Changing your own oil may not always be enjoyable, but it is fulfilling and worthwhile. DIY projects such as changing your own oil promote self-reliance and extra peace of mind that the job was well done. One of the often-overlooked aspects of changing your own oil is properly disposing of the used motor oil. Here are a few essential tips before your next oil change.
Contain used oil
First, you need to safely catch the used motor oil. While draining the crankcase and removing the oil filter, it is ideal to catch every drop of used oil. I use a GarageBOSS drain pan, which has a screen on it to catch the filter or drain plug, a feature I sought out after dropping the drain plug in my bucket on many occasions, causing me to fish it out.
Some oil may end up on the ground. Absorb it with kitty litter (or an oil-absorbent powder), sweep it up and clean with a degreaser to help remove the oil stain.
Prepare used oil for transport
Pour the used oil into a clean plastic or metal container with a tightly sealed lid. I tend to use the containers from my last oil change. Do not mix the oil with other automotive fluids like differential fluid and antifreeze. Oil recycling facilities may not accept oil that is mixed with other fluids.
In case the container isn’t tightly sealed, wrap the containers in plastic trash bags. Getting the motor oil smell out of the upholstery in a car is a difficult task that should be avoided at all costs.
Find where to take used oil or automotive fluids
You have reached the point of completion; all that is left is to properly dispose of the waste oil. Do not throw it in the trash or pour it down the drain. According to the EPA, used oil from one oil change can contaminate 1,000,000 gallons of water! So, where do you go from here? There are a few options:
- Oil-Change Facility or Auto Parts Store – Most oil-change facilities and auto parts stores accept used motor oil. Some may charge a small recycling fee.
- Earth 911 – One of the largest recycling databases for waste-recycling facilities. If there is a recycling facility nearby, their handy tool will likely find it for you. Earth 911 incorporates auto parts stores as well.
- AMSOIL Dealer – Your local, independent AMSOIL Dealer may be a great resource for information on where to dispose of waste oil in their area. They’re often happy to help with any questions you may have.
Environmental benefits from synthetic oil
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Everyone has that phrase ingrained into their mind. Many drivers are used to the standard 3,000-mile oil change. But another great way to reduce waste oil is to avoid making as much in the first place. Back in 1972, AMSOIL pioneered the one-year oil change interval, and it’s prevented millions of gallons of used oil from entering the supply stream ever since.
Today, AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil still provides guaranteed protection for up to 25,000 miles or one year. Compared to 3,000-mile oil changes, that equates to eight fewer oil changes per year, significantly reducing waste oil.