Traverse City, Mich. (Monday, March 01, 2010) - Hagerty, the world’s leading provider of collector car insurance, has compiled a list of tips for car enthusiasts who would like to take a more environmentally responsible approach to owning and operating their vehicles. Most collector cars require additional care above and beyond the needs of cars we drive on a daily basis. Even though the majority of collector cars are driven significantly less than modern vehicles, there are some minor tweaks to maintenance practices that can help collector car owners be more environmentally friendly, as well as save them money.
“There are many ways that collector car owners can improve their vehicle’s efficiency, which in turn may reduce the impact they have on the environment,” notes Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty. “We’ve come up with some helpful maintenance tips that are easy to implement and won’t negatively affect your vehicle performance.”
Listed below are Hagerty’s Top Ten Tips to Minimize Collector Cars’ Effect on the Environment.
1. Perform Regular Tune-ups – Performing your own regular tune-up or taking your classic to a shop for scheduled maintenance will make it run cleaner and result in better fuel mileage. Replacing spark plugs, cleaning carburetors and replacing air filters are all simple steps to ensure your classic car runs better. On older cars especially, make sure to check the plug wires, rotor and distributor caps and vacuum lines, as they tend to deteriorate more quickly than modern cars. You will save money in the long run and also be doing your part to benefit the environment.
2. Keep Your Collector Car Lubricated – Older, classic cars usually have many fittings that need to be shot full of heavy grease to keep their parts moving easily. Automotive parts that move freely offer less resistance, so they use less energy. Additionally, fresh grease extends the lives of automotive parts. Your original owner’s manual or handbook will tell you how often your car should be lubricated, as well as tuned. If you do not have your original you may be able to find it at one of the following websites:
3. Remove Fluids and Batteries From a Sitting Collector Car – If you have purchased a “parts car” or a collector car that you plan to restore and keep for an extended period of time, we recommend removing the battery and draining the car’s fluids to prevent leaks and spills. A sitting car, especially an older one, will eventually leak, leading to possible water contamination. Battery acid can do great damage to your battery terminals, trays and brackets, not to mention its negative effect on the environment. If your car will be stored an extended amount of time, we recommend that you remove it and turn it in or give it away.
4. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated – Due to the limited mileage covered by most collector cars, tires are far more likely to dry out and harden than wear out. Removing them from direct sunlight will slow their degradation, and with just a little regular maintenance you can keep them preserved and out of a landfill. Just as in any other vehicle, keeping your classic’s tires properly inflated will help extend tire life and contribute to your fuel efficiency. Since there is no universal tire pressure that is ideal for every car, make sure not to exceed maximum rated pressure as listed on the sidewall of the tire.
Proper tire pressure is also an important safety issue, especially when dealing with older vehicles. Under the best of conditions, older cars can be more difficult to handle than newer ones. Improper tire inflation can increase those problems and present a risk to you and other drivers.
5. Take Proper Steps To Minimize Leaks – Classic cars often leak.But there are some simple ways to prevent harmful fluids from leaking into nearby streams and groundwater. Using a cooling system sealant or replacing/tightening a hose or hose clamps will help to minimize harmful leaks from the cooling system. Simply tightening bolts that secure cylinder heads and oil pans can often reduce or eliminate oil leaks, as can tightening the drain plug.
If the leaks continue, consider placing a drip mat under your vehicle to absorb the fluids. Whether you are in your garage, driveway or out using the car there are many types of drip mats available. You can find both disposable and permanent versions for purchase on a variety of websites including:
6. Rebuild Worn out Parts – Collector vehicles, no matter how well maintained, will eventually have parts fail and/or wear out. Rebuilding your parts allows you to restore your vehicle to its original condition, while saving space in a landfill. Car parts that are frequently rebuilt on collector vehicles include carburetors, starters, generators, alternators and brake cylinders.
7. Recycle Your Old Fluids – Automotive fluids can contaminate drinking water and pollute lakes and streams when dumped down the drain or on the ground. Call your local municipal or county offices for recycling options near you. Many communities have recycling options for used oil and allow residents to dispose of their old auto fluids at no charge. To find a location near you, log on to http://earth911.com/recycling/.
8. Recycle Your Old Tires – Tires that are thrown away end up in landfills and can often be set afire. The smoke from burning tires is extremely toxic to the environment. Many communities have a government-sponsored recycling plan for old tires. To find these recycling locations check your local phone book under the heading “Recycling” or consult your tire dealer.
9. Recycle Your Old Battery – Lead has been banned from household paints and gasoline for years due to its high toxicity. Most car batteries still contain a large lead concentration, however, and those used in collector cars are some of the worst offenders. Whenever you change a battery, recycle your old one. In most states, stores that sell batteries must accept and recycle those that they replace and you may receive a small payment in return. For further information on recycling batteries, go to http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/batteries.php.
10. Use Environmentally Friendly Washing Products – You will generate run off when washing your classic car; automotive cleaning products and waxes can end up in sewers and ultimately in a nearby body of water. Use car washing products that contain no phosphates. Also, try to minimize your water use – consider purchasing a water-saving hose nozzle.
To view the complete Hagerty pamphlet with additional details and resources for the tips mentioned above, please go to www.hagerty.com/pamphlets and click on “Your Car and the Environment.”
Hagerty Insurance Agency, Inc. is the leading insurance agency for collector vehicles in the world and host to the largest network of collector car owners. Hagerty offers insurance for collector cars, motorcycles and motorcycle safety equipment, tractors, automotive tools and spare parts, and even “automobilia” (any historic or collectible item linked with motor vehicles). Hagerty also offers overseas shipping/touring insurance coverage, commercial coverage and club liability coverage. For more information, call (800) 922-4050 or visit www.hagerty.com.