Ottawa - April is Earth Month in Canada and you can make a positive impact with your vehicle and save money at the same time. It doesn't matter if the car you're driving is new or old, big or small. There are preventive maintenance steps every vehicle owner can take to make sure their car is green, clean and lean this spring, summer and all year long, according to Car Care Canada.
By following some simple preventive maintenance steps, you can help protect the environment by improving fuel consumption, which in turn saves money at the pump.
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Step One: Keep it Clean
- The products that you use to clean and care for your car should be environmentally friendly. Check the labels of items such as polishing compounds, engine fluids and cleaners to make sure they are recognized as truly green.
- Do not pour antifreeze or other engine fluids into sewers, on the ground or into floor drains. Bring used engine fluids to a certified recycling location for disposal.
- If you change your own oil, be sure to properly dispose of it as well. One litre of oil can make a slick larger than a football field! One drop of oil can pollute 25 litres of water!
- Never pour used oil down the drain or into the ground. Not only is it illegal, it's also harmful to the environment.
- Changing the oil and the oil filter as recommended in the owner's manual is one of the best ways to keep the engine running trouble free. Oils carrying the label "Energy Conserving" can reduce fuel consumption by up to 2.7 per cent compared to those without the label.
A well-tuned engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel consumption and produces the lowest level of emissions. A 21st Century tune-up for modern vehicles includes the following system checks: battery, charging and starting; engine mechanical; powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks); fuel; ignition; and emissions. A proper tune-up can improve fuel consumption by an average of four per cent. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve fuel consumption by as much as 40 per cent.
Step Three: Have the spark plugs checked.
A vehicle can have four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 2 million times every 1,000 kilometres. This results in a lot of heat, electrical, and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug also causes misfiring, which wastes fuel.
|photo: Jupiter Images|