Cars, trucks, motorcycles; the pollution they cause is no secret, and yet their numbers keep growing. Anyone who is concerned about the environment will be aware of the effect of petrol and diesel engine exhaust fumes and the harmful gases they emit, but we are so dependent on our motor vehicles to get us where we need to be, it can be hard to see how things will change.
Governments all over the world are imposing stricter limits on new car emissions, and the motor industry is heavily invested in electric and hybrid car production. This is all well and good if you have the money to afford a new, hi-tech car, but for many people the cost of greener vehicles is prohibitive. Over time, what are new cars now will become the used cars of tomorrow, and as their value decreases they will start to be more affordable for the less well off.
Making your used car greener
If you have an older car that runs on petrol or diesel, you could explore the possibility of having it converted to run on LPG. The conversion is a straightforward operation, and you could recoup the cost from the savings you make on buying cheaper fuel, but this will depend on your mileage and the cost of LPG where you live. Another idea is the wheel hub motor, which works by installing a motor into the wheel of the car to provide power. It’s taken a few years to get from development into production and is still in its infancy, but is worth investigating as it does reduce fuel consumption.
If you want to improve the fuel consumption and emissions rate of your car but don’t have the cash to get it converted, the next best thing is to look at what else you can do to improve your car’s performance. Use a better grade of oil, preferably a synthetic one to help engine efficiency. You can get oils with energy saving compounds too that are approved by the American Petroleum Institute. Keep spark plugs, and filters maintained and replaced regularly, and if possible upgrade to high-flow filters. Make sure your brakes are working properly and upgrade to better quality brakes when you are able. Have a look at auto service prices to get an idea of cost. Check that your engine’s oxygen sensor is working properly, as it can reduce your mileage per gallon if it’s not; and if you can, invest in a new exhaust and a catalytic converter.
Regularly checking tire pressures will ensure you are driving on correctly inflated tires, which optimizes their performance. Reduce unnecessary weight by only carrying the essentials you need for your trip, rather than leaving anything in the car – the more the car weighs, the more fuel it will need to consume. Have the car serviced regularly too. If you adopt all these measures, you should see a significant reduction in your fuel consumption, and therefore the levels of exhaust fume your car is emitting.