Put away the wrenches and funnels: California’s recycling agency, CalRecycle, wants drivers to change their oil less frequently. The agency says that drivers who routinely change their car’s engine oil every 3000 miles are wasting resources and money, and damaging the environment.
CalRecycle reports that as many as 15 million Californians still abide by the rule of the thumb that engine oil should be changed every 3000 miles driven, even though modern cars can travel five times that distance between oil changes. If all drivers in California obeyed the actual oil-change intervals specified by the car’s manufacturer, the agency claims about 10 million gallons of oil could be saved annually.
In addition to wasting consumers’ money, the agency says that excessive oil changes waste energy and can pollute the environment. Forty percent of American waterways are said to be contaminated with used engine oil. In addition, CalRecycle claims that over 153 million gallons of waste engine oil are created each year.
To help combat the issue, CalRecycle has launched a new website, CheckYourNumber.org, that allows drivers to find the manufacturer-recommend oil-change interval for their vehicle. According to the website, a 2003 Ford Focus only needs an oil change every 5000 miles, a 2009 Chevrolet Corvette can travel 7500 miles between oil changes, and a 2010 Audi R8 only needs fresh oil every 10,000 miles.