Hybrid cars and electric vehicles aren’t for everyone.

While great for the environment, they aren’t great for everyone’s lifestyles. For the farmers and ranchers, a Prius just won’t cut it. Some need a car with some power to get them up steep roads and driveways. Others can’t afford a fancy, new car in their garage.

Whatever your reason, that’s okay. Luckily, going green(er) with your current car is a possibility. Here are a few tips for going green while keeping your vehicle.

Tips for going green with your current car

How Cars Affect the Environment

Before even hitting the road, vehicles require plenty of energy. During production, plants use copious amount of power running the machinery needed to turn steel, rubber, glass, plastics, and paints into a working, drivable car.

Once your vehicle hits the road, fuel becomes the most significant impact on the planet. From extraction to transporting to burning, your car’s need for fuel and emissions affect air quality, natural resources and more.

But, that doesn’t mean the solution is only to ride your bike to work. Driving cars is a part of life — an essential piece of the puzzle for the average American. So, what can you do to help lower your impact?

Tips for Going Green With Your Current Car

Going green doesn’t mean buying a shiny new car — a car that potentially can’t handle your lifestyle. It merely requires a few habit changes. And as a bonus, must of these changes means better fuel efficiency and less money spent on gas!

Check Your Engine and Emissions Systems

The first step, checking your emissions systems. With some states requiring emissions tests to register your vehicle (Texas included), it’s not just a going green tip — it’s a requirement.

But, it’s not just your emissions system that needs watching. Properly maintaining your fuel system by replacing filters and worn parts means a cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicle. Keeping your cooling systems leads to a more efficient engine system (and reduces the chances of overheating in the Texas summers). Replacing dirty air filters improves your car’s performance and acceleration, without using more fuel.

Keeping your car running efficiently doesn’t help the environment — it help’s your pocketbook too. Maintenace always costs less than repairs, and it’s as easy as scheduling a yearly appointment as your trusted, local auto shop.

Drive Smarter, Not Harder

Fuel efficiency and how you drive have a direct correlation with each other. Drive harder, your fuel efficiency decreases. But, operate smarter, and you get more bang for your buck (and more miles per gallon).

Here are a few “Driving Smarter” tips:

  • Stop idling, instead turn your car off.
  • Make fewer trips and combining all your errands in town together.
  • Pick a lane and use cruise control.
  • Stop with the aggressive, Toyko Drift driving maneuvers.
  • Stick to the speed limit (we’re looking at you red BMW).
  • Park in the shade and use windshield covers to keep the temperatures down while you shop.

Clean Out Your Car

A clean car is a light car, which is a more fuel-efficient car.

Has your trunk become a glorified junk drawer? Well, all that added weight is weighing you down (#puns) making your car work harder than it needs to.

Do yourself a favor, and give it a good spring cleaning in the summertime.

Change Your Oil

While oil changes should already be on your regular maintenance list, changing the type of motor oil you use should be too.

Synthetic motor oils do wonders for your car’s green footprint. They last longer, don’t require addition petroleum, and they don’t use the chemicals found in non-synthetic oils that break down at high temperatures.

*Before committing to synthetic oil check your owner’s manual and speak with an auto shop to find out which motor oils are best for your vehicle.

Drive Less

It’s the easiest thing to do for the environment — drive less.

That doesn’t mean always riding your bike; it could mean finding a buddy to carpool to work with or using public transport once a week (or once a month).

Understandably, sometimes going car-less isn’t an option. Whether needed for work or necessary for your day-to-day, cars are apart of the American lifestyle. Luckily, going green with your current vehicle is possible. From driving smarter to cleaning out your car, changes in habits not only help the environment but help you save money in fuel costs.

Have questions? Contact Northwest Auto Center of Houston at 281.894.8880.