2-Cycle, 4-Cycle and Re-Cycle

Increasing our dependence on pre-used oil

Story Andy Bolig - June 20, 2011 09:00 AM


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Friction is reality. Things that move will eventually wear, and the best way to prevent that from happening is with some form of a lubricant. Many times, the best lubricant for the job is oil.

With the cost of a barrel of oil going up again, there has been a lot of talk about finding ways to reduce how much of this black, liquid gold we rely on from other countries. Like many instances, there are several viable ways that we can continue to cut down on our reliance issue, but not many of them enjoy the comprehensive infrastructure necessary to realize their full potential.

You can say that winning the battle against barrel gouging shouldn’t be left to a select few but that if we are all determined to take on the fight, the benefits would surely be realized. Many households are accustomed to filling up those yellow containers with recyclable materials to be whisked away on trash day, only to continue the cycle for the greater good.

You would be hard pressed to find many American households that don’t own at least one automobile, and most of those autos will have engines with moving parts. Deep within those engines, you will most likely strike oil. If the owners have any sort of preventive maintenance schedule, they will likely swap out the used oil for newer, cleaner oil.

Valvoline is hoping that many owners will swap out their 100-percent used oil for only 50-percent used oil. Now that I have your attention, let me explain. They have begun marketing a new brand of oil under the Valvoline banner that combines 50-percent completely new oil in combination with 50-percent recycled oil. Now, before you think that the pre-owned oil goes directly from someone’s drain pan into your engine, understand that the used oil gets re-refined and only the highest quality recycled base oils get reused.

Changing oils is like changing barbers; we’re hesitant to leave a proven entity for something yet untried, especially when our beloved autos are involved. Some will make the change, feeling good that they’ve reduced the amount of oil needed from “over there,” even if it is less than a gallon. Others will wait and see what’s around the bend for those going with the “something old, something new” mentality. Either way, the benefits are there, so long as the protection is also. Recycling is taking a firm hold on the everyday actions of our lives. Going forward, we can only expect more. Even if we’re hesitant to start filling with recycled oil, we can still do our part by making sure that our used oil goes to the right places. What we do with what comes out is just as important as what goes in our engines. While it might not sound as exciting as searching for new propulsion systems or alternative fuels, maybe a little bit of investment into simplifying the oil recycling process for everyday Americans would go a long way to helping.