Tips for Reducing Auto Emissions

Published August 1, 1999

Bob Brooks, a highly respected automotive consultant and writer for Ward’s Engine and Vehicle Technology Update, proposed, in that newsletter’s May 15 issue, six common-sense measures for reducing vehicle pollution.

  • Legislators and regulators should exempt a large portion of the in-use vehicle fleet from expensive emissions testing programs. The programs are not cost-effective, especially for automobiles built since 1991.
  • Efforts should be stepped up to refine and employ sensor technology that can quickly spot the highest-polluting vehicles and assure early repairs.
  • Measures must be found and implemented to improve maintenance practices by owners of lease vehicles.
  • EPA must do a better job educating, not regulating, the public on the value of maintenance. Poor maintenance is the principal cause of pollution from most vehicles.
  • More attention must be paid to the highest-polluting engine families whose shortcomings are beyond vehicle owner control. Measures should be taken to improve the maintainability of those vehicles.
  • Legislators and regulators should explore ways to encourage fuel de-sulphurization, which improves the effectiveness of catalytic converters.