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 Auto Select, being "green" is something we practice every day...from Wausau to Green Bay and at each shop in between. 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 recycle all of the oil filters we remove during oil changes. With nine locations, that's a lot of oil filters every year! An oil filter is made of paper, steel and plastic, all of which can be recycled. Consider this: For every 2,000 pounds of recycled oil filters, 1,700 pounds of steel are recovered.
- We also recycle the oil drained during oil changes. Motor oil doesn't wear out, it just gets dirty. More than 1 billion gallons of used oil are generated in the U.S. each year, and recycling it is a great way to save energy and keep the environment clean.
- Several of our locations 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 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, and often carry the same warranty or better, while reducing the use of raw materials, air pollution, energy and landfill space.
There are also a variety of ways that drivers in Wausau 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!