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Car Care

Car Care

Grease monkey guidelines!

Whether you just tinker around or oversee all your own maintenance, being a home car mechanic is a great way to save money and take care of your vehicle. It also requires responsible disposal of used fluids and parts to prevent harmful substances from polluting our local waterways.

  • If you discover spots in your driveway, or have to refill fluids monthly, weekly or even daily, make repairs right away. Install a drip pan under any leaks until repaired.
  • Place large pans under wrecked cars until all fluids are drained.
  • When you change your own oil, use an oil change box. Change your oil away from storm drains and have old rags or other absorbent materials available to respond in case of a spill. Take used oil to an auto parts store or hazardous waste collection facility. If you go to a mechanic, choose a garage that recycles the waste oil.
  • Check your radiator hoses when changing your oil, and inspect your car at the first sign of a coolant leak. Used coolants should not be washed down the drain because they contain chemicals that may cause problems for wastewater treatment plants. Instead, deliver used coolant to an auto parts store or hazardous waste collection facility. If you go to a mechanic, choose a garage that recycles waste coolants.
  • Clean up any leaks using a broom and dry absorbent materials, such as cat litter. Do not wash leaked fluids down garage or driveway surfaces into the street or storm drain.
  • Batteries contain very dangerous chemicals that can be washed into the storm drain if not taken to a proper recycling facility. Many local auto parts stores accept old batteries for recycling.
  • Do not store used vehicle parts in areas that drain to a storm drain.
  • Wash your car on grass or gravel to help filter out pollutants. If you wash your car on a street, use soap sparingly and use a hose nozzle with flow restriction or a bucket and sponge to minimize runoff and save water. Empty wash buckets into sinks or toilets instead of on the pavement.
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