Why U.S. Cars Are Better Than Ever and What You Can Do To Drive “Greener”
Updated September 28, 2013
It’s easy to forget the advances the U.S. had made in so many areas. That’s especially easy if you live here in the U.S., where we’re constantly striving to do better in virtually all facets of our lives. So it’s useful, from time to time, to step back a bit and reflect on how much we’ve accomplished. U.S. automakers have taken some impressive leaps forward in their design and production of cars in this country over the past few years and for good reason. Now, more than ever before, U.S. automakers need to compete with foreign-made cars, especially those from Germany and Japan.
Fortunately, our car manufacturing industry has really stepped up to the plate with the innovations they’ve incorporated into American cars. Just consider these advances:
- Due to EPA air quality regulations, U.S. cars and trucks pollute less than ever before.
- Late-model U.S. cars last longer due to the use of electronic ignition, better seals and better lubricants.
- Improved motor oil means reduced maintenance—modern-day oil is a better lubricant, and better lubricants and seals means fewer oil changes and less wear.
- New U.S. cars generally get better gas mileage. And the advent of hybrid, diesel and electric vehicles means even fewer trips to the gas station.
- Safety innovations, including air bags, anti-lock brakes, better bumpers and crash testing, among others, make our cars safer than ever before.
While all that is great news and we’re definitely headed in the right direction, there are changes you can make in your driving habits right now that will help even more:
- Consider buying a hybrid, diesel or electric car. The more you stay away from the gas pump, the cleaner our air will be and the less dependent the U.S. will be on fossil fuels. If you can’t afford a new vehicle, be sure to keep your current one well maintained, which will keep emissions low and gas mileage high.
- Consider a diesel vehicle, which can reduce your fuel consumption by as much as 30%.
- Consider taking public transportation whenever possible or, better yet, walk or ride a bicycle as often as you can. Car pool or double up on errands. Simply choosing not to drive as much could make a big difference if we all made that same choice.
- If you’re shopping for a new or used vehicle, look for one with the highest gas mileage possible. And consider using alternative fuels like biofuel or ethanol.
- Adjust the way you drive: Don’t let your engine idle in the driveway; avoid sudden stops and accelerations; and try to be consistent in the speed you travel.
- Don’t drive more car than you actually need. Remember that SUVs typically release about 28 gallons of carbon monoxide for every gallon of gas used, and they release as much as 47% more pollution than a regular passenger car. If you drive an SUV and don’t really need the extra room, consider changing to a regular car if that’s economically feasible. If not, try to drive less and follow the other guidelines in this list to reduce your emissions as much as possible.
We can sum it up this way: While U.S. automakers have come a long way over the past several years, we all still have a long way to go toward a cleaner environment and becoming less dependent on fossil fuels. Fortunately, we’re not powerless to change this situation. With the recent advances in U.S. cars, and a few smart choices that each of us can make each day, we can make a positive difference for all of us.
Adam Brandon writes for Leonard’s Garage & Service Center, an auto repair shop in Austin TX that services all vehicles from oil changes to complete engine repair. For more information, contact them at Leonard’s Garage & Service Center, 4401 South 1st Street, Austin, TX, 78745, (512) 445-2892.
Categories: Gear Grinding