Whether you realize it or not, your vehicle will always contribute at least a little bit to the pollution and the green house effect that we are seeing today. The only vehicles that do not directly contribute are the electric vehicles. However these vehicles will still indirectly contribute because they require that you plug them in. The use of electricity at a charging station usually means you are drawing current through the regular means that you normally would which means the generating plant, which burns mainly coal, is still required to run.
First you need to make sure your vehicle has all of the various emission control components that are required by law. Many states have implemented a program that requires you have your vehicle tested annually to ensure you are complying with these laws. You have to have the inspection in order inspection in order to renew your registration. There are a few things that you can watch for to avoid problems with emissions however.
Every vehicle has some type of check engine light or service engine light that will come on when there are problems within the emission system. Some even have a light that tells you exactly that there is a problem with the emissions system. However, the majority have a generic “check engine” or “service engine light” that will come on when there is a problem.
Unfortunately these lights can signify many, many different things that all either directly or indirectly affect emissions. In some vehicles this light will come on with a gas cap that is not properly fitted. Others will not signal a problem unless it is in the catalytic converter or other sensors within the exhaust.
Any time this light comes on and stays on you should have your vehicle checked out. Some automotive parts stores offer free diagnostics. They will plus a hand help computer into your vehicle’s computer system which will tell them a specific code. They then will look up the meaning of that code and tell you what the problem might be.
If you are noticing that your vehicle seems to be chugging or running rough but the service light is not on, you may still want to have a mechanic look it over. There are many reasons this could be occurring. All of them are affecting your gas mileage and probably contributing to the emissions problem that currently exists.
Many of the problems that existed in the past are no longer relevant such as leaded gas. Leaded gas is a very big contributor to the problem of pollution. Today however it is not used in vehicles. Unleaded gasoline of various octanes is available instead. If your vehicle is one that still requires leaded gas, don’t worry. There is no harm done by using unleaded gas in this engine.