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The Top 10 Sustainable Vehicle Tips
Women With Wheels
by Susan Frissell
2003-04-23

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Over the years, we've all read lots and lots of information regarding what we need to do to keep our vehicles in 100 percent optimum operating condition. Today's automobiles, however, require less maintenance than in years past, but that doesn't mean we can ignore recommended maintenance schedules and early warning signs.

Paying attention to our own vehicles translates into a cleaner environment and doing our part to keep things neat and clean, and safe for humans and animals.

You've heard 'You are what you eat.' Extending who you are to your vehicle usually brings up style issues like Corvettes or Beetles ( 'You are what you drive' ) . Tying together environmental sustainability, corporate sustainability and personal sustainability as it applies to the automobile can affect how you manage your vehicle.

1. When you purchase a vehicle, buy applying sustainability consciously in each aspect of your purchase process. Consider hybrids, fuel efficiency, maintenance records of a certain model and finance that assures your personal financial sustainability.

2. Conserve fuel by coasting toward turns, stop signs and red lights, rather than applying the brakes. Anticipate. Stay within speed limits. A larger concern here is time. If you don't have time to add coasting to your trips, learn to leave ahead of schedule.

3. Change your automobile's oil, all filters, and spark plugs at recommended intervals. Use the 6,000 to 7,000-mile rule for oil changes.

4. Use energy conserving oil.

5. Use only biodegradable and CFC-free cleaning solutions on your vehicle's interior and exterior.

6. Check fluid levels regularly. Transmission fluid overfilling can reduce fuel economy.

7. If you change your vehicle's oil and filter, remember to coat the new filter gasket ring with a little new oil to ensure a snug fit.

8. Recycle used engine oil and filters. If you're not sure where to recycle used oil, call 1-800-CLEANUP, or visit the Web site at 1800cleanup.org .

9. Leaks! Repair any fluid leaks quickly. Drips of oil on your driveway also drip wherever you go. You might lose engine compression ( reducing efficiency ) if you have an engine gasket leak.

10. Make it acceptable in your circle of influence to talk about sustainability.

Copyright 2003. Susan Frissell. Women With Wheels. All Rights Reserved.


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