In many parts of our state, emissions from cars and trucks make up half of all the air pollution. You can be part of the solution by taking some simple steps for cleaner air. You'll find that what's good for the air can improve your gas mileage and save you money at the pump, too.
Keep your vehicle maintained properly
Cars and trucks in top condition conserve fuel and pollute less. The best thing to do is to follow your vehicle manufacturer's maintenance recommendations.
- Keep your car engine well maintained to lower exhaust emissions.
- Regularly change air and fuel filters and service the air conditioning.
- Keep the correct pressure in your tires.
- Seal your gas cap tightly, refuel during late afternoon or evening, and don't top off the tank.
- Have your car regularly inspected and emissions tested.
Find out more about mandatory vehicle emissions testing in Texas.
Drive a "cleaner" vehicle
You can make the air healthier for yourself and others by driving a low-emission car or truck, such as a hybrid-electric vehicle.
Visit these websites to learn more about cleaner vehicle options:
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Vehicle Guide
- AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine program
Idling wastes gas, damages your vehicle's pollution control equipment, and produces carbon monoxide—an invisible, odorless, poisonous gas. Turning off the car and restarting it uses less gas and creates less pollution than idling for half a minute or more.
- Skip the drive-thru, park, and go inside at the bank or fast food restaurant.
- Anticipate delays and take an alternative route to avoid stop-and-go or stand-still traffic...or travel earlier or later when congestion is less.
- After starting the engine, do not warm it up; modern engines do not need it.
Reducing the number of vehicles on the road, especially during peak periods (rush hour), means less traffic and less exhaust.
- Combine your errands; several short trips, each beginning with a cold start, can use twice as much fuel as one longer trip that covers the same distance.
- Carpool, vanpool, or use park-and-ride.
- Ride public transit systems; take advantage of employer transit pass programs.
- Work an alternative/flex-time work schedule so you don't have to drive in congestion.
- Ride a bicycle or walk when at all possible; it is good for your health, too.
Drive the speed limit
By driving the speed limit and avoiding aggressive driving, you can improve your fuel economy. At high speeds you burn more fuel for each mile you drive, thus creating more harmful pollutants in the air.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly and smoothly.
- Anticipate stops and coast to a stop gradually.