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Insurance Article

What Can You Do to Reduce Pollution from Vehicles?

June 04 2020

Checking vehicular emissions will not only contribute to a cleaner environment, but also offer improved performance and better fuel economy in the long run

Reduce pollution from vehicles

Vehicle pollution is one of the primary causes of adverse health conditions and respiratory distress


Air pollution poses the most pressing health risk to the global populace but it’s far more pronounced in India. According to the World Air Equality Report, twenty-one of the top thirty cities in the world, suffering from severe air pollution, are in India.

According to the World Health Organisation, hazardous air pollution is the reason behind a staggering seven million premature fatalities globally, mainly due to increased morbidity from a host of cardiovascular concerns, respiratory infections, and cancers.

While rapid industrialisation and emissions of greenhouse gases are significant contributors to the menace, vehicle pollution is guilty of exacerbating air contamination as well. That being said, no matter which part of the country (or world) you live in, you can always take steps in the right direction. This includes altering your commuting and travelling habits.

Use a cleansing agent

With time, harmful deposits start to accumulate in a car’s engine, resulting in decreased efficiency and increased emissions. Adding a cleansing agent in the fuel system helps to remove the deposit build-up and bring down emissions. Note that it is wise to invest in good-quality fuel containing these cleaning additives.

Before you take out your car for a spin, make sure you are adding the cleansing agents into the tank. The fuel cleaner and exhaust should ideally be used every two months for optimum efficiency.

Use better (alternative) fuels

At a gas station, you may have noticed fuel booths that are labelled ‘super’ or ‘premium’. These are alternative fuels that are cleaner substitutes for the regular diesel or gasoline. Thinking about whether these expensive alternatives are worth it? Indeed they are, considering they come with active purifying agents that help to check engine deposits and dirt, thereby limiting emissions and bettering fuel economy.

You might also observe a significant difference in performance. However, this ‘difference’ will depend on the age and make of your car, and your style of driving.

Replace the oil periodically

It is the engine oil that keeps your vehicle moving – lubricating it and preventing any wear and tear. Therefore, it makes sense to change the oil at periodic intervals to ensure your car performs optimally. Driving smart and efficiently is the key here. Go easy on the brakes and gas pedal to cut down car pollution.

Check the manufacturer’s handbook and maintenance schedule; it will help you stay on top of the recommended service intervals. Also, check the level of engine oil between every servicing session and top it up in keeping with the guidelines. Only use oil that is recommended by the manufacturer.

Attend to the air filter

With time, the air filter accumulates dirt, something that clogs it and leads to several maintenance-related issues. Think about your car’s air filter to be the lungs of the engine. If the engines don’t “breathe” properly, deposits causing premature depreciation will begin to accumulate.

Make sure you stick to the servicing sessions that the manufacturer has recommended. However, if you live in a dry and dusty environment, you might have to replace the filters more frequently.

Also read: The Difference between BS4 & BS6 Emission Norms

Check for tyre pressure

When looking at a tyre, one would not generally think it responsible for air pollution caused by vehicles. However, sub-optimal tyre pressure is one of the primary causes of uncontrolled carbon dioxide emissions, compromised fuel economy, and increased vehicle pollution.

According to leading tyre manufacturing companies, a tyre loses almost 1psi (unit of pressure) every month. However, a host of other factors can exacerbate this leak. Visit your nearest gas station to check for tyre pressure at least once a month. Make sure it is always in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Turn on the AC judiciously

A comfortable interior with just the right amount of cooling especially with the scorching sun beating down on you sounds appealing, doesn’t it? But remember that more the air conditioning you use, harder the car’s engine works. This steps up emissions considerably.

That being said, make sure you are turning on the AC at least once every week so that you don’t have to shell out a hefty sum on repairs later.

Avoid idling

When idling, you only waste fuel by keeping the ignition turned on despite the vehicle not moving. This habit is prevalent, particularly when one is stuck in a traffic jam. Unnecessary idling only results in the engine and cabin becoming warmer. Turn off the engine if you think you could be stuck in congestion for more than 30 seconds.

Contrary to popular belief, keeping the engine idle for 10 seconds depletes more fuel as compared to restarting.

Pay heed to the following

Don’t drive unnecessarily

  • Cycle or walk if you are only travelling a short distance
  • Consider bike or car-sharing arrangements if possible
  • Choose public commute when you can
  • Instead of driving alone, consider carpooling with friends if they are headed in the same direction
  • Use app-cabs and other ride-sharing platforms
  • Plan your trip; if you need to buy groceries and have to visit other places that are in the vicinity, do all of it at once

Alter your style of driving, if need be

  • Change gear on time
  • Keep off the upper limits of the speedometer
  • Brake sooner, slow down

In conclusion

Know when it is time to change your car. Most modern manufacturers face stringent environment-related statutes. That’s precisely why cars today are more fuel-efficient than ever before. You can also consider electric vehicles that are generally less polluting and more efficient alternatives.

More importantly, vehicle pollution is a common indicator of further damages that may have gone unnoticed by you. For instance, excessive emission is indicative of engine inefficiency.

With that in mind, it is prudent to invest in a car insurance policy that is designed to offer extensive financial coverage in case your car sustains damages due to natural or man-made calamities. This way, you can guard against having to pay a formidable amount on repairs.

Besides, you also benefit from round-the-clock roadside assistance should your mean machine give up on you in the middle of nowhere. You can also opt for a raft of add-on covers that are tailored to expand coverage and meet your unique needs. For instance, engine protection cover reimburses the amount should you have to repair or replace the engine or ancillary parts like connecting rods and pistons.

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