Island University Teams up with Port to Improve Corpus Christi Air Quality with AutoCheck

Published: August 11, 2015

 Island University Teams up with Port to Improve Corpus Christi Air Quality with AutoCheck

Saving the environment one leaky gas cap and emissions system at a time, the 16th joint AutoCheck event was a welcome chance for the public to have their cars tested for free.

The Pollution Prevention Partnership (P3), a Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Community Outreach Program, and the Port of Corpus Christi, hosted their 16th joint AutoCheck event on July 30.

AutoCheck is supported by penalty monies from a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality enforcement action. The goal of AutoCheck is to locate vehicles that are releasing high levels of harmful exhaust emissions, such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, or have leaking gas caps which allow fuel to evaporate into the atmosphere.

“Ozone pollution is a personal health issue for everyone,” said Trent Thigpen, Program Manager of Pollution Prevention Partnership. “Breathing relatively high levels of ground-level ozone can cause acute respiratory problems, and can aggravate the symptoms of asthma. Local studies show that our vehicles cause as much as 30% of the air pollution we breathe every day.”

During AutoCheck, residents were invited to bring in their vehicles for complimentary and quick tailpipe emissions and gas cap leak tests. This event received the highest attendance for this year, testing over 40 cars.

“Hydrocarbons cause unhealthy ozone and bad gas cap pressure seals can cost the consumer a loss of about 30 gallons of fuel evaporation into the atmosphere,” said Thigpen. “Luckily, only three cars were allotted to have unsafe exhaust emission and we issued each of their owners a voucher for free gas cap replacements.”

Since 2006, P3 and the Port of Corpus Christi events have issued vouchers for 138 gas caps and 165 exhaust emission-based repairs to private citizens. AutoCheck events are held year round at different locations, but members of the public can stop anytime to get their gasoline vehicle emissions checked where they see a white AutoCheck van and orange signs. For a schedule of other AutoCheck events, visit the website