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DRIVING : The 'Green' Way to Drive a Car

March 28, 1994|ASSOCIATED PRESS

The automobile can be one of the greatest threats to clean air--but a few environmentally conscious habits can help motorists cut pollution and save money.

Driving your car the "green" way will save gasoline and prolong your car's life, write Richard Mastrangelo and E. David Kuo in Good Housekeeping.

Here's what you can do:

* Keep your car tuned. This will keep it operating as efficiently as possible, reduce fuel and oil consumption, and decrease emissions. Follow the manufacturer's service schedule.

* Don't warm up your car for more than 30 seconds. Warming up not only produces emissions but wastes fuel. Drivers once were advised to warm up a car's engine to prevent stalling. But modern fuel systems allow cars to be driven without waiting.

* Avoid jack-rabbit starts or abrupt braking. Anticipate what is going to happen while on the road. Your car will pollute less at a steady speed.

* Reduce idling time. If you drop off or pick up someone, turn off the engine while you wait. Never leave your car with the keys in the ignition and the engine idling.

* Exercise your car. If you are a city driver, stop-and-go trips will increase harmful deposits in the fuel and oil systems. To reduce this, drive the car for about half an hour at steady highway speeds.

* Back into a parking spot. Driving forward out of a spot reduces inefficient maneuvering of a cold car and cuts down on start-up emissions.

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