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Portland drivers to "Drive Green and Clean" beginning in October as part of National Car Care Month

Sep 21, 2009

Coming this October, a new campaign will provide free vehicle inspections in the Portland metro area to reduce unnecessary pollution caused by autos in need of repair. Beginning Oct. 1, coupons offering a "Free Green and Clean Inspection" will be distributed to DEQ Vehicle Inspection Program stations in the Portland area. Each customer going through the vehicle emissions check will receive a coupon for a free visual inspection of their vehicle at a participating Ecological Business (Eco-Biz) certified auto repair shop.

The innovative partnership between the Ecological Business Certification Program for Auto Repair, the NW Automotive Trades Association, the Oregon Environmental Council, and the Pollution Prevention Outreach Team (which includes the City of Portland, Clean Water Services, Oregon DEQ, City of Gresham, Clackamas and Washington Counties) encourages motorists to become conscientious about the environment and save money over the long run by being alerted to needed maintenance.

"Researchers from NASA and the Smithsonian Institute have estimated that every three weeks, more oil is deposited on driveways and streets in the U.S. than the Exxon Valdez spilled in Alaska," said Sallie Schullinger-Krause, program director from the Oregon Environmental Council. "Nobody wants to be a part of that statistic, but as drivers we are all contributors. This free inspection is a great way to be a part of the solution."

The auto repair shop will check for fluid leaks, check the air filter, perform a tire pressure check, look at hoses, gas cap, and check the tailpipe for visible smoke. If the vehicle passes the visual check, the driver will receive a decal that says "I Drive Green and Clean" and a convenient Car Care Guide that fits in the vehicle glove box.

Statistics from the latest Car Care Months inspection campaign (conducted in April and October 2008) continue to underscore the need for consumer education about auto maintenance. Overall, the vehicle failure rate for at least one part or system in 2008 was 80 percent. This means that more than eight out of every 10 vehicles failed at least one component of the vehicle inspection process. The adverse effects on highway safety, air quality, cost of vehicle operation, vehicle performance and dependability are self-evident from these results. The following data show the percentage of motorists participating in the National Car Care Month and Fall Car Care Month 2008 inspection campaign whose vehicles failed this part of the inspection.

Lubricants and fluids:
• Engine Oil: 32%
• Transmission Fluid: 17%
• Washer Fluid: 23%
• Coolant (Flush): 21%
• Power Steering Fluid: 15%
• Brake Fluid: 14%

"We anticipate that this will be a great resource for motorists to become more aware of the potential environmental impacts of vehicles in need of repair, as well as a way to avoid costlier repairs down the road with some good old fashioned routine maintenance," said Barbara Crest, Executive Director of the Northwest Automotive Trades Association.

Note to Editors: A list of Portland-area Eco-Biz certified auto repair shops can be found here.

About the Oregon Environmental Council
The Oregon Environmental Council safeguards what Oregonians love about Oregon – clean air and water, an unpolluted landscape and healthy food produced by local farmers. For more than 40 years we've been a champion for solutions to protect the health of every Oregonian and the health of the place we call home. Our vision for Oregon includes solving global warming, protecting kids from toxics, cleaning up our rivers, building sustainable economies, and ensuring healthy food and local farms. Find out more at

For More Information:
Oregon Environmental Council
Jeremy Graybill, Communications Director
503-222-1963 ext. 111
503-806-4642 (mobile)
jeremyg at


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