Green Car Products for Low Emissions & Clean Diesel Cars
Oil for Clean Diesels
Tighter new diesel emissions standards that went into effect in January 2007, which require using the long awaited Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel, have promoted Shell Lubricants to introduce a new motor oil designed specifically for use with these new low emission engines. Called Rotella T, the newly formulated motor oil is claimed to provide better wear protection, plus improved deposit control and engine cleanliness for both pre-2007 engines and the latest emissions systems technology found on new 2007 truck engines. The oil meets the new API CJ-4 oil category created by the American Petroleum Institute to maintain the durability and performance of 2007 diesel engines and their emissions systems. For more information visit www.shell-lubricants.com.
Go With The Flow
K&N replacement air filters are well-known within the performance aftermarket products world for providing an inexpensive boost in power and acceleration, thanks to improved air flow. According to K&N, allowing air to more freely flow to the engine improves fuel economy as well. Plus, considering that each air filter is backed by a 10 year/one million mile warranty, simply cleaning the filter every 50,000 miles rather than buying a new one cuts down on waste. That gives the K&N air filter the rare distinction of being the environmentally conscious and performance-minded choice. K&N air filters are designed for specific years, makes, and models, won’t void a stock vehicle warranty, and are legal in all 50 states. Information is available at www.knfilters.com.
The automatic engine start/stop function that saves fuel in today’s hybrid vehicles can also create harsh operating conditions for the engine, say the folks at Pennzoil. In response, Pennzoil has introduced the first aftermarket lubricant specifically designed to protect an engine under these conditions. Pennzoil Platinum for Hybrid Vehicles is claimed to protect hybrid engines from the formation of performance-robbing deposits that build up under stop-and-go operating conditions. Additionally, this full synthetic, 0W-20 motor oil is said to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. The formulation is part of the Pennzoil Platinum line, which combines highly-refined base oil with proprietary additives. Pennzoil Platinum for Hybrid Vehicles is available at select installer and dealership locations. Additional information is available online at www.pennzoil.com.
If you like the idea of an electric scooter but aren’t thrilled by the skateboard-style riding stance of conventional models, check out the ZAPPY3 from electric vehicle maker ZAP. Designed to be more fun and easier to ride than previous ZAPPYs, the ZAPPY3 has two small wheels on either side of its deck and a larger wheel with an integrated electric motor in its hub at the front. This configuration allows a rider to stand upright with feet positioned side-by-side. The scooter’s 250-watt motor is powered by three 7 amp-hour batteries that provide a range of 15 miles per charge. Top speed is just over 12 miles per hour. A complete charge with an included 110-volt charger takes four to six hours. The ZAPPY3 and other electrically-motivated products can be viewed online at www.zapworld.com.
According to the Department of Energy, fuel economy decreases 0.4 percent for every 1 psi drop in tire pressure on all four tires. While this may not seem like much, letting your tires go under-inflated for an extended period of time will eventually cost you. Remedy this with frequent tire pressure checks, which are made easy with the AutoSport Accutire Mechanic’s Digital Tire Gauge, a handsome aluminum and rubber instrument that provides air pressure readings in half-pound increments displayed on an extra-large, backlit LED. A built-in lithium battery powers the gauge for the lifetime of the unit, while a separate button cell powers a backlight. The Accutire is accurate to within 0.5 psi and retails for $29.95. Additional information is available on AutoSport’s website at www.autosportcatalog.com.
A Cleaner Burn
E3 Spark Plugs ("Energy/Efficiency/Ecology") aims to promote a clean and complete burn, reducing specific emissions in long-term use and reducing the carbon deposits that shorten engine life. How does it do this? Through the company’s DiamondFIRE electrode design, which forces edge-to-edge sparks to promote a faster flame front and a more complete burn. Based on testing validated by academic researchers at two of the country’s top 10 engineering schools, E3 says its $5.99 spark plug delivers more power while using less fuel than any other major spark plug brand. Additional info is available from E3 Spark Plugs at www.e3sparkplugs.com.
