In today’s world, it is the responsibility of every individual to take a step to reduce their carbon footprint.
It goes beyond avoiding single-use plastic and consciously making the choice to recycle.
Let’s think bigger!
While it’s a great first step to avoid a plastic straw, take a second look at your everyday actions. You can start taking steps to inspire others to create eco-conscious everyday habits.
For most people, one of the first things we do every day is to start the engine on the vehicle that transports us to work.
A mundane task that seems small in the grand scheme of things, but plays a big role day after day.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), typically one passenger vehicle used daily equates to 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
So, what will help with this grand problem?
Firstly, the EPA has stepped in to ensure that all vehicles pass emission inspections to meet national air quality standards.
Unfortunately, we don’t all drive a zero-emission vehicle. It’s unlikely that all the world can magically replace their vehicles with an eco-friendly alternative.
This not-so-simple fix is not only impractical and expensive but would also contribute to the increasing waste problem.
One way you can begin the journey to bettering your air quality and reducing your carbon footprint is by monitoring your vehicle’s emissions.
Emissions: How can OBD help?
You should know, OBD or On-Board Diagnostics is an advanced program that can gather information from the systems of your vehicle to make an accurate prediction about your vehicle emissions.
The computers in your car are capable of measuring the exhaust temperature to maximize emission control and safety.
In recent years, the EPA changed emission tests from exhaust-pipe checks to OBDII tests to gather a more accurate reading.
An OBDII test is expected to increase the chances that a vehicle will not pass an air quality report.
To avoid this problem, OBDII has made it easy to know about each vehicles emission quality.
OBD plays a vital part in helping each car owner meet the air quality standards required by the EPA.
Emissions: Can your vehicle improve?
From the beginning, in 1994 some U.S made cars began introducing OBD II systems into certain makes and models.
After the introduction, in 1996 all cars and some trucks were required to have an OBD II system installation.
The OBDII system was made to help detect emissions problems.
Your specific vehicle will let you know that a problem is present by turning on the check engine light.
Unlike emissions tests that may only be given annually, the OBD II system in your car detects emissions every time you turn on your vehicle.
Thus, some vehicles are considered ¨Not Ready¨ or incompatible with an OBD system.
According to the EPA’s article about vehicle readiness, most cars built before 1996 are not equipped with OBD II systems and therefore may not be suspect to OBD inspections.
At the moment, the EPA has put parameters to help vehicle owners with models from 1996-2000. These specific vehicles allowe more leniency in emissions tests.
Emissions: Diagnostic tools to help you!
In order to receive a fast and accurate scan that can help save you time and money, it might be smart to invest in a diagnostic tool that is suitable for your vehicle.
Instead of taking a trip to the mechanic to ensure you will pass your State emissions exam, you can take the problem into your own hands.
Launch, Actron, Autel, and Innova are all highly reputable companies that provide expertise in OBD scan tools.
Each company makes OBDII scanners that can provide fast and accurate vehicle data reading to let you know if your car exceeds the federal limit for an emissions test.
This will not only make driving safer but is also an important step in reducing the pollution problem.
When an OBD II scanner runs a system check, it will let you know your vehicles readiness by showing flags displayed on the scan tool.
Solving the problem
Today, vehicles are highly sophisticated. Therefore, with onboard diagnostics (OBD), they can help ensure all parts of our vehicles are running smoothly.
However, it’s important to know the steps to take in order to begin making a difference.
First, you should keep up with the maintenance checks of your vehicle to make sure all safety measures are in play.
Secondly, always keep a watchful eye for the check engine light. An illuminated light could mean your vehicle is exceeding emission requirements.
Lastly, try an alternate form of transportation. Perhaps, carpool with a colleague, walk, bike or use public transport to help reduce the nasty pollutants from motor vehicles.
In a world filled with lanes full of traffic and heavy-duty diesel engines, it’s important to pave the way for a cleaner future.