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Practice Good Car Care


What's the Issue?

Soaps and sprays from washing your car end up in our waterways!

Did you know there are over four million vehicles in Southeast Michigan? That means when you practice good car care, you are helping protect our lakes and streams. How does this affect our lakes and streams? Storm drains found in our streets and roadside ditches lead to our lakes and streams. So, if dirty water from washing our cars or motor fluids is dumped or washed into the storm drain, it pollutes our local waterways.


Remember, a few simple changes can make a big difference!


Make a Date. Car wash facilities treat their dirty water before discharging it to our lakes and streams. So, make a date to take your car to a car wash.

Wash on the Grass. If you wash your car at home, consider washing it on the lawn. Or, if you can't use the lawn, try to direct the dirty water towards the lawn and away from the storm drain.

Minimize. Reduce the amount of soap you use or wash your car with plain water.

Maintain. Keep your vehicle properly tuned and use the owner's manual to decide how often to change fluids such as oil and antifreeze.

Car Wash. Consider taking your vehicle to an auto shop to have the oil and other fluids changed. These businesses recycle the used materials and clean up accidental spills.

Recycle. If you choose to change your oil and other fluids yourself, label the waste containers. Then, take them to your community's household hazardous waste collection day or to a business that accepts used oil. For more information on the proper disposal of vehicle wastes, see the resident’s tip page.

Soak It Up. Use kitty litter to absorb small amounts of spilled vehicle fluids. Then sweep it into a bag and throw it in the trash.

Go Undercover. Whenever possible, perform vehicle maintenance in a well-ventilated, but covered location (e.g., garage). This minimizes the potential for rainfall to wash those inevitable spills and drips into our lakes and streams.