Make Your Vehicle More Earth-Friendly

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Posted by funkyboy from the Automotive category at 04 May 2010 05:28:00 pm.
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(MS) -- Few social trends of the 21st century have been more popular and produced more positive results than the 'go green' movement. An effort to adopt a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, the go green movement is perhaps most prevalent in the automotive industry. More and more drivers are looking for ways to conserve fuel and even considering hybrid cars as a means to being more mindful of the environment.
But even less drastic measures can make a big and positive impact on the environment. For instance, altering driving habits and taking good care of your existing vehicle are easy ways to make a positive impact.

"Regular vehicle maintenance and better driving habits are two strategies that virtually every vehicle owner can embrace," says Martin Lawson of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair.

What's more, according to a survey of ASE-certified Master Auto Technicians, a well-maintained vehicle can last up to 50 percent longer than a poorly maintained counterpart. To help ensure your vehicle not only lasts longer but helps the environment along the way, ASE offers the following tips.

* Keep the engine running at peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent and filters and fluids should be replaced in accordance with guidelines in your vehicle's manual.

* Keep tires properly inflated and aligned to reduce the engine's effort and conserve fuel.

* Find a good technician. Ask friends for recommendations or check the reputation of a given repair shop with your local consumer group. Check out any prospective technicians' credentials.

* Have your vehicle's air conditioner serviced only by a technician qualified to handle and recycle refrigerants. ASE-certified auto technicians have passed one or more national exams in specialties such as engine performance and air conditioning. Older air conditioners contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which could be released into the atmosphere through improper service.

* Avoid gas-guzzling habits like speeding and sudden accelerations. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine, and do your best to consolidate daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving.

* Remove excess items from the vehicle, since less weight means better mileage. Remove that rooftop luggage carrier after vacations to reduce air drag.

* If you do your own repairs, properly dispose of engine fluids and batteries. Some repair facilities accept these items. If you can't find one that does, call your local government for information.
Visit www.ase.com for more seasonal car care tips and for information about the benefits of using ASE-certified technicians for auto repairs and service.
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