Rollin’ Stupid! – Coal Rolling Debunked

Photo Feb 23, 8 35 02 PMHave you heard about the latest trend filling our roads and unfortunately, skies? It’s called Rolling Coal, also known as Rollin’ Coal (cause that is so much cooler), Coal Rolling, Prius Repellent (get the eco-enviro-jab there? Clever!), and many other not-so catchy catch phrases. This so-called sport cloaked in the guise of a political statement is neither a sport nor a statement. What it is, my empowered friends, is STUPID.  


The activity itself, if you can even call it that, involves using a modified exhaust system on your vehicle so that you can blow big puffs of black diesel smoke out of stacks or exhaust pipes. The goal, I think, is to piss off the people driving behind you, especially the tree-hugger, vegan liberal types that drive flex-fuel and hybrid vehicles.

The steps involved in modifying a car (or in most cases, a big ‘ole honking truck) to actually Roll Coal are as follows:

  1. Come up with a big stack of money that probably should be spent on delinquent taxes, unpaid child-support, past-due rent, overdue bar tabs and the like.
  2. Use stack of money to tamper (Coal Rollers call this act “modifying,” but in actuality, it is “tampering”) with the existing emission control devices on the big ‘ole honking truck (come on, we know NOBODY Rolls Coal in a car).
  3. Tamper emission controls using a Defeat Device or other mechanism to increase the amount of toxic waste into the environment (brilliant!).
  4. Lose even more money as a result because in order to get bigger puffs of black smoke (arrrr, arrrr, arrrr), more fuel must be dumped into the motor. Coal Rollers see this as an investment in their vehicles. Personally, I see the idea of dumping more fuel to get more horsepower to get more smoke to get noticed as just STUPID (see definition above). And, I think that these coal rollers are probably overcompensating for something…. Just saying!

Coal Rollers do this to accomplish the following:

  1. To impress their girlfriends/cousins/virtual friends
  2. To cover the vehicle behind them in black smoke (oooh, scary)
  3. To get attention on social media sites and likes from their cousins/girlfriends/boyfriends and anyone else that stumbles across their vine.

But here’s what these geniuses actually accomplish:

  1. They waste fuel
  2. They waste money (likely increasing the outstanding warrants they already have)
  3. They break Environmental Protection Act laws:
    1. The CAA [Clean Air Act] prohibits anyone from tampering with an emission control device on a motor vehicle by removing it or making it inoperable prior to or after the sale or delivery to the buyer. A vehicle’s emission control system is designed to limit emissions of harmful pollutants from vehicles or engines.1
  4. They reinforce the perception that the Prius owner already has of them as STUPID!
  5. They pollute the environment
  6. They damage the integrity of the diesel fuel industry, which has worked tirelessly to make great strides in its environmental impact
  7. They look like asses!

As an automobile owner and a responsible resident of this planet, I think Rolling Coal is an incredibly irresponsible and environmentally toxic activity. It is NOT a sport. It is NOT a political statement. It should come with a warning… like the activities aired on “Jack Ass” – do not try this at home (or on the road)!

As a shop owner, I think Rolling Coal harms the integrity and reputation of fuel companies, shops and responsible vehicle owners. The majority of people do not see any humor in this. They, like me, probably see it as an insult to the old school, gearhead activity of truly modifying a vehicle. They probably see Rolling Coal as pollution porn, a cry for help – help me get noticed, help me be liked, help me feel good about myself! And as a responsible shop owner, I’m betting that my fellow shop owners see Rolling Coal as a potential lawsuit for the vehicle owner, the parts store and any mechanic that helped modify the emission controls.

As an advocate for education, empowerment and transparency in the automotive industry, I can only say that Rolling Coal is STUPID. And as a mechanic, I can fix a lot of things…. But you just can’t fix stupid.


Mechanically Yours,





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s