Eight easy ways you can reduce your vehicle emissions

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National Clean Air Day takes place next week but how can you reduce emissions if you are a driver?

The awareness day takes place on Thursday, June 20, and aims to improve public understanding of the possible dangers.

Vehicles are a major cause for pollution and contribute to respiratory problems and other serious illnesses among people.

Breakdown provider Green Flag has released a number of tips to help limit the negative impact on the environment.

Simon Henrick at Green Flag said: “It’s important for vehicle users to be aware of the harmful effects our vehicles can have, especially as the number of vehicles on the road increases, particularly within our already-congested metropolitan areas.

“Green Flag is committed to helping drivers on roads across the nation, and sharing information and advice about the impact of vehicles on the environment is an important aspect of this objective.

“The easiest way to reduce emissions is to limit your driving to only when it’s essential.”

Here are eight ways you can help:

1. Plan your trip

Make sure that all aspects of your trip have been researched and think about shorter trips.

To drive more fuel efficiently, complete all your errands in the same round trip. This will reduce your overall emissions impact compared with pursuing several shorter trips requiring cold starts.

Also, consider car sharing; four people in one car is better than one person in four separate cars.

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2. Check your tyres

If their air pressure is too low, the engine will have to work harder to compensate for the added friction, increasing exhaust emissions.

Tyres continually lose pressure, so make sure to check them at least once a fortnight to ensure they meet the required level.

3. Ensure you check your car

Clean engine oil is vital to the longevity and performance of your vehicle. A lubricated engine is able to perform more efficiently, lowering your fuel consumption and reducing your emissions.

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4. Accelerate more smoothly

To ensure you are driving with optimal fuel efficiency, gradually build and reduce your speed wherever possible. You’ll keep a full tank of petrol for longer, and lower your vehicle’s emissions.

5. Limit the use of your air conditioning and heater

The air conditioning unit and heater require input from your engine, thus increasing your vehicle’s emissions. To limit emissions, run your air conditioning for two thirds of your journey but switch it off for the last third of your journey. The system will recirculate cool air despite being turned off.

6. Reduce the idle time of your engine

You can reduce your overall emissions by switching your engine off completely if you’re going to be stationary for 10 seconds or more. If your engine is warm, the start cost in fuel will be less than simply sitting with the engine running. If your car has a stop-start system, ensure it is enabled.

7. Consider the aerodynamics of your car

Don’t carry any excess weight within the vehicle as this will impact its aerodynamics, dramatically raising your vehicle’s drag.

Check you only open your windows when absolutely necessary; it’s more fuel efficient to run your air conditioning than to suffer the added vehicle drag.

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8. Consider the age of the vehicle you are driving

Older vehicles, especially diesels, produce significant particulate emissions per mile.

Ensuring your new vehicle is economical will both reduce your weekly fuel expenses, and lower your overall exhaust emissions

More information could be found at http://www.greenflag.com

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