It's Easy Being "Green"

It's Easy Being "Green"

Motorists can do their part to help the environment by practicing a few 'earth-friendly' car care habits, note the experts at the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). It all comes down to timely vehicle maintenance and non-aggressive driving.

Here are specific suggestions from ASE:

  • Slow down. Speeding and hard accelerations waste gasoline. Use cruise-control on highways to maintain a steady pace. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine. Consolidate daily errands.

  • Lighten up. Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle to reduce weight.

  • Don't pollute. Dispose of used motor oil, antifreeze/coolant, and old batteries properly. Some repair facilities accept these items. Or call your local government. Keep the engine running at its peak-a misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%. Replace filters and fluids as recommended by the owner's manual.

  • Get pumped. Keep the tires properly inflated and aligned. Under-inflated tires waste fuel by forcing the vehicle's engine to work harder. Moreover, properly maintained tires last longer, saving you money and lessening the burden at landfills.

  • Know your limitations. If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, find a good technician. Ask friends for recommendations. Check the reputation of the repair shop with your local consumer group. Check out the technicians' credentials. ASE-certified professionals have passed one or more national exams in specialties such as engine performance and air conditioning.

  • Don't try this at home. Your car's air conditioner should be serviced only by a technician certified to handle and recycle refrigerants. The air conditioners in older vehicles contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which can be released into the atmosphere through improper service.

  • Instant karma. In addition to helping the environment, routine maintenance will help your vehicle last longer, get better gas mileage, and command a higher resale price. Pretty cool.

For ASE’ Glove Box Tips, click here.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was founded in 1972 as a non-profit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact area(s) of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.