Want to reduce your carbon footprint? How about saving some of that gas, meaning fuel!
Rising fuel prices, a downsized economy and yet the same fuel-guzzling monster of a car, coupled with the increasing pressure to do something nice for Mother Earth. So how do you do it all? By treating your car with some tender, loving care – and make sure your next purchase is eco-friendly! A fuel-efficient vehicle will save fuel, and help you do your bit for Mother Earth.
- Park it right: A car parked in the hot sun means that there will be minute amounts of fuel lost via evaporation, particularly if your car is old and the seals of the fuel tank are not in mint condition. Also, if the interior of the car has really heated up, the AC has to work harder in a bid to cool it down and while it doesn’t use fuel directly, it does lower the fuel efficiency or mileage of the car. Always park in a garage when at home; else always try to park in shade or away from direct sunlight. Car covers don’t really help as they add to the greenhouse effect inside the car and also age the interior plastic and rubber parts. Instead, if you have to park in the sun, make sure your fuel cap is sealed tight and the fuel cover locked. Put windscreen shades to avoid sunlight directly hitting the interiors to keep the car somewhat cool.
- Avoid pricey fuel: Short of you having an expensive car that needs a particular kind of fuel, there’s no need to empty your billfold on high-octane gasoline. The premium and pricey fuel will not affect your car’s performance or fuel economy in the least, but it may pinch your pocket strings and end up needing more refills in turn. Check your car manual for the lowest grade octane fuel it supports, and give premium fuel a miss – this will also help in keeping emissions low.
- Don’t top off: When your car fuel gauge hits auto cut off, stop filling it up. Topping off doesn’t make you have extra fuel in the car -- instead the extra fuel sloshes around, overflows and brims over to wasteland. Why waste what you and Mother Earth are paying dearly for? Stop pumping the moment you hear that fuel-saving click!
- Check your fuel cap: Loose fuel caps, faulty gaskets or even swinging-open fuel covers cause many a liter to flow unchecked, drop by drop. The fuel sloshes and spills over, especially during any jars and bumps. Always close the fuel cap tightly after you’ve pumped in fuel and if your fuel inlet looks wet or is leaking, get the leak-proof rubber gasket changed immediately.
- Pump up the tires: Underinflated tires lower your car’s fuel economy, as do tires well past their changing date. Underinflated tires mean lesser friction so the car engine has to work all that much harder to keep the car going at the same speed.
Tuning up the engine, replacing air filters and oil once every 3-4 months, ensuring spark plugs are functioning at their optimum and regularly checking other parts that need changing due to wear and tear will keep your vehicle running smoothly and at an optimum – this will keep the emissions low and thus save you fuel.
Also do remember, idling for more than 30 seconds is wasting fuel and killing the environment. You don’t have to turn off during every 5-second traffic light but if it’s a train crossing you’re stuck at, it’s advisable to switch off the ignition and just wait it out.
Do your bit for the ecology and Mother Earth for she does a lot for you to begin with… Reducing your carbon footprint by saving fuel is a small but determined step!