Maintain your vehicle in environmentally conscious manner

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 4:37 PM | Leave Comment

Your Owner’s Manual provides you with a detailed explanation of your vehicle and its features. Read it first. The following, however, are brief descriptions of ways you can maintain your vehicle in an environmentally conscious manner.

Vehicle maintenance tips

Change oil and oil filter, air filter, fuel filter, and spark plugs at intervals recommended by your vehicle manufacturer and help it run efficiently.

For all the following tips, see your Owner’s Manual for specific recommendations. To replace a part, always follow its manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Use of oil rated as “Energy Conserving” or “Energy Conserving II,” is recommended.

  • Maintain all fluid levels – engine oil, transmission fluid, engine coolant, power steering and brake fluids – to maintain peak efficiency. Have any fluid leaks repaired as soon as they are detected to protect the environment.

  • Recycle used engine oil and filters, or have service performed at a facility that does so. Old motor oil can be re-used for industrial lubricants, heating oil, and even – I heard – to make concrete.

  • When changing your engine oil, lightly coat the new filter’s gasket with some clean oil to prevent the gasket from deforming as you tighten the filter. Resist the temptation to over tighten the filter, which may distort the gasket and the filter base and may cause a leak. Always follow the filter maker’s recommendation for tightening – typically only hand tighten.

  • Take care when checking the fluid level in your automatic transmission. As you drive, the fluid actually expands as the transmission gets hot. If you overfill the transmission to the dipstick mark when it’s cold, the fluid may overflow when it heats up. Overfilling can cause a reduction in fuel economy, overheating, and even transmission damage.

  • If engine coolant – frequently known as antifreeze – is accidentally spilled, mop up any spillage immediately. The major component in this fluid, ethylene glycol, is harmless to handle but toxic when ingested. Store any used or new coolant in sealed containers out of reach of children and pets. Never ever pour used antifreeze down a drain or sewer. It can be recycled, so take it to a responsible recycling center.

  • If your gas cap has been lost, don’t replace it permanently with just any cap that fits. The gas cap is an important component in the evaporative fuel emissions control system, and the cap the fits the threads may or may not have the right pressure-relief valve or seals.

  • Use CFC-free refrigerant (R-134a) in your vehicle air conditioning system. If you need to service your air conditioning system, make sure that only the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended R-134a is used and the old refrigerant is recycled. Have your service technician also check for leaks, and have leaks repaired.

  • If possible, use only biodegradable and CFC-free cleaning solutions on the vehicle’s interior and exterior.

In a Nutshell
If you follow these tips, you will not only be correctly maintaining your vehicle but you will be protecting our fragile earth as well. Please do you part to preserve our natural treasures for generations to come.

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