In April we like to focus on keeping things green, and since April is also National Car Care Month, Fairfax Auto Repair in Virginia is bringing you some excellent tips on better Earth-Friendly car care.
When it comes to green driving in Fairfax, many people choose to drive hybrid or electric vehicles – but for those of us still piloting gas guzzlers, it’s still possible to drive greener, and save money on fuel while you’re at it. As our expert technicians here at Fairfax Auto Repair can attest, there are many ways to improve your fuel economy and reduce emissions without switching to an electric vehicle.
Green Driving Tips in Fairfax VA: Keep Your Weight Down
Many of us are guilty of leaving extra bulk in the car, because it’s a hassle to remove it. Extra clutter like sporting gear, leftover supplies from winter, bottled water, or any such additional weight can mean lower fuel economy for you. In fact, an extra 100 pounds in your trunk can mean up to 2% reduced gas mileage, and clutter on the roof rack can reduce your mileage by 5%. Take a day to “spring clean” your vehicle to save gas, and reduce your environmental impact – for every gallon of gas you save, you prevent 20 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
Green Driving Tips in Fairfax VA: Be Cool Under Pressure
Most of us have heard this one already, but when is that last time you checked your tire pressure? Checking it each month and keeping those tires properly inflated can mean 3% better fuel economy. Sure, 3% doesn’t sound like much, but those savings can add up – it’s about a half gallon of fuel per tank in a 16-gallon gas tank, and that’s a lot of fuel to save by something as simple as properly inflating your tires. Driving with low tire pressure can increase your resistance, causing the engine to need to work harder to move the vehicle.
If you don’t own a tire gauge, pick one up – check your tire pressure every month, or always before you embark on a long trip. For the correct tire pressure, don’t look at the sidewall of the tire! Your correct tire pressure will be located on your driver’s side door, or in your owner’s manual.
Green Driving Tips in Fairfax VA – Avoid Idling
An idle engine gets no miles per gallon – but it’s still producing the same emissions. We all turn off lights when we leave the room to save electricity – this principle is no different. Idling for 15 minutes can expend up to ¼ gallon of fuel, so if you’re stuck at a railroad crossing, waiting at a long traffic light, waiting your turn in the drive-through, or waiting to pick up a friend, turn off the engine while you’re not moving.
Some drivers like to “warm up” the engine in the morning, but take it from the experts at Fairfax Auto Repair in Fairfax VA – unless you live somewhere very cold, there’s no need to warm your engine any longer than 30 seconds – the engine actually will warm much more quickly once you’re in motion.