When you think about taking care of the environment, auto repair shops probably don’t jump to the top of your “green” list. But at CARS of America, being “green” is something we practice every day…from Glenview to Northbrook and all around the surrounding towns. Not only are we trying to help the Earth and improve everyone’s health, we also are working to save you money and run an efficient operation!
Here are some of the ways we work to be Earth-friendly:
- We use waste oil heaters. These EPA-approved units allow us to burn engine oil and transmission, differential, transfer case and brake fluid to heat the facility. Burning the oil reduces the chances of the oil leaking or spilling as it’s being transported to a recycling facility. It also helps us decrease our carbon footprint and dependence on virgin fossil fuel.
- We recycle fluids. This includes coolant (antifreeze), brake fluid, gas and refrigerant.
- We recycle metal, such as exhaust pipes and wheel bearings. Recycling uses about 74 percent less energy than making new steel, and recycled steel is less expensive.
- We recycle all the tires we collect when we install new ones. More than 290 million scrap tires are generated each year, and they can be used in a variety of ways, such as for fuel, ground rubber applications like playgrounds and in hot melt asphalt.
- We work with outside companies that recycle. All our uniforms, shop towels and fender covers are laundered by an industrial garment vendor that recycles the cleaning fluids.
- We offer remanufactured auto parts. These parts are virtually indistinguishable from a new part. They can cost 25-50 percent less than domestically made new replacement parts while reducing the use of raw materials, air pollution, energy and landfill space.
There are also a variety of ways that drivers in Glenview and Northbrook can get on the green bandwagon. Getting your car serviced regularly is one of the most important things you can do to minimize emissions and maximize fuel efficiency. Regular service will find problems that reduce gas mileage and increase pollution. Even just 2 more mpg will decrease the amount of carbon dioxide your car puts into the air by more than 2,000 pounds per year.
- Start with regular oil changes, along with checking air and fuel filters. Replacing a dirty air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
- Check the vehicle gas cap and replace it if it is damaged. If the cap isn’t on tightly, gas can escape and vaporize, and who wants to breathe that in?
- If you’re looking to buy a new car, look for ones that have the best fuel economy and lowest emissions. Fewer emissions translates to better air quality.
- You can also consider an alternative vehicle, such as a plug-in electric, hybrid or partial zero-emission vehicle. All of these offer great gas mileage and reduced tailpipe emissions.
- Buy only what you need, in terms of size. The bigger the vehicle, the more gas used and the more pollution created.
- Consider the color of vehicle you purchase. Darker vehicles will be hotter in summer, which means you’ll be using more air conditioning to be comfortable.
- If you change the oil in your car yourself, or perform other work, be sure to dispose of all fluids properly. Never pour used oil down a drain, storm sewer or on the ground. Just a single quart of used engine oil can pollute 250,000 gallons of ground water.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated. You will get more than 3 percent better gas mileage, and more life out of your tires, which means fewer tires that need to be disposed of or recycled.
- Don’t ignore your check engine light. If the light is lit, there’s a good chance the car is releasing excess pollutants or consuming too much gas.
- Plan your trips and combine errands. If you make a lot of short trips, your exhaust system does not warm up enough to function properly, which means more air pollution.
Clean air, breathable air and fewer natural resources used are great results of going green. Another benefit? If your car is well taken care of and running optimally (which means you’re getting the best gas mileage), it’s saving you money!
Want to experience our green efforts firsthand? Give CARS of America a call at 847-724-6724 or schedule an appointment.