In honor of Earth Day, we at JA Autowerks wanted to share some helpful tips on how to limit your carbon footprint on the road, without driving a hybrid. Not only will these tips help the environment, but they will ensure that your European ride is running at optimal performance.
Tip #1: Keep that CEL (Check Engine Light) off!
Did you know that your Check Engine Light not only causes a rough running car, but it also has a negative effect on the environment? While our cars naturally produce emission gases, which are a by-product of gasoline engine combustion, our vehicles will produce more of these harmful gasses when your CEL is on. Of the many molecules and compounds coming out of the tail pipe, here are the three primary emissions you should know of:
- Hydrocarbons (HC): This is un-burnt fuel caused by misfires. HC's smell like raw gas out the tailpipe. Excessive exposure to HC’s usually cause eye and respiratory irritations and help with the creation of smog.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO): A normal byproduct of combustion, high CO is usually indicated by a strong rotten egg smell. High exposer can lead to negative health effects and possible death. CO occurs when the atmosphere reacts with hydroxyl radical and forms the stronger greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
- Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx): This is an odorless gas that is also a normal byproduct of combustion, but high NOx’s react to form smog, acid rain and fine particles (PM) and ground ozone, with can cause adverse health effects.
CEL On? Can you smell that smell? Call us today to speak with one our of qualified automotive repair professionals to schedule an appointment. We’ll get that light off and get you driving back on the road with a greener running car!
Tip #2: Keep it Cool & Environmentally Cautious.
As the weather warms up, we want our cars to cool down, but it’s only cool if your air conditioning is working correctly. Commonly, when we experience weak air conditioning its due to a freon leak, which is really not cool for our environment. While we have made some great progress in the automotive world to improve the way we keep our vehicles at a comfortable temp, it’s important to understand how refrigerants can negatively impact our natural world and why we need to keep them in the car.
Here are the most commonly used refrigerants in the automotive Industry:
- R12, aka Freon-12: This was used in most vehicles up to year 1995. R12 or Freon was made with a mixture of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon, aka (CFC), which contributes to ozone depletion. When R12 leaks out of an A/C system, it is bad for the environment! Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, effective in 1989, most CFCs that depleted the Ozone Layer were phased out by the late 1990’s, including R12. Most vehicles originally equipped with Freon have been retrofitted with R134a refrigerant.
- R134a: The automotive replacement for R12 was R134a refrigerant. Auto manufacturers began using R134a in the mid 1990’s and it is still used today by most manufacturers. R134a is made with a mixture of hydrogen, fluorine and carbon, aka HFC, which does not deplete the ozone but is found to be a “Super Greenhouse Gas”; when R134a is leaked into the atmosphere it has 1500 times more greenhouse potential than carbon dioxide (CO2).
- HFO: The future of automotive refrigerants will be HFO, unsaturated organic compounds of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon and maybe in the far future CO2, carbon dioxide. The current HFO refrigerants the auto industry is using is 1234YF . Beginning in 2013, auto manufacturers began using 1234YF in some of their fleets and will continue to phase out R134a in years to come. The reason is 1234yf ’s greenhouse potential is only four times higher than carbon dioxide, compared to R134a at 1500 time higher. 1234YF also has zero ozone depletion potential. The only issue with these HFO refrigerants is the cost. To service and recharge an HFO system cost 5 to 6 times more than the R134a systems.
Is your A/C blowing warm? Call us today to receive our Air Condition Service Special. Offer expires 05/19/2017
Not only does our team want you to reduce your carbon footprint, but we are taking action as well. This month JA Autowerks will be donating 2% of all repair sales made by April 30th 2017 to EarthDay.org, because we need a beautiful world to experience behind the wheel!