I am a stereotypical woman when it comes to dealing with cars. Not because I COULDN’T figure out what’s what under a hood (I do write about some pretty esoteric tech, after all) but because my head is crammed full of so much stuff that there just isn’t room for more geek-info.
Thus, buying a car earlier this year was mind-bending. So many shapes. Not enough colors! My biggest disappointment was that at the time (a long 11 months ago in green vehicle time) there were far fewer options than there are now for my green-leaning heart and my not-so-green wallet. Good news for those eco-sorts who are thinking about splurging on a new vehicle before the end of the year: The researchers at the Autobytel organization have started a new Web site called MyRide.com that has plenty of information about what it has dubbed “earthy-friendly” models. Here’s a recent top 10 list.
Let’s face it, though, few of us can really afford to swap our ride for a green one just because we want to. So the site offers 10 tips for how to “Green Your Car” and improve your fuel efficiency. They’re simple little things that I felt were worth repeating here, with the proper credit to MyRide.com. So, here they are, MyRide.com's Tips for Greening Your Ride:
1. Read the directions: Use fuel with the octane recommended by the manufacturer.
2. Pump it up: Keep the tires properly inflated.
3. Baby your baby: Change the oil regularly and have the powertrain maintained (yes, also regularly).
4. Don't be a lead foot: Accelerate smoothly instead of stepping on the gas pedal.
5. Don't be a lead foot, part 2: Keep it closer to the actual speed limit. (The researchers figure that driving at 75 miles per hour instead of 62 MPH uses about 15 percent more fuel.)
6. Lighten your load: Don’t overload the vehicle.
7. Sweat it out a little: Lay off the air conditioning
8. Be open-minded, but not completely: Crack the windows instead of keeping them wide open, especially at higher speeds.
9. Streamline: Leave the tailgate UP if you’re driving a pick-up.
10. Give it a rest: If you’re going to sit for more than a minute, turn the car off instead of idling.