With all the news about VW’s diesel emission cheats and other manufacturers’ excessively high fuel emissions, drivers are well aware of the serious pollution that is being spewed out of the many vehicles on the road.
For this reason, we thought it’d be a good idea to offer some DIY Car Hacks that help reduce your carbon footprint while driving – even if you don’t drive a VW or any other diesel-emitting vehicle.
By following these easy car hacks, you’ll not only be a more eco-friendly driver, but you’ll actually save money on gas too.
We searched for some good environmentally friendly car hacks and came up with our Top 5 Eco-friendly Driving Tips and Tricks!
Cleaner Car = Cleaner Air
Having your car cleaned and serviced may not be a complete DIY kind of job, but by taking it upon yourself to head to the mechanic before the service light flicks on, it can make a huge difference in both the long term health of your car and its fuel efficiency.
The What: Service your vehicle regularly to fix any maintenance problems.
The How: Taking the initiative and getting your car inspected more often ensures that issues are identified before they become big problems that could lead to emissions of toxins from your tailpipe.
Raynard Loki of AlterNet explains that it only takes one malfunctioning part like the catalytic convertor to have the fuel emissions off balance. By keeping an eye on things under the hood, you’ll be ensuring that all is running smoothly and that there is no unnecessary pollution happening.
Loki also explains that “fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent”!
Junk in your Trunk Reduces the Funk
No, this doesn’t mean you should store your actual trash in the trunk of your car… Pretty sure that would increase the funk. But we do mean you should keep all your cargo in your trunk instead of on your roof.
The What: Use your trunk as the primary storage space.
The How: Lots of drivers think that they’re pretty crafty when they tie their suitcases or larger items onto the roof of their car. It saves space in your car, right? This may be true, but if you’re trying to be eco-friendly and promote a Go Green lifestyle, you should think twice next time you go to strap something on your roof.
The truth is that that by storing things on the top of your car, you are increasing the wind resistance against your car. This means that your car has to work that much harder to move forward and you end up using more gas. By storing items in your trunk, you reduce the resistance and you use less gas, lessening the total emissions of that awful funk!
Once again, this is a great way to conserve gas and save a few bucks here and there. It’s a win-win situation really, when you think about it.
No Idling Allowed
With fall already here and winter fast approaching, the mornings might be getting nippy depending on where you are. In order to warm up your car quickly, letting your car idle might seem like the easiest way to get the job done. This should be kept to a minimum if you’re trying to reduce your total emission waste.
The What: Avoid idling as much as possible. Or just cut it out altogether.
The How: You really don’t need to idle your car in order to warm it up. Another way to warm your car is to actually drive it.
As the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) explains, engines nowadays do not require much energy to warm them up. All you need to do is ease “into your drive and [avoid] excessive engine revving”. It won’t be long before your engine is all warmed up and ready to go.
The EDF also explains that rather than idling (for longer than 10 seconds), it is suggested to turn off your engine because it actually uses less gas to start your car back up than to sit there with your car running. Just another way to be eco-friendly AND save money on gas.
Too Much Tire Pressure is Too Much Work
Maintaining proper tire pressure is a great way to increase your gas mileage and do less damage to the environment
The What: Keep your tire pressure at the right level, not too much and not too little. Just right!
The How: Air pressure in your tires can affect the fuel efficiency of your car more than you may think. If you have too much air in your tires, this decreases the amount of rubber that hits the pavement therefore using more power and gas to drive it.
You can check what your tire pressure should be by searching for a sticker on the driver’s door. If you still can’t find it, just ask Google, they have all the answers.
Test your Pro Driving Skills
Put those driving skills to the test. Not only will you be driving correctly, you’ll also set the standard for others and most importantly, you’ll add more miles per gallon.
The What: Following the rules of the road actually works to reduce fuel emissions.
The How: Alright, so everyone speeds on occasion. But did you know that speeding leads to poor fuel economy? Bad driving traits like speeding, sudden stops, and jerky turns all play into poor fuel efficiency.
So let’s put those driving skills to use and be eco-friendly!
If there’s anything that we can do to reduce the amount of fuel we spew out while driving around – especially when there are easy car hacks like these– we might as well help the planet as much as we can.
There are tons of other fuel efficient DIY Car hacks that help the environment. These are just the ones we thought are easy enough to fit into your daily routine.
If you have any other Go-Green driving tips, please feel free to comment below!