Easy Ways to be a Responsible Driver and Reduce Carbon Footprint

Minit-Tune & Brake| Thursday, April 05, 2018

Studies show that transportation is one of the largest sources of air pollution in Canada. In a bid to protect the environment, the federal government has introduced the most stringent air pollutant emissions standards for new cars, vans, SUVs and trucks. It is hoped that by 2030, new vehicles will have 80% lower smog pollutant emissions when compared to the current standards.

A Pembina Institute report states that the average Canadian vehicle emits around 4.6 tons of CO2e annually. But you can make a difference there. Choosing vehicles with the best efficiency, driving smarter and lesser, as well as timely auto repair can reduce environmental impact significantly. Below are simple ways you can minimize carbon footprint, starting today.

7 Tips to Drive Smarter and Increase Fuel-Efficiency

  1. Use alternatives when possible: To travel short distances, consider walking, cycling or using public transport. Car-pooling with colleagues and friends or using ride-sharing services are other great ways to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
  2. Choose fuel-efficient vehicles: In addition to lowering environmental pollution and gas mileage, buying a fuel-efficient car may also reduce your auto insurance rates. Check National Resources Canada’s Auto Smart ratingsbefore making a purchase. According to NRCan, features like aluminum wheels, block heaters and removable roof racks contribute significantly to fuel efficiency.
  3. Check tire pressure every 15 days: Properly inflated tires improve your gas mileage to a great extent. Experts say that for every pound of pressure your tires are underinflated, you lose up to three per cent fuel efficiency. Under or over inflation also reduces tire life.
  4. Drive efficiently: Harsh acceleration and braking can increase fuel consumption by up to 30% as well as reduce vehicle lifespan. Accelerate slowly and keep a good distance from the car in front to avoid unnecessary braking. To further improve fuel efficiency, avoid carrying unnecessary weight in the trunk. Driving with the windows closed reduces the drag on the vehicle. Avoid turning on air conditioning when possible to cut down on unnecessary fuel usage.
  5. Plan ahead: Combine errands to reduce the number of trips. Plan your journey with a map on hand or keep a GPS to avoid getting lost and wasting fuel. Use available phone apps to avoid getting stuck in traffic. This will help reduce congestion and consequently the CO2 pollution in these areas.
  6. Avoid idling: Experts say 30 seconds is all the car engine needs to warm up. Idling increases carbon emissions which are harmful to the environment. (Unattended vehicles with keys in the ignition also encourage auto theft.) Research suggests that switching the engine off when you are likely to be stationary for more than 2 minutes, is good for the environment as well as your pocket.
  7. Service your vehicle regularly: Tune-ups improve performance and fuel economy while reducing environmental pollution. Follow the manufacturer’s service schedule and pay attention to indicators that pop up on your dashboard. Smart maintenance includes regular checking, changing and topping up oil and transmission fluid. The same goes for replacing air filters and spark plugs. Always use quality fuels and motor oils recommended by your manufacturer or vehicle service centre.

Ready to Service Your Vehicle? Bring it In for Auto Repairs in British Columbia

Maintaining your vehicle properly is a critical way to reduce environmental pollution. Having it regularly serviced limits emissions as well as optimizes gas mileage, service life and resale value.

The team at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres will help you drive clean. From maintenance tune-ups to steering, suspension and engine repairs, we offer customized services for worry-free driving. Most of our repairs carry a one year or 15,000-kilometer parts and labour warranty. Some conditions do apply.

To have your vehicle serviced, find an auto repair shop near you today. For questions about auto repairs in B.C. or to learn more about limiting emissions, contact one of our centres in your area.

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