It is Easy Being Green


It IS Easy Being Green

Michigan is the only state in the continental United States identifiable from space. The lush forests and shining lakes make our state a gem, and Heidebreicht Chevrolet knows you’d like to keep it that way. Visitors to our Washington, Michigan showroom often ask for tips on how to enjoy their Chevys in an environmentally friendly manner. (It doesn’t hurt that being green saves dollars at the pump, either.) Whatever your reason for trying to be economical, we’re happy to share our “driving green” advice. 

First, make sure your car is in good repair. Getting regular service and keeping your air filter clean helps you burn less fuel. Less fuel burned equals less pollution released into the air. Measure the air pressure in your tires while you’re at it, since most Americans are unknowingly driving on underinflated tires. In fact, if everyone inflated their tires to the right pressure we could use around two billion less gallons of gas every year! Check your owner’s manual or the panel inside the driver’s side door for the optimal air pressure for your tires.

Next, clear out your car! So many of us are driving around with sports equipment, bike racks, old gym bags, and even leftover rock salt in our trunks. This is all dead weight our engine has to carry around. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, every one hundred pounds your car holds makes it lose 2% in fuel economy. That really adds up, so go through your car and pull out everything you don’t actually need to carry.

You can also increase your fuel economy with thoughtful driving habits. The most helpful is to avoid speeding. The majority of cars run best at 60 miles per hour, with every five mph over giving a hefty 6% hit to your fuel efficiency. Slow down, and try not to ride your brakes. Watching traffic ahead will give you more warning for stops, letting you coast to a halt instead of slamming on the brakes at the last moment. Hard braking and accelerating habits diminish your vehicle’s efficiency by a whopping 33%.

One European practice that saves gas is to avoid idling. Most places overseas, where gas is more expensive, idling is considered as rude as picking your nose. When you sit with the engine running for 20 seconds you release more CO2 than if you’d stopped and restarted the car. Instead of waiting at a light with your foot on the brake, slip your car into neutral. When you get into the habit of shifting it won’t add any time to your commute, and it will save you money. This has the advantage of giving you a moment to stretch out your foot if you’ve been driving for a while.

If you are more dedicated to protecting the environment- or you like high tech gadgets- take a look at the new generation of electric or hybrid vehicles. You don’t have to sacrifice size or style when buying a green vehicle. For example, our 2015 Equinox can be configured to make as much as 63.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the driver while running on eco-friendly flex-fuel. The Silverado, a tough cookie with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of over 7000 pounds, also uses flex-fuel.

You could choose to go entirely electric and choose a Volt. The Chevy Volt model is our stylish, socially-conscious favorite for green vehicles. According to Kelly Blue Book, it also has one of the highest resale ratings of electric cars.

Still have questions? Come visit our maintenance staff to ensure your vehicle is a green as possible.

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