Tips From ASE
This Feature Article
keeping your car in
tune and protecting the
What Is Ase Certification?
Keeping Your Vehicle in Tune with the Environment
Car care is definitely a win-win situation. Besides helping the environment, a
properly maintained and operated vehicle will run more efficiently, will be safer,
and will last longer-up to 50% longer, according to a survey of ASE-certified Master
Auto Technicians. The following tips should put you on the road to environmentally
conscious car care.
Keep your engine tuned. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much
as 30%. Follow the service schedules listed in your owner's manual. Replace filters
and fluids as recommended.
Check your tires for proper inflation. Under inflation wastes fuel-your engine has to
work harder to push the vehicle. Wheels that are out-of-line (as evidenced by
uneven tread wear or vehicle pulling) make the engine work harder, too. Properly
maintained tires will last longer, meaning fewer scrap tires have to be disposed.
Keep your air conditioner in top condition and have it serviced only by a technician
certified competent to handle/recycle refrigerants. Air conditioners contain
CFCs-gases that have been implicated in the depletion of the ozone layer. According
to the Environmental Protection Agency, almost one third of the CFCs released into
the atmosphere come from mobile air conditioners; some simply leaks out, but the
majority escapes during service and repair-so it's important to choose a qualified
Do-it-yourselfers: dispose of used motor oil, anti-freeze/coolant, tires, and old
batteries properly. Many repair facilities accept these items. Or call your local
municipal or county government for recycling sites. Never dump used oil or
anti-freeze on the ground or in open streams. Continued Below.
Observe speed limits. Mileage decreases sharply above 55 mph.
Drive gently. Avoid sudden accelerations and jerky stop-and-go's. Use
cruise-control on open highways to keep your speed as steady as possible.
Avoid excessive idling. Shut off the engine while waiting for friends and family.
Today's vehicles are designed to "warm up" fast, so forget about those five-minute
warm ups on cold winter mornings.
Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage. Store
luggage/ cargo in the trunk rather than on the roof to reduce air drag.
Plan trips. Consolidate your daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving. Try to
travel when traffic is light to avoid stop-and-go conditions. Join a car pool.
Remember, how your car runs, how you drive it, and how its fluids, old parts, and
tires are disposed of all have serious consequences on the environment.