An oil leak is not only bad for your car: It also pollutes our local waterways, the Columbia River.
Oil, transmission, brake and steering wheel fluids contain toxic pollutants. When drips from leaking vehicles fall on roads, driveways and parking lots, they eventually get washed into the Columbia River through the stormwater system.
Oil does not dissolve in water, it lasts a long time and sticks to everything it touches. A small drip may seem like it doesn't matter but when added to all the other vehicles that have small drips it can have a significant impact. One pint of oil can make a slick larger than a football field.
What can you do?
Stop drips. Check for leaks regularly and fix them promptly.
Clean up leaks or spills immediately. Cover with an absorbent material such as soil or kitty litter, sweep it up and put it in the trash.
Use a drip pan or ground cloth beneath your vehicle if you have a leak or are doing engine work.
If you change the oil on your own vehicle collect all of the used oil in containers with tight fitting lids. Do not mix different engine fluids, this makes it useless for recycling.
Never dispose of oil or other engine fluids down the storm drain, on the ground or into a ditch.
Recycle your used automotive fluids. To find out where you can take used oil for recycling call the Department of Ecology's 1-800-RECYCLE line (1-800-732-9253) or use their online search. Another good resource is the Chelan County Public Works solid waste webpage, which contains information about recycling and household hazardous waste events.
Visit one of the participating repair shops today to get a free visual leak check and a discount on leak repairs. For more information www.fixcarleaks.org.