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Five steps to a ‘greener’ car

<p>It doesn’t matter if the car you’re driving is new or old, big or small.<br /></p>

And save yourself some money, too



You can save money and the environment by keeping your car properly tuned for optimum performance.





It doesn’t matter if the car you’re driving is new or old, big or small. There are preventive maintenance steps an owner can take to make sure their car is as “green” or environmentally friendly as possible, according to the Car Care Council.





You can help protect the environment by improving gas mileage, which, in turn, saves money at the pump by following these five simple steps:





Keep your car properly tuned for optimum performance. A well-tuned engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel economy and produces the lowest level of emissions. A 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. The result can improve gas mileage by an average of four per cent. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve gas mileage by as much as 40 per cent.





Regularly check and replace dirty air filters. An air filter clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture — too much gas being burned for the amount of air — that wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing the filter can improve mileage by as much as 10 per cent.





Check the spark plugs — if they haven’t already been checked as part of the tune-up — and replace if necessary. Dirty spark plugs cause misfiring, which wastes fuel.





Maintain the cooling system. A cooling system thermostat that causes the engine to run too cold will lower the fuel efficiency of a car by as much as one or two L/100 km.





The last step toward keeping a “green” car is to properly maintain and repair your car as outlined in the council’s Car Care Guide. The guide helps you understand your car, the care it needs, when it needs it and why. For more information, visit www.carcare.org.


 
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