How To Make Your Conversion More Eco-Friendly
A conversion van is a wonderfully convenient vehicle for large families, traveling groups, and campers. Everyone gets to ride in comfort and there’s room for everyone’s stuff. Unfortunately, many van owners aren’t familiar with how to be more eco-friendly in their vehicles. With that said, there are actually a few easy tips every owner can follow to help out, even just a little bit.
The thrifty, eco-conscious van owner does have some options to improve their van’s gas mileage.
Keep The Tires Properly Inflated
A little conversion van maintenance can go a long way. Tires which are not at the correct pressure are less safe and wear out faster. Not only that, they cause the van’s engine to have to work harder to move the van. On average, proper tire inflation increases gas mileage by 3%. The correct tire pressure should be included in your owner’s manual, and some vans have it printed on a label inside the driver’s door.
Slow Down and Drive Smoothly
Once a vehicle’s speed passes 55 miles per hour, the gas mileage decreases sharply. Going 65 mph actually has 15% lower gas mileage than going 55 mph. Sudden acceleration and deceleration is also a waste of fuel, as are frequent and sudden lane changes. Accelerate and decelerate steadily and maintain a constant speed. If your van has cruise control, it can be a big help.
Keep Your Van Well-Maintained
Regular oil changes keep your engine running well so it needs less fuel; clean oil and a clean oil filter can make a big difference. Keep your air filter clean, too; more oxygen getting in means more efficient burning of fuel. Regular tune-ups and fuel system cleaners also help. A repair of something like an oxygen sensor or throttle position sensor may seem like a big expense in the short term, but in the long run you’ll wind up gaining that money back in saved gas costs.
Keep You Van Light!
A van is not exactly a featherweight, and of course more weight means more fuel is needed to move. However, many vans have removable seats. Seats add quite a bit of weight to the van’s total load. If you’re not going to be having passengers for awhile, leaving the seats in the garage can provide considerable gas mileage improvement.
Leaving it Idling is a No-No
If you’re caught at the railroad tracks waiting for a long train or someone is taking longer in the store than you thought they would, go ahead and shut off the engine. An idling engine is getting a gas mileage of zero, and if you leave the van idling for more than a minute it actually takes less gas to restart it than it does to keep it running.