by Pat Goss
Alternate fuel vehicles are not practical for everyone yet. So what can you do to make your current vehicle more environmentally friendly?
Well, one of the most important things is tire pressure. Now it’s not the tire pressure that’s listed on the side of the tire, though. Proper pressure will be listed on a decal that’s usually inside the driver’s door, right down there, sometimes in the glove box, sometimes in the console, and sometimes on the back of the fuel filler door. So, tire pressure. The other thing is don’t over-service your car.
If you do mostly highway driving, you don’t have to change your oil as frequently. So that means if you’re doing it like everybody else does and you do highway driving, well you could be doubling the amount of used oil that you’re putting into the environment. That’s not good and it doesn’t benefit your car at all.
Air filters, something else that is critical as far as fuel economy and emissions go. Check them regularly. The air filters must be kept clean, and by all means don’t let them go until they’re as bad as this one. That’s way beyond anything that’s reasonable.
Spark plugs, spark plugs have a big effect on emissions and performance and fuel economy. Now I know your owner’s manual probably says you don’t have to change them for 100,000 miles, but check them about every 30,000 miles because certain types of driving can make them fail early. Next is the EGR system, exhaust gas re-circulation. Now this system has a huge impact on the oxides of nitrogen that come out the tailpipe of the car. So the EGR system should be checked and cleaned periodically, sometimes as frequently as once a year.
And here’s something else: PCV, positive crankcase ventilation. Well, the PCV valve needs to be replaced once every year to keep the emissions within level and to protect the engine in your car. But don’t just replace the valve. Have the entire PCV system, all of the plumbing and everything that goes with that valve, checked at the same time. You do all of this, and you will definitely be driving an environmentally-friendlier car.
If you have a question or comment, write to me. The address is: MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.