Vehicle engines rely on many components to run efficiently, and motor oil is just one of the things that can affect how well engines run.
Motor oil serves to reduce wear on moving parts. Oil also cleans, inhibits corrosion, improves sealing, and cools the engine by carrying heat away from moving parts. Each manufacturer has its own recommendations for oil-change intervals, but many advise that conventional motor oil be changed every 3,000 miles, while synthetic oils should be changed between every 7,000 to 10,000 miles. Excessive driving, extreme heat and even cold starts can cut down on oil life.
Vehicles receive many oil changes over their lifespans, and as a result motor oil can have a significant impact on the environment. When not handled responsibly or when discarded improperly, petroleum-based oils can wreak havoc on wildlife, water supplies and more. Eco-conscious motorists can keep the following tips in mind when changing their vehicles’ motor oil.
- Rely on a major oil change chain or service center. Oil change locations generally offer motor oil recycling so the oil can be reused and disposed of properly. These centers also will top off other fluids and give your vehicle a brief inspection, making them quite convenient.
- Bring oil to a recycling location. If you perform your own oil changes, be sure to collect all of the drained oil and put it into a canister. Vehicle repair centers generally offer motor oil recycling services and serve as drop-off centers. Check with your municipal recycling center as well, as they may have a motor oil drop-off policy.
- Opt for recycled motor oil. Certain brands of motor oil, are made from recycled and refined reclaimed motor oil.
- Learn about synthetic oils. Synthetic oils can be more effective at lubricating and cooling, and they can be changed less frequently than traditional motor oils. This helps generate less waste.
- Repair leaks promptly. If you notice oil or other fluids pooling under your vehicle, take the car to a mechanic. Even small leaks can contaminate the environment. In addition, leaks put neighborhood animals and pets at risk, as animals may be drawn to the sweet taste or aroma of automotive fluids.
Responsible vehicle maintenance includes taking measures to protect the environment.