Saving the Environment While Driving When You Can’t Afford a Hybrid

While you might love the idea of cutting back on the number of emissions your car churns out into the atmosphere, you might not be able to afford a hybrid vehicle. While you may not have any problem covering a hybrid with quality Austin insurance, it could be the monthly car payments that give you fits. Thankfully, there are other ways to do your part to save the environment without going broke as a hybrid vehicle owner.

Remove Your Junk

Before you head out again, clean out everything that you don’t need from the trunk, backseat and passenger seat. All that extra weight is negatively impacting your overall gas mileage, which sends you back to the pump faster. There’s also the fact that your engine is working harder to handle the stress of the extra weight, which certainly isn’t doing the air any favors.

Take It Easy When Stopping and Starting

There’s no need to gun the engine as soon as the light turns green. Not only does jackrabbiting chew up your gas and release more emissions, it can also lead to accidents should you collide with drivers trying to make lights just a second after they turn red. Easing to a gradual stop rather than stomping on the brakes is better on your brakes as well as your engine. This means you should make sure you’re going the posted speed limit and pay attention to cars and traffic lights ahead of you so you have time to respond accordingly.

Keep Your Car Tuned Up

Be sure to take your car in for regular oil and air filter changes. It’s understandable to want to put off an oil change for a while, but doing so can cost you more in the long run by eating away at your fuel efficiency and belching harmful fumes into the air. The same applies to tune-ups, which allow your engine to operate more efficiently and let you get as many miles as possible out of your vehicle. Something else about regular tune-ups even when your car seems to be running fine is that mechanics can let you know if there are any minor issues with your car that should be addressed in the near future, giving you time to start saving up for those needed repairs rather than learn of them when they’re more expensive.

Pay Attention to Your Tires

Proper tire pressure is essential not only to how your car maneuvers on the road, but also how much gas it burns. You want your tires to have the optimum amount of contact with the road so there’s just the right amount of friction and resistance to get you where you need to go without your engine or tires having to work harder than necessary. In the colder months of the year, you might have to over-inflate your tires to compensate for the cold air sapping air from your tires. In any case, a tire-pressure gauge or a professional mechanic’s help is essential for making sure your tires have the right amount of pressure.

Don’t Be Afraid to Turn Your Car Off

When you’re stuck in heavy traffic that moves slower than chilled molasses in the winter, go ahead and shut your engine off. Traffic jams can seem more like you’re in a parking lot and less like you’re driving on a road, so you might as well shut the engine off like you would in a parking lot. Imagine the reduction in emissions if every vehicle on the road was turned off during traffic jams. Do your part to start a positive trend all while saving gas.

Know that driving a hybrid only does so much if you don’t practice the basics of being an environmentally-conscious driver. How you drive is much more important than what you drive.

 

Thinking of Buying a New Car? 3 Tips to Keep it in Great Shape

So you’ve decided it’s time to buy a new car? It’s kind of exciting making a big purchase but also a little overwhelming too. Making the decision to spend this much money is not something anyone does lightly. You want to be sure you are doing so sensibly and that you get the most for your money now and over the long term.

You can visit Cars.com to review cars and autos you are thinking about, to help decide which one is best for you and your family. They have a great Reviews section, where you can actually read what real car owners and leased car drivers think about the specific car models that you are considering getting. It’s kind of like talking to a friend or neighbor who has the car you like, before you go to the dealership to take a test drive. Cars.com also has a Videos section so you can see everything about the car right from the comfort of your home.

One of the first things you can do is to find an auto mechanic that you can trust. While you are going through the car shopping process, start to ask family and friends for recommendations to get a great auto mechanic. Remember that you want someone who isn’t too far from you, so that if the car has something wrong with it you don’t have to drive too for long.

When you get the car, actually sit down and read the car manual. Get to know how the features work. Most cars need an oil change every 3,000 miles but what should you know about other maintenance for your car? Avoid mishaps and confusion by learning as much about your car as possible. If you need to, bring your car and the manual to your mechanic to ask questions – before any problem arises. Because this will save an awful lot of time and hassle.

Be a safe driver at all times. Don’t speed and treat your car with extra TLC. Treating your car properly is part of good care and maintenance. You’ll be glad that you don’t overwork or overstress your car, as this can lead to damage or unnecessary repairs. Driving too fast can also make you use gas quicker and run the risk of causing a car accident, which is dangerous.

Remember that it is a lot easier to catch a repair while it is small than to ignore something and take care of it when it becomes bigger. So taking your car in if you notice something is not typical may take up a bit of time, but likely will save you time, money and a lot of hassle in the end.

Buying a car is an exciting time and you should be proud that you have made this major purchase. In a young adult’s life this is certainly a milestone event. Be safe and enjoy driving your new car!