By Julia B. Hillegass
Public Information & Community Affairs Administrator
Automotive oil and fluid leaks not only create an unsightly mess wherever you park your car, they can indicate a problem with your vehicle. Worse yet, rain washes these chemicals off the street and into nearby streams and rivers, contributing to water pollution. May is National Good Car Keeping Month, and a great time to make sure your car isn't polluting area waterways!
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.
Why drive leak free?
Oil and other engine fluids that leak from our cars onto roads and driveways are washed into stormdrains, and then usually flow directly to a stream or river. Automotive fluids like antifreeze and transmission fluid are also poisonous to people, wildlife and plants. One quart of oil can make a slick larger than a football field.
By testing your vehicle for oil and fluid leaks and getting them fixed, you can help keep pollution out of Hampton Roads waterways. To determine if you have a leak, simply place a 2’ x 4’ sheet of paper or cardboard under the front of your vehicle for a few hours or overnight, and check it for signs of drips. Newspaper or paper grocery bags are ideal for this.
Found a leak?
Some simple observations of color , texture, and odor can help identify vehicle fluid leaks; however, the identity, source, and repair for any leaking fluid might be best left to a professional. Please consult your auto repair specialist for more information if you suspect there may be a problem.
Tips on Driving Leak Free
Keeping these types of fluids out of the stormdrain system, as well as our streams and rivers helps to protect drinking water supplies and allows for fishable and swimmable waterways. And that makes for a better Hampton Roads, so don't drip and drive!