SmartWay Certified Vehicles
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Buy and Drive Smart
Many of us choose a car, SUV, or pickup because of our lifestyle. It's important to choose wisely, because that vehicle is going to be what takes you to school, to work, or out shopping. Most importantly, you'll use it to transport your most precious cargo - you, your family, and your friends.
At the same time our vehicles are a major source of emissions that contribute to climate change and air pollution. Fortunately, there are many ways you can reduce the emissions that your vehicle generates - and save money at the same time!
Here are some tips and suggestions that will help reduce the impact your vehicle has on the environment:
Use our Green Vehicle Guide as a resource when you select your next car, SUV or light truck. The Green Vehicle Guide provides air pollution and greenhouse gas scores for all light-duty vehicles.
The higher the scores, the better it is for the environment. Compare the scores of different vehicles, or just look for SmartWay certification vehicles to find superior environmental performers.
You may be surprised to find that even if you need a larger vehicle, you may have cleaner choices. Also, the better the fuel economy, the more money you'll save at the pump.
- Be aware of your speed - obeying highway speed limits can save fuel, as well as prevent pollution.
- Avoid rapid accelerations and braking, which burn more fuel.
- Use cruise control and overdrive gears.
- When you aren't in traffic, turn off the engine rather than idle for more than 30 seconds.
- Remove excess weight from your trunk, and if you have a removable roof rack and aren't using it, take it off.
Take care of your vehicle
- Your vehicle is designed to perform best when maintained according to the instructions found in the owner's manual. A poorly maintained vehicle can pollute more and be less fuel-efficient than one that's well maintained. If the "Service Engine Soon" light comes on, you may have an emissions problem, so have your vehicle checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.
- Keep your tires properly inflated: low tire pressure reduces fuel economy.
- Whenever possible, combine activities and errands into one trip.
- Take advantage of public transportation and carpooling.
- Bicycling or walking can be suitable (and healthy) transportation alternatives.
- Gas fumes are harmful to you and the environment. Topping off your tank beyond the automatic shutoff point will cause fuel spills and emit more toxic fumes into the air.
- In very hot weather try to refuel early in the cooler morning or late evening hours to limit your exposure to fumes.
- If you live in an area that has Ozone Action Days, try to avoid filling up on those days.
Use Renewable Fuels
- Visit our Fuel Options page to learn what the options are and where there are alternative fueling stations near you.