Can fuel economy really be better with an older car?

car dealership 

Image by rutlo

When it comes to fuel economy, getting better gas mileage and being more environmentally-friendly with our vehicles these days, the question becomes which is smarter, continuing to drive your old car or replacing it with a model that gets higher mpg?

I know opinions differ here and there are a variety of factors that can contribute to higher mpg, but I came across a blog from The Daily Green that I thought was pretty informative.  The blog states:

“It definitely makes more sense from a green perspective to keep your old car running and well-maintained as long as you can…There are significant environmental costs to both manufacturing a new automobile and adding your old car to the ever-growing collective junk heap.”

It further brings up the fact that apparently between 12-28% of the carbon dioxide emissions generated during the life of a typical gas-powered car can occur during the manufacturing process and transportation to the dealership.  By the time you are even looking at the car on the car dealer’s lot, already 12-28% of its lifetime carbon dioxide emissions have already been spent.

Now I know what you are thinking….why not just get a hybrid?  According to this same blog, hybrids actually have a larger environmental impact in the manufacturing process.

So if you think about it, in terms of fuel economy and lowering emissions, it just might be smarter to keep your old car – providing you take good care of it, get it tuned reguarly, use a proven fuel additive to ensure a more complete fuel burn, get your tires rotated on schedule, etc.

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