Auto Advice & Tips


The Best Fuel Efficient Hybrids on the Road

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Want to invest in a new, fuel-sipping car but don't know which to choose? Consumer Reports recent run-down of fuel efficient rides was overrun with hybrid vehicles, which typically provide better fuel economy than conventional cars, but often come along with a heftier pricetag. 

However, David Champion, Senior Director ofConsumer Reports Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Conn. points out that the timely fact that "as gas prices rise, the pay-back time gets shorter."

Which hybrids made it through the magazine's real-life-testing for performance, reliability and safety to be recommended as the best in their class? 

The Toyota Prius IV hybrid sedan, priced at $24,750 and offering 44 mpg, was ranked the "Best Family Car." Coming in at $32,575 and offering 26 mpg is the "Best Small SUV," the Ford Escape Hybrid, offering roomy comfort for the adventuresome set. Lastly, for luxe driving, the Lexus HS 250h hybrid garners 31 mpg and retails for $38,939.

Are these alternative engine options on your test-drive list? If not, which hybrid is your favorite and why? 


Save Fuel with Tires in Tip-Top Shape

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77005428 (1) Did you know that if your tires aren't kept at the recommended pressure you could be losing 3 to 4 percent fuel economy every time you turn the ignition? 

Your dashboard tire pressure gauge may not indicate any problems, but it's worth taking a look on a weekly basis to ensure that your vehicle is as safe - and fuel efficient - as possible. After all, escalating summer temperatures can change tire pressure by an average of 1 psi for every 10 degrees it heats up!

Wondering how to take care of your tires and reap the rewards? Rely on these simple tips:

  • Check tire pressure when the tires are cold; in other words, before they have been driven on. Do not bleed air pressure from hot tires. Follow the recommendation in your owner's guide for proper bleeding procedures.
  • The proper air pressure for the front, rear and spare tires is listed on a sticker on the vehicle, usually on the driver's door jamb. The pressure listed on the tire sidewall is the maximum for the tire and not the recommended inflation pressure.
  • Check tire pressure at least once a month and always before trips. Even if the tire pressure warning light is not on, the tires could be under-inflated.
  • Always remember to check the air pressure in the spare tire when you check the road tires.
  • Check tire inflation pressures with an accurate (+/- 0.5 pounds per square inch, or psi) digital tire inflation pressure gauge.

But don't stop with a tire-pressure check. Be sure to also monitor the alignment of your wheels to avoid rapid tread-wear, the rotation of your tires to ensure uniform wear and the tread grip, which will keep yoou safer in rough road conditions.

With your tires are in tip-top shape, prices at the pump may just become a little more bearable.

(Sources: Ford Motor Co., AAA) 


How Green is Your Car's Black Oil Change?

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Recycle Used Oil to Help Protect the Environment

Next time you find yourself thinking about what you can do for the environment whether it is recycling, planting a tree, turning off lights when you’re not in a room, consider taking another small step to making a big change — take your vehicle to a fast lube center for its next oil change. Going green with your car isn’t just about fuel efficiency, alternative fuels, and hybrid automobiles. It’s about keeping your maintenance eco-friendly too. By visiting a fast lube center you can protect the environment and the water you drink.


If you change your own motor oil, what do you do with the used oil? Pouring it down the drain or dumping it on the ground or in the trash may not seem like a problem, but these disposal methods allow the oil to seep into the ground water. Four pints of waste oil can ruin 1 million gallons of water, which is a year's supply for 50 people, according to the Automotive Oil Change Association. [Full Story]


All New for May 15, 2011 - 5 Frugal Tips for Living Green & Earth Friendly Oil Changes

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All new for May 15, 2011 - Our new issue sets its sights on for green-minded travelers, how earth-friendly is your oil change, 5 frugal tips for living green, and how to plan an action adventure vacation while treading lightly on mother earth. Visit EWP's Partner Website - Road & Travel Magazine now!!!


Back Issues Available of EWP & RTM

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Did you know that our partner Road & Travel Magazine has been publishing since 1989? Among the hundreds of issues and thousands of articles published many have been dedicated strictly to environmental topics. There, in RTM's back issue section, articles have been archived back as far as 2001. Please feel free to search our back issue archives to find additional resources and articles on earth-friendly topics.

Did you know that Road & Travel Magazine was the first publication to give an award for the most environmental friendly car of the year? In 1997, RTM produced and hosted an auto awards show in Detroit which honored the GM - EV1 as the vehicle that was 'Most Likely to Change the World.'

