The LiquiVac for large engines. Photo courtesy of Airpower America

Don't undo environmental greening by doing car maintenance yourself

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The cars of today are getting harder and harder to maintenance yourself, but hardcore do-it-yourself types can do the world a big disfavor, simply by not handling used oil properly if they change it themselves.

A single gallon of oil, improperly disposed of down a municipal storm drain, can contaminate one million gallons of water – enough to supply 50 adults for a full year – drinking, washing, watering, bathing and all. That’s a lot of agua.

Furthermore, the problem extends beyond automobiles to generators, lawnmowers, tillers, ATVs, snowmobiles and more. Changing out small amounts of oil without proper disposal can create environmental problems.

Motor is toxic to plant and animal life, including humans, as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to eHow Health, Boulder County lists lead, arsenic, cadmium and hydrocarbons among the toxins to be found in motor oil.

“In addition to its own toxic ingredients, motor oil picks up additional poisonous substances as it works to protect an engine from everyday wear and tear,” the site reports. “According to the EPA, heavy metals, dirt and other hazardous contaminants enter the motor oil over time.”

Of course, anytime there’s a problem a solution can be found and a company called AirPower America is offering a new vacuum-powered product that can suck used oil right out of the dipstick tube.

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