MASTER MECHANIC: TIPS FOR DRIVING GREEN(ER)
At Master Mechanic, we get a lot of questions from drivers that want to reduce their carbon footprint, but aren’t ready to dish out for an electric vehicle just yet. Routine maintenance is a great start, but there are a few ways to make your vehicle more environmentally friendly through driving habits alone.
We caught up with a Master Mechanic to talk about how you can drive as green as possible.
Take Your Time
Many drivers hop in the car and immediately start the ignition before they’re actually ready drive. This begins generating harmful emissions while they put on their seatbelt, plug in their phone, and put their destination into the nav. Avoid starting the car until you’re ready to start driving.
An important part of conserving fuel is gradual acceleration, which means slowly pressing the gas pedal. Constantly pressing the pedal to the metal wastes gas and pollutes the environment.
The same goes for when you’re approaching an intersection with a red light or stop sign. Accelerating and then braking at the last minute is a waste of fuel. Instead, as you approach the intersection and the light turns red, take your foot off the gas to coast until it’s time to brake.
You’ve probably heard the very common myth that states that shutting down and starting your engine uses up more fuel than leaving it in idle. This simply isn’t true! In reality, restarting your car uses up less than 10 seconds worth of fuel. So, if you’re going to be stopped for longer than 20 or 30 seconds, it’s best to turn off your engine.
Cool It on the A/C
When you hop in a hot car, it’s oh-so-tempting to crank the A/C. Before you decide to do so, try putting down your windows. If it’s indeed too hot for open air alone, putting down your windows will help your car cool down more quickly and still conserve a bit of energy.
Carpool When Possible
Carpooling not only helps reduce your carbon footprint, it could help get you to your destination even quicker. Many highways in Ontario are exclusively reserved for cars with two passengers or more, so coordinating rides with a co-worker or friend could payoff in more ways than one.
Maintain Your Vehicle
A properly maintained and working car will ensure your vehicle is running as green as possible. This is true for almost all parts. For instance, properly inflated tires give your car the best fuel efficiency, which leads to fewer emissions seeping into the environment.
If you live in the city, you don’t always need to drive. Bike-share programs are becoming increasingly popular, and are a great way to try biking without committing to ownership. You could also reduce your carbon footprint by opting for public transit, even on occassion.
At Master Mechanic, we want to make sure your car is always running as efficiently as possible. If you have any questions, concerns, or think it’s time to schedule routine maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact your local Master Mechanic. We’re here to help!