Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. 5 Essential Things to Know About Car Emissions

5 Essential Things to Know About Car Emissions

car emissions

As long as there are gasoline vehicles, there will be vehicle emissions. Although technology is improving all the time, pollution produced by the incomplete combustion of vehicle engines poses hazards to not only the environment, but to human health as well.

If you’ve ever wondered how car emissions work, here are some important facts about these vapors, particles, and fumes that are released by gasoline and diesel engines into the surrounding environment.

Exhaust Emissions

Engine combustion causes the release of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons. These byproducts of engine operation create damaging greenhouse gases. Exhaust emissions are produced in two ways: cold start – the first few minutes after starting the car – because the engine is not at optimal operating temperature, and running exhaust emissions, which exit the tailpipe during driving and idling.

Evaporative Emissions

These are VOCs which escape while the vehicle is running, during the cooldown period, in the night when the car is sitting stationary, as well as vapors that escape the gas tank during refueling.

Vehicle Pollutants Affect More Than the Ozone Layer

Vapors and particulates that exit vehicles through the exhaust system come to settle on soil and in bodies of water, affecting not only the people who rely upon that land for food, but also wildlife that lives there.

Cars Are Major Contributors to Air Pollution

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) vehicles are responsible for more than 50% of the air pollution in the United States. Americans travel more than 246 trillion miles each year.

Electric Cars May or May Not Help

As alternative car technology advances, gas usage decreases and with that, vehicle emissions are reduced. However, in locations that depend upon fossil fuels to produce conventional electricity, the benefits of electric and hybrid vehicles are reduced due to the emissions produced by the power plants necessary to provide energy to charge electric car batteries. Some locations utilize cleaner energy sources to produce electricity, which tips the balance, giving electric cars an advantage over traditional engines in terms of emissions.

The combination of cleaner fuels, more efficient engines, and better alternative vehicle technology is effectively reducing the impact of emissions on humans and the environment. In addition, 32 states require emissions testing of vehicles, further helping to keep pollution under control.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...

Related questions

Q: What would your advice be to a person who needs to get a smog check on their car to make sure it passes the smog check? 2005 Mitsubishi

Hi there - the most straightforward and least expensive approach to this problem is to simply take your vehicle in for testing 15-30 days prior to your "deadline" (birthday month?). Most states or metro areas allow a 30 day "repair...

Q: Q: Check engine light stays on

Hello. In order to know why the light is on, I would need to know the codes from the computer. It can be anything for a computer issue to a bad gas cap. I usually scan the computer first to...

Q: What Are California's Emissions Standards?

California emissions standards are the highest in the nation, and exceed the EPA’s regulations. You’ll find that many vehicles sold in different parts of the country are rated for California’s emissions standards because automakers are required to manufacture a certain...