Paolo shares some tips to keep your car running green.
Our cars are probably one of the modern marvels that contribute to the majority of pollution in our atmosphere. While alternatives to traditional fossil fuel-powered vehicles are already abound, it’ll probably take some time before they become readily and economically available. Meanwhile, here are some tips you can use to still be able to use your car and help nature at the same time!
Green Car Care Tip #1: Change your Air Filter every 5,000 kilometers.
Our cars need air to be able to ignite the fuel inside its engine. Of course, the cleaner the air that enters the engine, the more efficient your car burns the fuel that mixes with it. Make sure to change your air filters every 5,000kms or so; this will ensure the optimal air quality needed to efficiently burn fuel with minimal waste.
Green Car Care Tip #2: Always check your tire pressure.
You might be aware that our cars are essentially riding on air—our tires provide a smooth ride due to the fact that it’s made out of rubber, which in turn is inflated with air. Now, every car comes with a recommended tire pressure, which can be seen on the inside panel of the driver’s door. Running with your tire pressure lower than the recommended may reduce fuel efficiency and also make your ride uncomfortable since softer tires have higher rolling resistance—it makes the engine work harder to push the car forward.
Green Car Care Tip #3: Use the right kind of fuel.
Different cars have different requirements of fuel. It’s also a given that most of the fuelling stations we go to carry different variants, such as regular unleaded, premium unleaded and high-octane unleaded gasoline, and we’re led to believe that higher-octane fuel give us more performance than regular ones. But the thing is each car has a recommended octane rating. It can be found on the inside panel of your fuel door, and whatever octane rating indicated will make your car utilize fuel more efficiently, at the same time make sure that your engine remains clean from unburned fuel residue.
Green Car Care Tip #4: Keep your car running as light as possible.
We always chuck in stuff we “need” into our car. Sometimes, we forget to remove them once we don’t need them anymore. Things like extra hardware, sports bags and toolboxes get left in the trunk or under seats, and believe it or not, this buildup of unneeded weight makes our car work more to move us around. Keep your tools to a minimum and just leave the essentials in, such as the car jacks and wrenches. Keeping your car as light as possible will help keep your engine running optimally.
Green Car Care Tip #5: Shut off your engine instead.
We almost make it a habit to pull over if we see a fruit stand on the way home from the province, or when we need to use the ATM. Most of the time, we leave our cars idling while we wait. But it’s better to turn off the car instead when idling for more than a minute—it takes more fuel to stay idling for one minute than it takes to turn the engine off and turning it on after we’re done.
Green Car Care Tip #6: Be mindful of your driving behaviour.
Aggressive stop-and-go behaviour, especially in typical Manila rush-hour traffic, is one of the major reasons of decreased fuel economy. That’s why in city driving, you should make sure to be careful when driving, specifically being careful when you accelerate and brake. Gradually reduce your speed when approaching intersections, and gently accelerate when pulling away from a stoplight.
In highway driving, try using the cruise control function for automatic vehicles, and the highest drive gear on manual ones. This will make your car use the least amount of fuel possible while maintaining a proper highway speed.
Green Car Care Tip #7: Fill ‘er up in the morning!
Mornings are the best time to have a fill. Not only do oil companies usually lower their prices during early mornings, but you actually get a bit more fuel when refuelling during the morning compared to the afternoon. This is because fuel is denser during early morning, and pumps measure volume, and not density.
These are some tips you can use to make sure your car is running as eco-friendly as possible. But of course, the standard things apply: carpool as much as possible, walk/take a public vehicle when travelling short distances, and observe traffic rules and regulations.