4 Ways to make your car eco-friendly

eco-friendly careco-friendly car
eco-friendly careco-friendly car

4 Ways to make your car eco-friendly

The environment is every human being’s concern. And if you drive a car, you’re heading into the earth’s bad books. But there are ways you can stay in the green zone, so to speak. The least you can do is make your car eco-friendly and be an eco-friendly driver.

These may seem like small checks and changes but, in the long run, they make all the difference in the grand green scheme of things. And when you realise how easy and simple it is to make these changes to your car routines, encourage your friends and family to do the same. And, maybe, every once in a while, go for a walk.


Starting from the bottom

Let’s start with the four rubber things gripping your car to the road and allowing you to move. When it comes to your tyres, you need to make sure they’re inflated. The less air pressure there is in your tyres, the harder your engine has to work to keep your car moving. Meaning, more fuel is being burned and released into the air.

Whenever you’re at the petrol station and the attendant asks to check your oil and water, have them check your tyre pressure too. If you aren’t sure what your car’s tyre pressure is supposed to be, you’ll find it on the inside of the driver’s door. It’s an extra two minutes you can afford to lose for the environment’s sake. Oh, and for your safety’s sake as well. What? You thought it was safe to drive around with semi-flat tyres? Not at all.

If one, a few or all of your tyres tend to deflate rather quickly and frequently, you should take it to a tyre specialist and have them check your tyres out. You could have a slow puncture that needs to be fixed or that you need a new tyre completely.


Watch your car’s weight

For the air’s health, you need to watch your car’s weight. Overloading with bags, groceries and furniture is not a great idea. By weighing your car down, you’re forcing the engine to burn more than usual just to get it moving at 60 km/h. And while you should be doing fewer trips, it’s not always better to buckle your car from overloading.

Whatever can stay at home, leave it there. It’s not eco-friendly to keep your car weighed down. Help your car shed a few kilograms and start a weight-watchers program to stop yourself from overworking your car’s engine. Ask yourself, “do I really need to keep this heavy thing in my car?”   


Open the window

Summer, in most parts of South Africa, is dry and hot. Everyone wishes for air conditioning in their car and it can be a lifesaver in some cases. But, just because your car has air conditioning, doesn’t mean your windows aren’t available anymore.

Many vehicle’s air conditioning systems use fuel to feel cool and regulate the car’s temperature. Which means, the longer you keep it on and the more often you use it, the more petrol you’re burning and losing every month. Cape Town summers are windy and there is usually a breeze blowing air around. Open your window and let nature’s fan cool you down. Even if you alternate between the window and the AC, you’ll already start saving on fuel. And if you really have to use it (and there are those necessary days), you don’t need to have it on full blast. Chill out with the AC button and your car will be more eco-friendly.


Refrain from revving

By now you should realise, any car habit that requires more fuel to be used isn’t the eco-friendly way of doing things. And that’s because of the fossil fuels burned to create fuel and the greenhouse gases that are emitted from it. It basically comes down to being aware of the amount of fuel your car is using and how you can decrease your consumption average.

And the main culprit of excess fuel consumption is the revving of your car. You may not even be aware of the fact that you do it. But, next time you drive, take note of how you pull away after idling and how long you take to change gears. Most vehicles these days have “gear up” prompts to tell the driver it’s time to change gears based on speed and the tachometer reading (the meter in your car that shows when you’re revving in the red zone). The point is, don’t rev your car.


Some final things

Those are the main changes you can start implementing for an eco-friendlier car. Other practices include doing lift-clubs, never skipping car services and check-ups and not pushing the tank limit when filling up – just one click is enough fuel. And you’ll find used cars can be more eco-friendly than the brand-new ones. They’ve already been manufactured, they don’t all consume excessive amounts of petrol and “used” doesn’t mean “old”. You should find used cars for sale. Think of it as a “reduce and reuse” exercise, which is the slogan of all things eco-friendly.

eco-friendly car