All cars add to the greenhouse gas emissions. Your car is no different. Therefore, you also need to think in terms of cutting down carbon footprint by reducing the emissions from your car. Here are a few tips on how you can make your car greener or environment-friendly:
If you are an environmentally conscious person, you will maintain your car in the best condition. For this, you should stick to the service schedule prescribed by the manufacturer. These include steps such as checking the performance of the engine; replacing fuel and air filters at specified intervals; checking fuel cap and engine timing, and cleaning and/or replacing cables and spark plugs; and changing engine oil periodically. Routine maintenance is essential if you want to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, and save money.
Typically, a tune-up improves fuel efficiency by four percent. However, fuel efficiency improves by about 40% when you fix a major maintenance issue. Engine oil additives help to improve engine performance by maintaining viscosity, reducing rust formation, and dispersing sludge that builds up over time.
If you maintain your car well, you can use it for many more years. This way you reduce the number of cars you will be using in your lifetime. A reduction in the number of new cars bought automatically reduces the carbon footprint.
If your car’s engine starts giving problems, refurbish it. Rebuilt engines give new life to cars and make them fuel efficient once again. You should be able to rebuild the engine with the amount to be paid upfront when buying a new car.
Investigate the possibility of recycling motor oil, batteries, fluids, tyres, and other parts of the car. If this is not possible, dispose of in the right manner so that the environment is not polluted in any manner whatsoever. Exercise extreme care when maintenance jobs are done on your car.
If you carry a lot of unnecessary things in your car, it becomes heavier and consumes more fuel. Fuel efficiency improves by two percent with every 45 kg reduction in load. Never haul around the golf clubs, child seat, or other things unnecessarily.
It is important to keep your car’s tyres properly inflated as it contributes to improving fuel efficiency, enhance safety, and extend the life of the tyres. Weather also affects the tyre pressure. It reduces when it is cold. Check tyre pressure once in a month and when the tyres are cold. Maintain the tyre pressure as specified in the owner’s manual. You can equip yourself with a pressure gauge for the purpose.
If you maintain a steady speed when driving your car, you can save fuel. The optimum speed for best fuel efficiency is different for each car. Studies show that it varies from 40 to 55 kilometres per hour.
Accelerating from the standstill position consumes a lot of fuel. Therefore, you have to use the ‘burn and coast’ or ‘pulse and glide’ method when accelerating and then drive at a steady speed.
Braking burns fuel. If you can minimise the need to apply the brake, you can minimise your car’s emission and your car’s fuel efficiency is maximised as well. Anticipating the road ahead, choosing less crowded routes, and driving at a steady speed help you avoid pointless braking.
Studies reveal that keeping your car idling for about 12 minutes burns enough amount fuel that you can use to drive up to 38 kilometres. Further, idling for 10 minutes releases two kilograms of carbon dioxide. Idling also ruins your car because of fuel residue build-up, which further increases fuel consumption.
The air conditioning system of your car contributes a great deal towards global warming. It increases the fossil fuel consumption by as much as 20% due to additional engine load. Some of the aspects to keep in mind for making your car more eco-friendly are as follows:
Use the air conditioner only when it is absolutely essential.
Choose the air recirculation option.
Adjust the temperature setting so that you feel comfortable, not too cold.
Park in shade as much as possible.
In winter, shut down the defrost function after defrosting the windows; leave the heater on.
You definitely need to clean your car but think of doing it in an eco-friendly manner. Some of the things you can do are:
Use waterless car wash products.
Avoid washing your car in the driveway; park your car on grass or gravel surface and wash it so that the water gets filtered naturally.
Use environment-friendly (bio-degradable) cleaning products.
Avoid the use of harsh cleaners and nasty chemicals.
Each carpool consisting of four passengers reduces carbon emission by a lot each year.
All of the tips mentioned above help you to use your car in an environment-friendly manner. However, you cannot be one hundred percent green for reasons beyond your control. Even a hybrid car cannot be considered to be environment-friendly as it also does have emissions. Therefore the best option is to buy green. An electric car is the only option available to you when it comes to buying green. In India, Mahindra has done pioneering work in this area and is the only company to offer two commercial models of electric cars by names Mahindra e2o Plus and Mahindra eVerito. Other manufacturers are also gearing up for replacing petrol and diesel cars with electric cars. Changing over to electric cars is the only way to reduce emissions and air pollution. India is planning a complete invasion of electric cars over the petrol and diesel ones by 2030. Let’s work together for a safe and healthy environment.