Low Energy Cycle
Looking for an economical way to get around? Check out the eGO Cycle2 LX, a fun and efficient electric scooter geared to meet the needs of those wishing to commute on two wheels. The LX is a feature-packed improvement of the eGO Cycle2, offering turn signals, two larger 12 volt batteries that provide a 27 mile range, a backlit speedometer/odometer display, and two large rear view mirrors. An on-board charger delivers a full charge in 3-4 hours, about 20% faster than the previous model. This scooter’s anodized aluminum body, which manages to be both retro and futuristic at the same time, incorporates front disk brakes, front suspension, and low center of gravity to ensure safe, responsive control. The Rhode Island-based company claims its scooter users will be able to achieve the equivalent of 700 miles per gallon, based on an average 8 cents per charge. The eGO Cycle2 LX is available for $1399. More info is available on EGO Vehicles at www.egovehicles.com.
The $795 Vegetable Oil Conversion System from Greasecar will allow your mechanically injected diesel vehicle to run on vegetable oil, and yes, even waste cooking oil from fast food restaurants. The two-tank Greasecar system uses a vehicle’s existing tank to provide regular diesel fuel to the engine during start-up and shut-down. Heat exchangers in the Greasecar fuel system heat vegetable oil in the auxiliary fuel tank, lines, and fuel filter to reduce the oil’s viscosity and allow proper injection. Flick a switch and you’re running on vegetable oil. When it’s time to shut your vehicle down, flick again to purge vegetable oil from the fuel system before it has a chance to cool, and you’re again running on conventional diesel fuel, ready for the next start-up. Additional details on the Greasecar Vegetable Fuel System is at www.greasecar.com.
Badges of Honor
You’ve seen those oval "GB" (Great Britain) badges on Mini Coopers and Land Rovers, "D" (Deutschland) badges on Mercedes and VWs, and "I" (Italia) badges on Ferraris and Lamborghinis…well, okay, maybe not the latter in neighborhoods outside of Beverly Hills. But you get the idea. It’s all about proclaiming national affinity for your favorite ride. Now there’s a way to share pride in your vehicle’s fuel economy as well, a sign of the times when gas is at record levels, and rising. This innovation is brought to the street by MPG Stickers, a company that offers the same style white oval badges as those familiar ones sporting the "GB" moniker, but with fuel economy numbers that represent a car’s fuel thrifty ways. According to the company, these 5 x 3-inch stickers offer a smart and non-offensive way to remind people of the benefits of good fuel economy, all for the low price of just $3.99 plus shipping and handling. Order online at www.mpgstickers.com.
Rack and Roll
Here’s the first sport trailer we’ve seen that’s so automotive-cool it looks as good behind a BMW sport sedan as it does a gnarly 4x4. The RACKandROLL Personal Gear Trailer achieves this with a stylish design, lightweight aluminum construction, 16" alloy wheels and tubeless tires, and fully-independent, performance tunable suspension. The trailer is designed as an alternative to topside racks, which the company points out often seem like a good idea at first, but lose appeal because of the lifting and balancing of gear involved. Topside racks can also add wind resistance that robs a vehicle of precious fuel economy. Versatility is built in since the Personal Gear Trailer carries up to four times the weight of a roof rack, its loadbars are compatible with Yakima and Thule roof rack hardware, and it can be quickly and easily disassembled for storage. Further information is available from RACKandROLL at www.rackandroll.com.
Keep It Simple
Even green machines need to look good. That’s why Simple Green’s environmentally positive Simple Green Car Wash Cleaner is a great idea. The Car Wash Cleaner features a specially-designed formula that keeps the cleaning power and biodegradability of regular Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner, but is also gentle enough to use on automotive surfaces. The Car Wash Cleaner safely cleans paint, clear coat, windows, metal, chrome, rubber, canvas, and vinyl, and won’t dull or strip away waxed surfaces. The product comes in Simple Green’s new 67 ounce bottle made from Polyethylene Terephthalate that, unlike some other plastics, is fully recyclable. For more information, contact Simple Green World Headquarters, Dept. GCJ, 15922 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Harbour, CA 92649; phone 800.228.0709. The company’s website has information on additional Simple Green products at www.simplegreen.com.