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Road Today - - Bollywood Today -

But you can re­duce your ve­hi­cle’s im­pact and save a bun­dle just by mak­ing some sur­pris­ingly small choices. Here are seven easy changes you can make to your car habits, from deal­er­ship to drive­way, to put some green back in your pocket:

1. Choose the most fuel-ef­fi­cient model for your needs.

Those gas-guz­zlers on TV may have tempt­ingly low prices, but do some re­search and keep your needs in mind be­fore you buy. Over the life­time of a ve­hi­cle, fuel costs can add up dra­mat­i­cally. Pick­ing a com­pact or mid-size car over a SUV can put up to $7,500 back in your pocket over 200,000 kilo­me­tres, and pre­vent tons of green­house gas emis­sions.

2. Look for a model with idle stop-start.

Ve­hi­cles with ide stop-start tech­nol­ogy turn off their en­gines au­to­mat­i­cally when idling and while de­cel­er­at­ing at low speeds. The sys­tem works seam­lessly, so you won’t even no­tice any dif­fer­ence be­hind the wheel — just at the pump. 3. Drive smart. Ag­gres­sive ac­cel­er­a­tion wastes fuel, so don’t floor the gas pedal tak­ing off from a red light. Plan your driv­ing and look ahead at traf­fic. If you keep a safe dis­tance be­tween your ve­hi­cle and the one ahead, you can avoid sud­den brak­ing. Avoid driv­ing in peak traf­fic pe­ri­ods if you can help it. And re­mem­ber that driv­ing at 120 km/h burns about 20 per­cent more fuel than driv­ing at 100 km/h. On flat high­ways, use cruise con­trol to keep a steady speed.

4. Keep an eye on tire pres­sure.

Driv­ing with tires un­der-in­flated by just 8 psi can re­duce the life of your tires by more than 10,000 km and in­crease the ve­hi­cle’s fuel con­sump­tion by up to 4 per­cent. Set a sched­ule for your­self to mea­sure your tire pres­sure monthly, and add ex­tra checks dur­ing sea­sonal changes. 5. Avoid idling. If you’re go­ing to be stopped for more than a minute — ex­cept in traf­fic — turn the en­gine off. From a cold start, even in the win­ter, you need only 15 to 30 sec­onds of idling be­fore be­gin­ning to drive — just make sure the win­dows are clear. The best way to warm up the car is to drive it. 6. Re­fuel right. At the pump, avoid over­fill­ing and spills, which cause sur­face con­tam­i­na­tion and re­lease harm­ful chem­i­cals when the spilled gas evap­o­rates.

7. Check out a free on­line eco­driv­ing course.

When, where and how you drive in­flu­ences your ve­hi­cle’s fuel con­sump­tion and emis­sions. Eco­driv­ing On­line is a quick course that will show both new and ex­pe­ri­enced driv­ers how to use less fuel by driv­ing in a fu­el­ef­fi­cient man­ner. The tech­niques you’ll learn can not only save you hun­dreds of dol­lars in fuel each year but also im­prove road safety and pre­vent un­nec­es­sary wear on your ve­hi­cle. Ac­cess the free course at www.eco­drivin­gonline.ca/home. htm.

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