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Green Car CarePosted 06/06/08 • Last updated 09/26/11 • 429 views • 0 comments
In most cases, the greenest car is the one you're already driving. Keeping your car in good repair delays the need to buy a new one, and minimizes wasted fuel. It's where to start.
The 3,000 mile oil change is a myth. This is what the State of California says. Or more exactly what the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) says. Most drivers (including myself) change their oil every 3,000 miles (or 5,000 km) even though many automakers now recommend service intervals of 5,000, 7,000 or even 10,000 miles for most modern cars.
Research by the CIWMB shows that nearly 3 out 4 Californians change their cars' oil before it is really needed. This generates millions of gallons of waste oil, a product which is potentially very polluting.
CIWMB has released a website that explains this "myth" and has a short list of recommended service intervals for common cars. For example, a 2007 Nissan Altima can have its oil changed every 3,750 miles (25 percent further than 3,000 miles), and a 2007 Chevy Malibu every 7,500 (150 percent more). The rule is that we all should check this figure in the owner's manual.
Please note that this figure also depends on your driving habits and the quality of the oil you're using. Changing oil too late is also a very bad practice, because not only you can damage your car engine, but it increases fuel consumption and reduces performance."
Incorrect tire pressure is responsible for the production of an additional 18.4 metric tons of CO2 that end up in the atmosphere each year.
We can translate the figure in to wasted fuel as well: About 8 BILLION (with a 'b') liters of fuel wasted per year. Moreover, 55 million tires per year are thrown away because of premature wear and tear due to incorrect pressure.
Under-inflated tires lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent per pound of reduced pressure. If you're short 10 pounds of pressure, you're losing 4 percent in fuel economy.
The door to your glove compartment or the driver's-side door pillar should list your vehicle's appropriate tire pressure.
And remember, keep an even closer eye on your tire pressure when the seasons change. Your tires lose one pound of pressure for every 10-degree drop in air temperature.
CLEANING THE CAR
Empty out your trunk (and the backseat...). Hauling around extra junk hurts your fuel economy. Every extra 100 pounds of weight will reduce your fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent. Weighting your car down for extra traction during the winter? Take out those bags of softener salt soon as spring rolls around.
Check out Huddler's green car care suggestions for a variety of waterless car washing products.
FILLING UP WITH GAS
Use regular gas instead of premium. Premium gas requires about 2% more energy to make than regular gas, and it may contain higher levels of MTBE, a chemical which can contaminate our water supplies. Cars designed to take regular but filled with premium release more unburned gas into their emissions system. This interferes with their ability to prevent noxious discharge.
And if your car calls for premium? Cars less than 15 years old have on-board computers that can regulate knocking even at lower octane levels than the manufacturer recommends. Regular gas appears to burn as cleanly as premium. But if your engine begins to knock, you should increase your octane level.
AutoblogGreen, Jan. 24, 2008
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