The Earth-Friendly Award continued for several years but sadly there were so few competitors back then that we discontinued the award until more automakers joined the party. By 2009, most car companies had introduced various forms of eco-friendly vehicles from hybrid to diesel to now electric. As a result of their progress, we launched the Earth, Wind & Power Awards, which are dedicated to clean car technology. Stay tuned as we continue to expand the EWP Awards down the road.

Also visit the RTM Blog!

Please feel free to share EWP and RTM content with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We welcome and appreciate your support.


Planet Driven - Green Tips on Car Buying & Care

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With so many choices in hybrid, diesel and electric vehicles today, making a decision on which one is best for you and your family is daunting at best. There are so many things to consider when making your transformation from a gas-powered world to a green-powered planet. You want to do the right thing. You want to buy the right products. And you're doing your best to recycle everything in sight. But what about all the things related to buying a new car, a more earth friendly used car, or even what oil is best for the planet? After all, these are not things you do everyday like recycling. They are purchases and choices and decisions that most people make only once or twice a year. So, let us help.

Road & Travel Magazine (RTM) is a website that is partnered with the Earth, Wind & Power Blog. The goal of the partnership is to share content with RTM's auto and travel environmental sections, one of which is Planet Driven, which offers dozens of earth friendly articles with tips and advice on all things automotive. So have a look and as always we welcome your comments, suggestions and support. Even guest bloggers!

Earth is our only home... so let's clean it up! Please share RTM and EWP content with your friends on Facebook and Twitter so that together we'll become an unstoppable force for good for a Planet Driven by our will to survive and thrive. [PLANET DRIVEN]



Get The Best Fuel Economy This Summer

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Fuel Gauge Summer will soon be upon us and that means vacation time, weekend road trips, and plenty of driving. Before you hit the road, check out these fuel saving tips:

  • Avoid high speeds/use cruise control.
  • Avoid jackrabbit starts and sudden stops.
  • Remove excess weight from the trunk — extra weight decreases gas mileage.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated.
  • Use overdrive gears if you have them.
  • Use your air conditioner sparingly.
  • Check and replace air filters regularly.
  • Get a tune-up and change your oil regularly and right before a long trip.
  • Use gasoline formulated to give better mileage

Visit RTM for more


Traffic Tips and Tools to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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Traffic Frugality is in. Everyone wants to save a few bucks here and there, and guess what? You can reduce your carbon footprint along the way.

In order to survive many of us have no other choice but to commute a long distance back and forth to work, which means spending a lot on gas and emitting a lot of carbon. If you are unable to carpool or take public transportation, here are a few gas-saving measures that will help you conserve fuel and reduce your footprint.

1. Check tire pressure. Under-inflated tires reduce gas mileage by 3 percent.

2. No more junk in the trunk! Removing 100 lbs of unneeded weight improves mileage by 2 percent.

3. Avoid sitting in traffic. Some newer model navigation systems provide real-time traffic for the latest and most comprehensive traffic information available.

5. Slow down. Where’s the fire? You will be surprised at the gas mileage you can get when driving at or below the speed limit.

6. Take the highway instead. The U.S. EPA reports the difference between highway and city gas mileage is about 30 percent.



Eco-Friendly Windshield Solution

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Windshield WashingEver wonder how the inside of your windshield gets so dirty?  It's from your heater, air conditioner, and general fumes within your vehicle. The grime that creates on your windshield can prevent you from seeing clearly when driving; especially at night. A simple, easy and eco-friendly solution follows:

Windshield/Glass Cleaner
Spray bottle
2 cups of filtered water
1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
100% cotton cloth (lint-free)
Microfiber cloth (buffing cloth)

Prepare the solution and spray directly onto the cotton cloth. Using long sweeping motions, spread the solution over the windshield. When complete, use the microfiber cloth to buff the windshield. You will have a crystal clear view of the world. 

This solution can be used on any window or glass surfaces. Paper towels make waste, so using the cotton and microfiber clothes also add to you being a "green" consumer.

More eco-friendly home and garden tips.


Tire Tips to Save the Environment

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Tire Inflation A common car care ritual many people overlook is tire inflation. Proper tire inflation not only keeps you safe but it can reduce your carbon emissions by offering better fuel economy.

It’s important for the consumer to remember that tire pressure does not remain constant. As outdoor temperatures change, so does the pressure in your tires. In fact, tires may lose one to two psi (pounds per square inch) each month, and even more as outdoor temperatures change. Unfortunately, it is not possible to just look at a tire to determine if the pressure is appropriate. You have to use an air pressure gauge.

Proper tire inflation is not just the number printed on the tire sidewall. Consumers should always refer to the information from the automobile manufacturer, which is commonly listed on the door jamb or in the vehicle's owner's manual.

It’s simple: when tires are properly inflated, you get better fuel economy and a safe drive.

Learn more about money saving tire tips.