CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Pollution Prevention Partnership (P3) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi kicked off the New Year by hosting a series of free AutoCheck events open to the public.
During an AutoCheck event, drivers are invited to bring in their vehicles for complimentary and quick tailpipe emissions and gas cap leak tests. AutoCheck tests takes less than three minutes.
Upcoming January AutoCheck events are:
• Saturday, Jan. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Corpus Christi Trade Center, 2833 S. Padre Island Drive
• Monday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Take the first campus entrance on Island Boulevard.
The AutoCheck Program, which has been ongoing for nearly 15 years, was designed to educate the public on how to properly maintain a vehicle by reducing gas emissions which helps them to obtain good gas mileage for their cars.
“If your car is emitting pollution out of the tailpipe, it increases the amount of smog in our city, which can affect our health,” said Trent Thigpen, Program Manager for Pollution Prevention Partnership (P3).
Thigpen says there are signs that you can look for to see if your vehicle might have an emissions problem.
“First off, if you have the check engine light on, it can be related to an emissions control system,” he said. “In addition, if you see blue or black smoke coming out from your tailpipe, you may be burning oil or fuel, which can mean that the fuel is not burning properly.”
The goal of AutoCheck is to locate vehicles that are releasing high levels of harmful exhaust emissions, such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, or have leaking gas caps which allow fuel to evaporate into the atmosphere. If a vehicle is determined to be polluting, then qualifying vehicles may be eligible for a voucher that is good for up to $600 on recommended emissions-related repairs that will likely restore lost gas mileage and improve the city’s air quality.
During two testing events held earlier in January, a total of 81 cars were tested by the AutoCheck program. Six of those vehicles were eligible to receive free gas cap vouchers, which could save up to 1,800 pounds of gasoline evaporation per year. In addition, the value of the six repair vouchers were worth up to $3,600 to have emissions-related repairs made to reduce the pollution detected at the tailpipe.
AutoCheck is supported by penalty monies from a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality enforcement action. AutoCheck events are held year-round at different locations. For a schedule of other AutoCheck events, visit the website www.autocheck.cc.