Keeping the Air Clean, Saving Money, and Your Florida Auto Insurance

        May is Clean Air Month! With Earth Day only a few weeks ago, we have already been reminded about “going green”, recycling, and trying to keep the air clean. When it comes to “going green”, there are many signs and clothing tags that advertise “green” products, making it easier for the public to choose eco-friendly merchandise. We have recycling trucks to come pick up recyclable objects from our homes, but keeping the air clean seems like a more daunting task. One common pollution culprit is the automobile. Though experts have been looking for a way to create more fuel-efficient and electric cars and have been pretty successful in doing so, there are ways to help keep the air cleaner without having to purchase a new car. Not only will these tips help save our environment, but they can also save you money.

“How to get the most out of every gallon of gas and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases too (according to

Gas up after dusk
Refueling any motorized vehicle or appliance allows the escape of vapors that, on summer days, can lead to ozone formation. Simply waiting until dusk to refuel can reduce this phenomenon. Ozone damages crops, forests, structures, and human health.

Don’t overfill your tank
Don’t top off your tank – it will harm your car’s emissions system and give off toxic air pollutants. Topping off your gas tank after the pump automatically turns off can harm your vehicle’s emissions system. Gas station pumps are designed to turn off at a fuel level that leaves room in the tank for the emissions system to operate correctly. If you smell gas while refueling, that means highly toxic substances are in the air.

Drive smart
Decreasing emissions from vehicles is key to keeping our air clean. Drive less by carpooling, combining trips, driving the speed limit and keep your vehicle in good running order.

Driving habits make a difference
Avoiding jackrabbit starts and excessive brake use can save anywhere from .20 to 1.35 a gallon depending on how you drive. Combine errands – short trips starting with a cold engine use twice as much fuel as one longer trip done while the engine is warm.

Drive the speed limit or not over 55 mph (except to pass)
Each 5 miles per hour over 60 mph is adding .30 per gallon to the cost of your gas.

Buying a new or used car? – Make a green choice gives the carbon footprint, air pollution score and new EPA estimated MPG for city/highway driving for all models between 1985 and 2011. EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide lets you find the greenest car for any model or year.

Good tire maintenance = much better mileage

-Check inflation levels once a month, when tires are cold, with an accurate tire pressure gauge. Eyeballing is NOT accurate. Tires can be under-inflated and not look it.

-Check wheel alignment as misaligned wheels will increase fuel use. If you need new tires, ask about ones with ‘low rolling resistance’ which have been standard with hybrid cars for some time.

Lose weight
Not you, your car. Eliminate unnecessary pounds from the trunk and take your ski racks off the top in the summer. A loaded roof rack decreases fuel economy by 5%; place items in the trunk instead.

Keep the engine tuned
A well-tuned car will get about 4% higher mileage. Problems such as a faulty oxygen sensor can cause up to a 40% decrease in mileage.

Engine maintenance counts
Mileage can be improved by up to 10% if a clogged air filter is replaced. When changing oil
choose the manufacturer recommended grade and look for the brands that say “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol.

Don’t idle for more than 30 seconds
Idling = zero miles per gallon. If you’re off the road, turn the car off. If you’re at a stop light or in a traffic jam – see the next tip.

How to cut idling time when on the road

-The moment you see the red light ahead, take your foot off the gas. This will increase your chances of arriving at the intersection as the light is turning green, or at the very least, will reduce idling time at the red light.

-When in heavy highway traffic or a traffic jam leave ample space in front of your car (five to ten car lengths). This gives you time to slow down without braking and will actually help congested traffic move better. Truckers have been doing this for a long time.”         


        As you can see, these tips will help you cut down on gas and money while preventing further pollution to our precious air, but these tips aren’t the only things that can save you money when it comes to your automobile. Contact us at Westgate-Jones Insurance Agency to see if we can save you money on your Florida auto insurance by quoting you with a different company and finding various policy discounts that apply to your specific case. Want great Florida insurance? Call us today at 352-787-7548! To learn more about our insurance agency, check out our website!


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