Consumers and Kids
NOTE: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.
- Air Pollution
- What You Can Do
- Inspection and Maintenance Programs
- Emissions Warranties
- Importing Vehicles and Engines (For cross-border sales policies, see: Cross Border Sales)
- Gas-Saving Devices and Fuel Additives
- Materials for Kids
- Locating Other Documents
- Related Links
- Emission rates from highway vehicles
The amount of pollution that a vehicle emits and the rate at which it consumes fuel are dependent on many factors. EPA has developed computer models that estimate the average emissions for different types of highway vehicles. This series of fact sheets provide highway vehicle emission factors for different vehicles.
- Average Annual Emissions and Fuel Consumption for Gasoline-Fueled Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (PDF) (6 pp, 123K, EPA-420-F-08-024, September 2008)
- Idling Vehicle Emissions for Passenger Cars, Light-Duty Trucks, and Heavy-Duty Trucks (PDF) (6 pp, 163K, EPA-420-F-08-025, September 2008)
- Average In-Use Emissions from Heavy-Duty Trucks (PDF) (6 pp, 1.1MB, EPA-420-F-08-027, September 2008)
- Average In-Use Emissions from Urban Buses and School Buses (PDF) (5 pp, 330K, EPA-420-F-08-026, September 2008)
- Sample Calculation of Emission Reductions and Fuel Savings from a Carpool Program (PDF) (5 pp, 677K, EPA-420-F-08-028, September 2008)
- Diesel Exhaust in the United States (PDF) (4 pp, 394K, EPA-420-F-03-022, June 2003)
This brochure provides an overview of the health effects of diesel exhaust and reducing emissions from diesel vehicles.
- Diesel Exhaust and School Bus Idling (PDF) (2 pp, 574K, EPA-420-F-03-021, June 2003)
This fact sheet explains how children are affected by diesel emissions from idling school buses and lists recommended actions to reduce diesel pollution from school buses.
What You Can Do
- Green Vehicle Guide
Simple tool to help consumers find the cleanest, most efficient vehicle that meets their needs. The site also provides tips on what consumers can do to reduce emissions.
- SmartWay Certified Vehicles: Buy and Drive Smart
Tips and suggestions that will help reduce the impact your vehicle has on the environment.
- Fuel Economy: What You Can Do
Information on improving fuel economy.
- Climate Change: What You Can Do on the Road
Simple, easy steps you can take to cut emissions from your vehicle, reduce our nation's dependence on oil, and save money.
- Air Quality and How You Can Help – Travel and Commuting
Tips to help you reduce pollution and learn about the environment.
- Boating Pollution Prevention Tips (PDF) (2 pp, 134K, EPA-420-F-13-006, January 2013)
Tips to help you prevent both air and water pollution when using your boat.
- Clean School Bus USA: What You Can Do
Steps that parents and students can take to reduce pollution from school buses.
Inspection & Maintenance Programs
- Inspection and Maintenance Programs
Vehicle inspection and maintenance programs (I/M) help improve air quality by identifying high-emitting vehicles in need of repair (through visual inspection, emissions testing, and/or the downloading of fault codes from a vehicle's onboard computer) and causing them to be fixed as a prerequisite to vehicle registration within a given non-attainment area. The 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act made I/M mandatory for several areas across the country, based upon various criteria, such as air quality classification, population, and/or geographic location.
- On-Board Diagnostics
On-Board Diagnostics, or "OBD," is a computer-based system built into all 1996 and later light-duty vehicles and trucks to monitor your vehicle's engine, transmission, and emissions control components. If your "Check Engine" light comes on and stays on, your OBD system is telling you that it has detected a problem with your vehicle. In addition to protecting the environment, this light, and the OBD system behind it, can save you time and money by identifying minor problems before they become major repair bills.
Vehicle manufacturers are required by federal law to provide warranty coverage for certain components of your vehicle's emissions-control system. These fact sheets explain each warranty in detail, provide you with a list of some of the parts covered under these warranties, explain the procedures for making an emissions warranty claim, and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about emissions warranties.
- Emissions Warranties for 1995 and Newer Cars and Trucks (PDF) (10 pp, 145K, EPA-420-F-09-048, October 2009)
- If Your Car Just Failed an Emissions Test, You May Be Entitled to Free Repairs (PDF) (8 pp, 23K, EPA-420-F-95-014, December 1995) This fact sheet applies to 1981-1994 model year vehicles.
Importing Vehicles and Engines (For cross-border sales policies, see: Cross Border Sales)
Importing vehicles and engines into the United States
Prior to importing motor vehicles, motor vehicle engines, heavy-duty on-highway engines, recreational vehicles (dirt bikes, ATVs, ORUVs, snowmobiles) and nonroad engines into the United States, importers will need to become familiar with the applicable EPA emission regulations and requirements. This web site provides detailed information on EPA’s importation regulations and requirements.
- Imports Helpline contact information:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (734) 214-4100
- E15: Frequently Asked Questions
This web page provides basic information on E15, which is a blend of gasoline and up to 15 volume percent ethanol.
