- Keep the engine tuned properly. Checking spark plugs, oxygen sensors, air filters, hoses and belts are a few examples of maintenance that can save a vehicle owner up to 165 gallons of gas per year, resulting in potential savings of $350.
- A car in tune consumes 20 percent less fuel and releases less heat trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
- Get tune-ups (or do them yourself) as recommended by your owner’s manual.
- The following emission control parts should be inspected:
- Charcoal canister: absorbs gasoline fumes from fuel system and routes them into the engine.
- Positive crankcase ventilation valve: The PCV system recycles gases into the engine for combustion.
- Exhaust gas recirculation: The EGR system cuts down on the formation of nitrogen oxides, which sunlight transforms into smog.
- Fuel injectors: Deliver the right amount of fuel to the cylinders.
- Catalytic converter: Turns carbon monoxide and unburned gas into carbon dioxide and water. Most converters also break down nitrogen oxides.
- Other items to check during a check-up:
- Dirty air filters restrict airflow and decrease energy efficiency.
- Clogged fuel injectors produce a mix too lean or too rich, which hurts your engine, your fuel economy and the atmosphere.
- Worn spark plugs misfire, causing fuel to pass through the exhaust system unburned.
- A thermostat that lets the engine run too cool or too hot wastes gas and increases exhaust emissions.
- Change or adjust these parts according to the schedule in your owner's manual to keep emissions down.