What's The Problem?
Air pollution is caused by solid and liquid particles and certain gases that are suspended in the air. These particles and gases can come from car and truck exhaust, factories, dust, pollen, mold spores, volcanoes and wildfires. The solid and liquid particles suspended in our air are called aerosols.
A major contributor to air pollution is the exhaust from all of our cars and trucks. All over Texas vehicles contribute as much as half of the harmful air emissions that create air pollution.
One vehicle in bad repair can produce 28 times as much pollution as one vehicle in good repair.
What Can I Do?
- Maintain your vehicle and monitor hoses, wiring, and belts.
- If a warning light comes on, find out why and fix the problem. Make sure to give your vehicle regular tune-ups per manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Change your oil and oil filter regularly as well as your fuel and air filters per manufacturer's recommendations. Use an energy-conserving multi-grade motor oil. These oils can improve your mileage by 1 to 2 percent.
- Keep your tire pressure and alignment correct – low tire pressure can waste up to 5 percent of a tank of gas.
- Drive smoothly. Accelerating slowly from a full stop takes a lot less gas. If you gain speed slowly, you’ll save as much as two miles per gallon. “Jackrabbit starts” use up to 50 percent more gas.
Why Should I Care?
A badly maintained vehicle
- takes money out of your wallet. It gets poor gas mileage so you spend more on gas.
- harms your health. Air pollution causes respiratory problems and can lead to permanent lung damage, which can mean more trips to the doctor and higher medical costs.
- harms the environment by contributing to air pollution.
More Tips & Resources
- Check out the Drive Clean Texas website for even more information.
- Report Smoking Vehicles either online or by phone.. The next time you see a Texas car, truck or bus with smoke coming from its exhaust for more than 10 seconds, get the license number and report it by calling 1-800-453-SMOG. In turn, the TNRCC will send the vehicle owner information about air contaminants in smoke from poorly-running engines, and potential ways to fix the problem.
- Don’t let your engine idle unnecessarily. Idling engines waste gas; so don’t start your car until you’re ready to move, and avoid long idles.
- Plan ahead to combine trips. The fewer trips, the less air pollution — and you save gasoline in the bargain.
- Travel light. The more weight your car carries, the less fuel-efficient it becomes. Every extra 100 pounds costs you about half a mile per gallon.
- Postpone filling your tank on hot sunny days until late in the afternoon or in the evening to reduce the time ozone-forming pollutants can “cook” in hot weather.
- Don’t overfill or “top off” your car’s gas tank. Even if you don’t spill gasoline, ozone-causing fumes escape.