Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Get Cash for Your Unhealthy Vehicle

Retire Your Car from the Road to Reduce Air Pollution and the Risk of Lung Disease

Missed out on the cash for clunkers initiative? Well, the Bureau of Automotive Repair's (BAR) Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) offers qualified consumers $1,000 if their vehicle fails its biennial (every other year) Smog Check inspection and is not worth fixing.

Approved applicants must take their vehicles to Gold Shield Smog Check stations for repairs. This program helps everyone breathe easier, reduce the amount of gas they use by improving the air we breathe.

If your car is beyond fixing, you can receive up to $1,000 to retire it through an approved auto dismantler.

As many of us know, California has more cars than any other state according to the American Lung Association (ALA). California also has poor urban air quality and the worst air pollution in the nation, which can lead to a range of health and respiratory problems, including asthma and lung disease.

Reports released by the ALA also support the fact that chronic exposure to air pollution has a negative effect on lung function. Additionally, the reports also highlight health disparities among African American communities and other ethnic groups. These studies show that African Americans are three times more likely than other ethnic groups to develop lung disease.

In addition to pulmonary or lung-related diseases, asthma-related health issues are also relatively high in the African American community. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), African Americans are also three times more likely to be hospitalized from asthma attacks and three times more likely to die from it. Moreover, African American women have the highest asthma mortality rate of all other ethnic groups, more than 2.5 times higher than Caucasian women. These differences in asthma cases are attributed to a variety of factors, including poor urban air quality.

In order to help address the ailments caused by poor air quality, BAR established the DriveHealthy campaign to remind Californians about the importance of keeping vehicles properly maintained to help reduce air pollution.

To achieve this goal, Californians are encouraged to practice the following vehicle maintenance tips to help clean the air we breathe, as well as save money:

Check your air filter--Replacing a dirty air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.

Get in tune--A properly tuned engine can improve mileage by as much as 4 percent, which can create gas-by-the-gallon savings.

Pump'em up--More than one-quarter of vehicles have improperly inflated tires. The average under inflation of 7.5 pounds causes a loss of 2.8 percent in fuel efficiency.

See the light--Service your car immediately when a warning light appears. Whether it's your engine, oil or tire light, get assistance right away.

Watch your speed--For every 5 mph you reduce fuel highway speed, you can reduce fuel consumption by 7 percent. If you typically drive 70 mph on the highway, slow down to 65.

Drive smoothly--The smoother you accelerate and decelerate, the better your gas mileage.

Give your foot a brake--Riding with your foot on the brake not only wears out the brakes but can also reduce gas mileage by as much as 35 percent.

Don't idle--If stopped off the road for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine. Don't warm up your car before driving--it's not necessary. For every two minutes you don't idle, you can save the equivalent of nearly 1 cent per gallon.

Straighten out--Make sure your tires are properly aligned; poor alignment not only causes tires to wear out more quickly but also forces your engine to work harder, which can reduce gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.

No Modification Needed--Never make any modifications to your vehicle's emission control system.

You can obtain the CAP application and review the income eligibility table online at www.DriveHealthy.com or by calling the Department of Consumer Affairs' Consumer Information Center at 1-800-952-5210.

Category: Local


 

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