Vehicle Emissions

Vehicle emissions contribute to smog. The compounds in vehicle emissions are linked to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses and are the most concentrated near major roadways in cities.

Pollutants from vehicle emissions include:

  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Particulate matter (PM2.5

Large trucks are mostly powered by diesel engines, while cars are mostly powered by gasoline engines. Gas and diesel engines emit the same pollutants except that diesel engines produce much higher amounts of NOx and PM2.5 and lower amounts of VOCs and CO. Diesel PM is considered particularly harmful because the particles are extremely small and can be inhaled easily.

What You Can Do to Reduce Vehicle Emissions

  • Use video conferencing and telecommuting at work
  • Carpool
  • Take public transit
  • Walk or cycle
  • Keep your vehicle well-maintained as that will minimize emissions.
  • Drive at steady speed and avoid rapid acceleration, which increases fuel consumption and pollutant emissions.
  • Avoid idling for long periods
  • If purchasing a new car choose a fuel-efficient model
  • Use a block heater to warm up your car in cold climates

Maintaining Your Vehicle

Keep your vehicle well maintained so it emits less pollutants and  saves money by burning less fuel

  • Change the oil regularly
  • Keep tires properly inflated
  • Follow manufacturers' suggested maintenance guidelines
  • Use the recommended fuel grade for the vehicle
  • Repair any leaks in the exhaust system