Let’s face it: green is the new black. It’s hard to go anywhere these days without seeing evidence of the green revolution along the way. Simple steps like recycling and limiting plastic consumption can go a long way. Did you know going green can save car owners money over the life of ownership? Here's how.
Over 750,000 hybrid electric vehicles were sold in 2016 according to a recent report by The International Energy Agency (IEA). With over two million hybrid vehicles in circulation worldwide, there’s no doubt these green machines are here to stay. As technology advances and sticker prices drop, more consumers will opt for hybrid vehicles when purchasing their next car. If you’re not one of the 2 million hybrid owners, going green and saving money at the pump might be easier than you think.
Here’s a few tips and tricks to help you and your car go green without the hybrid.
Watch your lead foot. Slowing down might be the easiest green driving technique to try. It’s simple science: speed increases resistance and resistance reduces efficiency. Fueleconomy.gov estimates that speeding and over-accelerating can lower your gas mileage up to 40%. While it may be tempting to put the pedal to the floor, it will cost you. Every 5 mph above 50 mph could add up to an extra $.32 per gallon.
- Quick tip: Set your cruise control to maintain a good speed and reduce your fuel consumption in the process.
Lighten your load. Carrying extra weight in your vehicle can be a real drag. A trunk full of tools, golf clubs and other heavy items could be costing you at the pump. Additional bike racks, ski racks and cargo boxes on top of your car could be costing you up to $.40 per gallon.
- Quick tip: Leave extraneous items (and passengers) at home on your next trip.
Check your tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated can go a long way in bettering the life of your car. Most importantly, you can save gas money and prevent waste in the process. According to fueleconomy.gov, gas mileage directly correlates to tire inflation with up to .6% loss in efficiency every 1 psi below the recommendation. In addition, improperly inflated tires have a shorter life expectancy and create unnecessary waste for generations to come.
- Quick tip: Check your tire pressure while you wait at the gas pump.
Check your gas cap. Around 20% of all vehicles in the United States have faulty gas caps. These faulty caps cause approximately 147 million gallons of gasoline to vaporize into the atmosphere every year. With most gas caps under $50, changing out your old one might save you money at the pump and help you sleep better at night knowing your car isn’t leaking unnecessary gas into the atmosphere.
- Quick tip: Fill up in the early morning or late evening hours to limit your exposure to gas fumes and avoid unnecessary evaporation.
Be smart. Improper vehicle maintenance, excessive idling, and misusing the air conditioner can directly lower your efficiency and contribute to emissions problems. Staying current on regularly scheduled maintenance can save you from hassles down the road. Dirty air filters directly affect your car’s efficiency. When it comes to idling, follow this general rule: If you’re not going anywhere in the next minute, go ahead and turn off your vehicle. Running your air conditioner can reduce efficiency by as much as 25 percent. Avoid it if you can.
- Quick tip: Crack the driver’s window and rear passenger’s window to increase airflow in your car without using the A/C.
Now that you’re ready to go green, take the next step to peace of mind with a ForeverCar Vehicle Service Plan. ForeverCar helps you eliminate the hassles and costs of unexpected auto repair while getting you back to what matters most. Our Protectionators help with everything from shopping for a service plan, aiding in a roadside emergency and tailoring the claims process to your needs. When your car is fixed, just grab your keys and hit the road.