups will keep your car running as efficiently as possible and have been shown to save the average driver 4% a year on gas expenses over those who do not get regular tune-ups.

Lose Some Junk in Your Trunk

The heavier your vehicle, the less fuel efficient it will be. Lighten your load by emptying out your trunk. I am guilty of using my trunk as my “catch-all”. This is a horrible practice that can end up costing your big time at the pump. Grab a bag and ditch the junk from your trunk.

Cap It

Ensure that your gas cap is on securely. If you gas cap is loose (or missing all together), you are losing precious fuel via evaporation. Seventeen percent of the vehicles on U.S. highways have either misused or missing gas caps, causing 147,000,000 gallons of gas per year to vaporize into the atmosphere, says Service Tech Magazine. A loose gas cap can allow fuel to evaporate, up to two miles per gallon. Next time you fill up, give that cap an extra little twist to ensure you are not in the 17% paying dearly for this mistake.

Be an Airhead

Keeping your tires properly inflated is one of the major components in achieving maximum fuel efficiency. Around two billion gallons of gas each year could be saved if the tires on every American’s car were properly inflated.

As you can see, it isn’t too difficult to maximize your vehicles fuel efficiency. Take these steps and you will well be on your way to a little bit greener driving.

Do you follow any of these green driving practices?

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