Save the earth with these eco-friendly motoring tips.
Cars aren’t the most earth-friendly objects around. In fact, greenhouse emissions for cars and transport in general have increased over the last few decades. While there have been efforts to manufacture cars with lower emissions and with cleaner alternative energy sources such as electricity, those of us who drive vehicles propelled by fossil fuel can help Mother Earth breathe a little easier by practising greener driving techniques.
Before even taking to the roads, make sure that your car is in efficient running order. An efficient car will not only run on less fuel, it will also introduce fewer pollutants to the environment.Keep your tyres in good shape
Tyres are important, as they are the only things between your car and the road surface. Just like good running shoes, you want them to be in the best shape possible, providing comfort and support where you need them. Keep your tyres properly and evenly inflated. You do not want an unbalanced ride, which will wear your tyres out unevenly, leading to not only poor mileage but also safety issues.
Attend to maintenance
A well-serviced car is likely to be much more economical than a poorly maintained one. And remember to ensure that your car keeps up with its recommended service intervals.
Use the right engine oil
Use the recommended grade of engine oil for your car. The right oil type will have your car performing efficiently and to its best ability. There are some formulas with energy-conserving properties that contain friction-reducing additives to help save fuel — use them if they fall under your car’s recommended type.
Don’t overload your car
Some of us treat our car like a dumping ground, throwing all sorts of stuff there, whether we need them or not. All these add unnecessary load on the car, which results in more fuel consumed. Get organised and remove items that you can do without, especially heavy ones.
Cars that have roof carriers are not the most practical, even if they do add more storage area. Unless you often go on road trips, there’s really no need for it. These roof storage systems add to your car’s aerodynamics drag, much like you trying to run while carrying an extra-large, loaded backpack. So if the items can go into the boot, store them there or else do some organising.
Plan your journey
Planning ahead for your journey is a great way of not overusing your car. Driving around aimlessly not only burns more fuel and contributes to unnecessary emissions, it will also result in more wear and tear to your car. A few moments to prepare will help you to get to your destination with the least amount of fuss.
Speed within limits
Speeding to overtake a slower vehicle is perfectly fine, but speeding for fun or thrills is just plain dangerous. After all, the roads here aren’t exactly like Germany’s Autobahn. Zipping around at excessive speed benefits no one; it is dangerous to the driver and fellow motorists, and contributes more pollutants to the atmosphere. If your car has features such as speed limiters or cruise controls, use them as they help drivers maximise fuel economy and make for a more relaxing journey.
Green car tricks
- Not many motorists are aware that idling uses up fuel and actually spews the same amount of pollutants as moving cars. If you anticipate a long wait at the traffic lights, or when your vehicle is stationary, switch off your engine instead of leaving it to idle. No, starting the engine doesn’t consume more fuel than leaving it to idle, nor does it cause more wear and tear to the engine and the battery. Avoid leaving your engine to idle as the unnecessary emissions are not good for public health. In fact, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has stepped up enforcing checks and increased fines for idling-engine offences, so do take note.
- When travelling downhill, gravity will help to propel the car, so there is no need to step on the accelerator. This will help save on fuel consumption.
- Don’t over-rev in anticipation of the lights turning green, as that contributes to air pollution — not to mention being a noisy nuisance to everyone around.
These are some simple practices to aid you, your car and the environment. It doesn’t take a lot to do your part to save the earth.
Eager to learn more about eco-friendly driving techniques? Sign up for AAS Academy’s Eco-Driving Workshop to learn how to harness the latest car technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption without compromising on performance.