Environment

Better Driving Habits Help Family Finances and the Environment

According to the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), motorists can help the environment and their own finances by incorporating a few good practices. Regular vehicle maintenance and better driving habits are two simple ways any car owner can go “green” — both for the environment and one’s own wallet.

Here are a few specific, easy-to-implement tips from ASE:

Green Your Vehicle Routine

The Car Care Council suggests you “green your routine” when it comes to your car and offers five ways you and your vehicle can help protect the environment and save at the pump.

“Basic vehicle maintenance goes a long way toward protecting the environment, and it can keep more ‘green’ in your wallet through better fuel economy,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Vehicle owners who do their own maintenance should remember to recycle or properly dispose of fluids and other vehicle components, including used motor oil, tires and batteries.”

Heat, Not Cold, Shortens Battery Life

Here’s a hot tip about car batteries: Warm weather is the time for major car-battery problems. Heat, not cold, shortens battery life, says the Car Care Council. The average life of a battery is three and a half years, and even shorter in warmer climates.

Protect Your Children Against Breathing In Dirty Air…While Driving

Though air pollution continues to be a threat to public health, it appears to be even more so to the health of our children.

According to the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report for 2012, “Children’s lungs are still developing until they reach maturity” and, therefore, are potentially more susceptible to the ill effects of pollution than that of adults (http://www.stateoftheair.org/2012/key-findings/2008-2010/people-at-risk.html). 

Is Your Vehicle Safe for Memorial Day Travel?

With the Memorial Day Holiday weekend upon us and the summer vacation season fast approaching; there is no better time to “Be Car Care Aware” about your vehicle. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 13,000 Americans are killed between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. A portion of these deaths can be directly attributed to unperformed vehicle maintenance as each year neglected maintenance leads to over 2,600 deaths, nearly 100,000 disabling injuries and more than $2 billion in lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.

Get the Lead Out for a Greener Ride

Four small pieces of lead may not seem like a big deal. Each wheel on your car likely has a little bar of lead on its rim, in the form of a wheel weight. But picture the magnitude of vehicles on U.S. roads and you see quickly how all that lead adds up to a significant problem.

For decades, wheel weights have largely consisted of chunks of lead clamped to the wheel rim. Why lead? Because it is cheap and heavy, allowing the use of relatively small weights to balance wheels. However, the toxic metal can cause brain damage and other nervous-system disorders in people.

Solving The "Synthetic" Dilemma - Do Synthetic Oils Require A Special Filter?

Synthetic oils are promoted by manufacturers of motor oils as having longer life. In fact, makers of many newer cars are now specifying that synthetic oils be used, and many more car owners are opting to use synthetic oil in their cars and SUVs. Yet, when it’s time to change the oil, many car owners are unsure as to whether they need a special oil filter with synthetic oils.

Your Car’s A/C System and the Environment

Few motorists know that the air conditioner in their vehicle has been a focus of worldwide environmental concerns and international efforts to address those concerns for several decades, or that they can play a major role in protecting the environment through their choices. The same refrigerant, CFC-12 or R-12, was used in mobile air conditioning for more than 50 years, through the mid-‘90s. Inexpensive and thought to be environmentally benign, R-12 refrigerant was routinely released to the atmosphere through leaking systems or simply vented prior to system service and repair.

Checking Brakes Frequently Can Save Money and May Save Lives

When it comes to vehicle safety, the brakes top the list of systems that need to be routinely inspected and repaired immediately should motorists suspect any problems. According to the Car Care Council, a properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle operation and control under a variety of conditions. However, many people are unaware of the signs and symptoms that their brake system may need maintenance or repair.

Breathe Easier With Fresh Cabin Air Filters In Your Car

If you are driving a vehicle with cabin air filters you are in luck, especially if you reside in a metropolitan area where air pollution levels are high or if you suffer from a respiratory condition such as asthma or seasonal allergies.  

Cabin air filters capture potentially harmful particulates so they are not recycled into the passenger compartment and compromise the driving comfort of the people in the vehicle.  

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