Non-Exhaust Emissions: How To Drive With The Environment In Mind

Not all of a car’s emissions stem from the exhaust. Non-exhaust emissions can be just as harmful. Here’s how to minimise their impact…

Non-Exhaust Emissions

When we think of the environmental impact of cars, we tend to think about the ‘stuff’ coming out of their exhausts. The smog and smoke that we associate with CO2 and other nasty by-products of using a combustion engine. Unfortunately, the impact cars can have is much broader than this and there are other sources; regardless of whether we drive a petrol, diesel, hybrid, hydrogen or all-electric.

However, the way we drive can have a massive impact on the effects our cars have on the climate and environment. Here’s how…

Braking Systems

The vast majority of braking systems work by producing friction between brake disks and pads – this friction is what brings our vehicles to a stop. Unfortunately, the process produces fine particulates of matter. Some of this will settle on road surfaces, but some will enter the atmosphere. From then on, it can contaminate bodies of water and negatively impact local air-quality; posing a hazard to human health.

There’s no way of avoiding the production of fine particulates altogether. However, by braking gently, and in good time, friction and wear tear can be reduced. This will reduce the amount of particulates overall.


Your car’s tyres are the only things that separate it from the road surface. As you drive, they face an immense amount of friction and, just as with braking systems, particulates and microplastics are produced; serious non-exhaust emissions. Scientists believe that matter produced by tyres could account for 26%of the microplastics in the world’s oceans. This means they’re as harmful as the likes of plastic bottles and bags!

High-quality tyres tend to wear out at a much slower rate than cheaper ones. They also make economic sense for drivers themselves – so, try to get your hands on tyres of good make and build. How you drive will also have an impact. Try to avoid speeding, accelerating harshly or conducting sharp manoeuvres. Doing so will reduce friction, and the the amount of microplastics your car produces.

Other Components 

Many parts and components in a car can produce non-exhaust emissions. In fact, there are too many to properly list or detail. But the single best thing a driver can do to mitigate their impact is to get their vehicle(s) regularly serviced and maintained. Regular visits to a garage with keep your car running smoothly, which reduces the chances of malfunctions and losses of efficiency; which, in turn, means less of an environmental impact.

Pothole Damage Cost Drivers £1.7 Billion Last Year –

The UK Faces £13 Billion In Road Repair Costs –

The Autoserve Club can save you time, money and stress. Club Members can receive discounts on servicing and new tyres and will gain access to our professional 24/7 helpline. To learn more, contact our friendly Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 today.

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