Press Release

Baltimore, MD (May 21, 2008) – MDE in partnership with the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) and Precision Tune Auto Care are sponsoring a series of free car care clinics in Baltimore County. At these clinics, technicians from Precision Tune will examine vehicles for proper tire condition/inflation, level/condition of vehicle fluids, and other vehicle maintenance issues.

“As we resume the ozone forecasting season, citizens can improve air quality by taking simple steps to maintain their vehicles,” said MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson. “These clinics will teach citizens what they can do to save gas and money while protecting our environment.”

“By reducing air pollution, Marylanders will be able to spend more time outside with their families,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “We will have fewer poor air quality days and improve our quality of life, especially for those with asthma and other respiratory ailments.”

A clinic will be held Tuesday, June 10, from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm, at the Bykota Senior Center, 611 Central Avenue, Towson, MD 21204

As the ozone season begins, motorists should be conscious about the environmental and economic benefits of vehicle maintenance. A routine 10 -15 minute inspection may turn up problems save money on gas and repair costs while reducing pollution. When a vehicle is properly maintained the chance of being stranded is reduced, the amount of vehicle pollution is reduced, and the vehicle’s fuel efficiency is increased. Four simple steps can improve gas mileage and save money.

  • Vehicle gas caps – About 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
  • Under inflated tires – When tires aren’t inflated properly it’s like driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.
  • Worn spark plugs – A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced regularly.
  • Dirty air filters – An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture – too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 15 cents a gallon.

For more information go to the National Car Care Council’s website ( This website offers interactive explanations of vehicle systems and how to maintain them. For more information on MDE’s Mobile Sources Program go to