- Alternative Fuel Vehicles
This U.S. Department of Energy web site provides basic information on vehicles that run on alternative fuels: electric, flexible fuel, fuel cell, hybrid electric, natural gas, and propane.
- Biodiesel (PDF) (3 pp, 90K, EPA-420-F-10-009, February 2010)
This fact sheet provides basic information on biodiesel, which is a renewable fuel produced from agricultural resources such as vegetable oils.
- Phase II Reformulated Gasoline: The Next Major Step Toward Cleaner Air (PDF) (2 pp, 152K, EPA-420-F-99-042, November 1999)
This brochure provides basic information about reformulated gasoline.
MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether)
MTBE is a chemical compound which contains oxygen and is often added to gasoline to boost its octane or to meet clean fuel oxygen requirements (i.e., reformulated gasoline and winter oxygenate gasoline). This Web site contains documents related to MTBE in gasoline and its air quality benefits.
Gas-Saving Devices and Fuel Additives
- Devices and Additives to Improve Fuel Economy and Reduce Pollution - Do They Really Work? (PDF) (5 pp, 115K, EPA-420-F-11-036, August 2011)
- Federal Trade Commission Facts for Consumers: “Gas Saving” Products: Fact or Fuelishness? (PDF) (4 pp, 198K, September 2006)
- Federal Trade Commission Consumer Alert: Gas-Saving Products: Proceed with Caution (PDF) (2 pp, 70K, July 2001)
- Office of Transportation and Air Quality overview
This web page provides an overview of the office: its programs and organization
- National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory
Information on this EPA laboratory, which is part of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality.
- Milestones in mobile source air pollution control and regulations
- Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act
This guide provides a brief introduction to the 1990 Clean Air Act, which is the most recent version of a law first passed in 1970 to clean up air pollution. This summary covers some of the important provisions of the 1990 Clean Air Act and may help you understand what is in the law and how it may affect you.
Materials for Kids
- Carl Gets Some Rest (PDF) (12 pp, 765K, EPA-420-K-03-001, April 2003)
This coloring and story book, for children in pre-school through 2nd grade, teaches a simple lesson: there are many transportation alternatives to using a car.
- The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up (EPA-420-K-07-001, September 2007)
EPA’s Clean School Bus USA program has partnered with Scholastic to write, illustrate, and publish a new book in the popular "Magic School Bus" children’s series for children from kindergarten through fourth grade. In this book, the children and Ms. Frizzle explore the pollution emitted from their own diesel school bus and learn about how to reduce the emissions as they find themselves traveling through a diesel engine. More information about the book, which is available in English and Spanish.
- Order a printed copy, but quantities are limited due to the popularity of the book.
- Bookmarks with facts about school buses and diesel exhaust
- Clean School Bus USA Bookmark #1 - Yellow School Bus (PDF) (1 pp, 47K, EPA 420-H-04-001, August 2004)
- Clean School Bus USA Bookmark #2 - Children's Faces (PDF) (1 pp, 47K, EPA 420-H-04-002, August 2004)
- Clean Schoolbus USA Logo coloring sheet (PDF) (1 pp, 2.30MB)
- EPA Web sites for Students
This web site for students, teachers, and parents, has games and quizzes, homework resources, teacher resources, and information on community service projects, science fair projects, Earth Day, awards and contests, and environmental education.
- Student Opportunities
Locating Other Documents
- Ordering EPA Publications from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP)
- EPA National Library Catalog
- Recycling Used Motor Oil
Oil keeps our cars, lawnmowers, and many other machines running smoothly. But once oil is used, it must be discarded properly to keep it from contaminating the environment. Recycling used oil is becoming the preferred way of handling used oil to protect the environment and conserve natural resources.
- Auto Air Conditioners and the Ozone Layer
Background information to help owners of air conditioned cars or trucks understand how efforts to protect the ozone layer will affect them.
- Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning and CFC Phaseout
Information for car and truck owners on the Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning Program.
- Lead-Acid Automobile Battery Recycling
Ninety-six percent of all lead-acid batteries are recycled. Almost any retailer that sells lead-acid batteries collects used batteries for recycling, as required by most state laws.
EPA’s GreenScapes program provides cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for landscaping. Designed to help preserve natural resources and prevent waste and pollution, GreenScapes encourages companies, government agencies, and homeowners to make more holistic decisions regarding waste generation and disposal and the associated impacts on land, water, air, and energy use.
- It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air
This program is a public education and partnership-building initiative developed by several federal agencies for the purpose of informing the public about the impact of their transportation choices on traffic congestion and air quality. This web site includes information on what you can do to help improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion and resources for individuals.
- Pocket Guide to Transportation
The U.S. Department of Transportation produces this compact resource that provides snapshots of the U.S. transportation system and highlights major transportation trends. The Pocket Guide contains a wealth of information on environmental sustainability, safety, economic competitiveness, and system use and livable communities.