Keep the en­vi­ron­ment in mind when chang­ing mo­tor oil

The Calvert Recorder - Southern Maryland Automotive Trends - - News -

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 prop- erly. 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, such as EcoPower, 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.

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