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Autoblog Maintenance: Improving economy and decreasing emissions the DIY way

When it comes to increasing fuel economy and minimizing the amount of pollution that your vehicular activities create, there is no better bang-for-the-buck than proper maintenance. A variety of sources state that the worst 10% of vehicles on the road emit nearly 50% of total automotive pollution, suggesting that a regular regimen of wrenching could reduce total vehicular emissions by up to 40%, and poorly maintained newer cars can easily out-pollute an older vehicle that's received the appropriate amount of TLC. 

For this reason we're beginning a new series called Autoblog Maintenance. Some posts will be 101 level stuff that includes everything from changing spark plugs to rejuvenating an old air filter. Some maintenance will be more advanced, but we'll be there every step of the way getting our hands dirty on your behalf. 

Read on for more info and look for our first Autoblog Maintenance post later today on changing your oil.


While the project of taking a "gross polluter" and returning it to proper condition can be a daunting task for even a professional mechanic, the preventative maintenance required to prevent this from occurring in the first place is easily performed by most car owners, as we intend to demonstrate. We'll also take you under the hood and point out the location and function of the different emission systems that are used in most modern vehicles, and what you should do if you suspect a problem. Sure, a few of you out there have vehicles that are, shall we say, a bit challenging to service, and undoubtedly we'll hear from all those Cizeta-Moroder owners when we suggest that changing spark plugs is an easy job. We'll try to keep the tips and suggestions as generic as possible, but it's inevitable that we'll miss something that's essential to performing the task on your ride; when that happens, feel free to chime in with your favorite tip.


The most important thing to remember through all of this is that there's little reason to be intimidated by your vehicle, but if you feel uncomfortable performing a task, seek out the assistance of a knowledgeable individual or make a visit to your local professional mechanic.

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