As global citizens, we have a responsibility to protect our planet for future generations, and one of the ways we can do so is by minimizing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
One of the largest contributors to GHG emissions in the developed world is the burning of gasoline to power our vehicles. In fact, the average light-duty vehicle produces roughly three times its weight in carbon dioxide (CO2) every year. And if poorly driven and maintained, it can generate even more CO2.
According to Environment Canada, passenger cars and light-duty trucks produce 13% of all CO2 emissions in Canada. Recognizing this, vehicle manufacturers are forever coming up with new ways to make our vehicles more efficient, but these technological advancements can only do so much. As car owners, we too must work to reduce our carbon footprint by properly maintaining our vehicles.
Here are a few things you can do to reduce your GHG emissions, and save yourself some money in the long run by cutting back on your fuel consumption.
- Poorly inflated tires can increase your fuel consumption by up to 4%, with each 5% of under-inflation (approximately 14 kPa or 2 psi) translating to a 1% increase in fuel consumption. Every year, improper tire maintenance results in the release of 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 into the environment and costs Canadians almost 643 million litres of fuel. Today that amounts to more than $700 million a year in wasted fuel!
- Worn out brakes don’t tend to release properly when you remove your foot from the pedal, which forces your vehicle to work harder when accelerating and to burn more fuel. Therefore, a good way to reduce your fuel consumption and your GHG emissions is to keep your brakes in good working order and to replace them when they are too worn.
- Don’t wait for failure; replace your oxygen sensor as normal preventative maintenance! Fresh oxygen sensors can improve fuel economy by as much as 10-15%. They also reduce GHG emissions, reduce potentially costly damage to the catalytic converter, and ensure optimal engine performance.
- Check to ensure that you are using the correct type of motor oil for your vehicle. Using recommended motor oil can save you 1-2% on fuel, or nearly $100/year, and reduce GHG emissions.
Keep in mind that a poorly maintained vehicle can increase fuel consumption by up to 15% and GHG emissions by even more. So today, show your commitment to keeping our air clean and our world green by taking your vehicle in to a licensed technician for a tune-up!