Top Tips for environmentally friendly driving

28 May 2008

Driving in an eco-friendly manner can help reduce emissions, and also, in these times of high fuel prices, reduce your costs. Obviously changing to a high-mpg, low emissions vehicle will make a great difference, but most people do not have that option, and have to stick with their existing car. Here are some top tips to help the environment while driving.

Service your car at least every year.  Get the engine tuned, the wheels aligned and catalytic converter checked.

Make sure that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure.  Under inflation by 7 psi wastes half a gallon of fuel in every tank, so it's worth inflating to the manufacturer's specifications.

Avoid overfilling the tank when refuelling as spilled petrol evaporates and releases harmful gases.

Take off roof racks and trailers if they're not needed.

Avoid short journeys – walk or cycle them instead.  61% of journeys are under 2 miles and arguably a waste of fuel.

Drive smoothly – pulling away too fast uses 60% more fuel.

Don't be a boy racer.  Driving at 70mph can use up to 30% more petrol than driving at 50mph.

Watch the road and traffic ahead to avoid sharp braking - it just throws away energy and causes increased wear on your brakes.

Change gear between 1,500 and 2,500 rpm – this can also save up to 30% of fuel.

When driving at higher speeds, keep your windows and sunroof shut and open the air vents instead.

Switch your engine off when in stationary traffic.  You use more fuel with the engine idling for 45 seconds than if you switched off and restarted 45 seconds later.

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