What’s new in Green for Cars

Used Oil Recycling Program


The Facts About Re-Refined Oil

What is Re-Refined Oil?

Re-refined oil is used motor oil that undergoes an extensive re-refining process to remove contaminants to produce a good-as-new base oil. This base oil is then sold to blenders who add additive packages to produce lubricants such as motor oil, transmission fluid, and grease. The main difference between re-refined and virgin oil products is that re-refined represents the responsible choice for the environment.

Are Re-Refined Lubricants Safe to Use?

Lubricants made from re-refined base stocks must undergo the same testing and meet the same standards as virgin lubricants in order to receive the certification of the American Petroleum Institute (API). Vehicle and engine manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, and Detroit Diesel have issued warranty statements that allow the use of re-refined oil as long as it meets API standards. Many government and private fleets have used re-refined lubricants in their vehicles for years and report no difference in performance from virgin lubricants.

Why Use Re-Refined Oil?

Re-refined oil is good for the environment and it’s priced competitively to regular motor oil. Also, do-it-yourself oil changers “close the recycling loop” with re-refined oil by turning in their old oil and purchasing motor oil that has been used, re-refined, and put back on store shelves for reuse.

Buying re-refined oil reduces our dependence on imported oil, reduces the depletion of natural resources, eliminates waste material, and helps create jobs. By using and promoting the use of re-refined lubricants, you accomplish the following:

  • Preserve a non-renewable resource—oil.
  • Demonstrate your commitment to a cleaner environment through recycling and proper waste management.
  • Help protect the environment against pollution.
  • Re-Refined Oil by the Numbers
  • It takes one gallon of used oil to produce 2.5 quarts of re-refined oil.

If all used motor oil generated by the public was collected and re-refined, it would provide enough oil for more than 8 million cars each year.

What is Being Done to Promote the Use of Re-Refined Oil?

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) promotes closed loop recycling and the use of re-refined lubricants. Cal Recycle’s used oil program, awarded a contract to the California State University-Long Beach Foundation to promote the use of re-refined lubricants. The Long Beach Foundation project focuses on fleet manager training. Fleet manager training increases the market demand for re-refined oil by educating fleet managers on re-refined oil quality and successful uses.

Alternative Fuels

Type of Vehicle Environmental Impact Cost to Drive Price and Availability
BATTERY-POWERED ELECTRIC Depends on whether the electricity comes from wind, nuclear, or coal. No tailpipe emissions. 3 cents per mile based on today’s electricity prices. The Tesla Roadster costs $109,000. Other small companies make low-speed cars starting under $10,000.
NATURAL GAS Emits 95% less smog-causing pollutants and 30% less greenhouse gases than gasoline. A gallon ranges from 60 cents to more than $2. Honda’s Civic GX gets 24 mpg in the city, 36 on the highway. The Honda Civic GX costs $25,200. Conversion kits for vehicles like the Chevy Tahoe and Lincoln Town Car start at $1900.
ETHANOL/BIODIESEL Lower emissions than gasoline, but critics say more energy is used to produce ethanol than is contained in the fuel itself. Ethanol costs about $2 per gallon, biodiesel $4. Mileage is 10%-20% less in cars using E85, an 85% ethanol blend. Special models of vehicles like the Chrysler Sebring, Ford F-150, and GMC Yukon all can run on E85 and cost about the same as regular models of those cars.
HYBRID Better gas mileage means lower emissions. The Toyota Prius, the most-efficient and most-popular hybrid, gets 45 mpg. The Prius costs $22,000; Chevy’s plug-in hybrid Volt should be available in 2010 for $40,000.
HYDROGEN COMBUSTION Virtually no tailpipe emissions. Some pollution is created converting natural gas into hydrogen. When the market is established, a gallon should cost about $1.10. BMW and Ford are making test vehicles, but no car is commercially available.

Source: Parade Magazine, January 2009

Additional Articles in Green

Easy Steps to Better Gas Mileage

With the average price of gas dipping below two dollars per gallon for the first time since 2009, many motorists have been seeing a real savings at the pump. Putting some of that savings toward basic auto care can lead to more miles per gallon and, in turn, more savings, says the non-profit Car Care READ MORE »

Four Easy Ways to Go Green with Your Car

Looking for ways to become more environmentally friendly with your car? Motorists can help protect the environment by following four simple steps from the non-profit Car Care Council. Follow a vehicle service schedule including steps like checking engine performance, keeping tires properly inflated, replacing air filters regularly, changing oil regularly and checking your gas cap. READ MORE »

Multiply Gas Savings with Vehicle Maintenance

  As gas prices continue to drop, motorists should take advantage of their savings at the pump and invest it back into their vehicles. By spending a little now to increase fuel efficiency, drivers can multiply fuel savings and save more money at the pump, says the Car Care Council. The national average of the READ MORE »

Make Your “Regular” Car More Environmentally Friendly

In the past decade, the automobile industry has experienced a revolution. While traditional vehicles are still going strong, the creation of affordable, mass-produced hybrids and electric cars has started a revolution. Many people are choosing electric cars over fossil-fuel vehicles because they are cheaper to drive and help reduce damage to the environment. The cost READ MORE »

Go Green: Repower Your Vehicle’s Engine

When serious engine trouble hits, the non-profit Car Care Council reminds vehicle owners that repowering their current vehicle rather than buying a new one is the cost-effective, “green” way to go. “When it comes to your vehicle, it’s great to be green,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “By repowering the vehicle you READ MORE »

Rising Gas Prices Don’t Have to Cost You

6 Simple Car Care Tips to Increase Gas Mileage Spring is here and so are rising gas prices. Not to worry, says the Car Care Council. A few simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance steps can stretch your dollar at the pump and go a long way toward protecting the environment. “Many motorists don’t realize that READ MORE »

You Don’t Need the Luck of the Irish to Make Your Car Green

The luck of the Irish won’t make your car green, but performing basic vehicle maintenance will not only help protect the environment, but will also keep more “green” in your wallet, says the non-profit Car Care Council. “To be car care aware, you don’t need to be lucky, just proactive,” said Rich White, executive director, READ MORE »

It’s Easy Being Green When It Comes to Your Car

Kermit once said that “it’s not easy being green,” but when it comes to your car, the opposite is true. Consumers can help protect the environment and keep more “green” in their wallets by following a few simple steps from the Car Care Council. Hang onto your current vehicle and limit the number of new READ MORE »

Car Care Council Tips Help Save Money as Gas Prices Near $4

Consumers’ pain at the pump is back with gas prices rising for 33 consecutive days according to the Washington Post and the average price of gas moving closer to $4 per gallon. No need to worry, says the Car Care Council. A few simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance tips can help alleviate the pain. “You READ MORE »

Mean, Green Driving Machine

The Car Care Council suggests five easy ways to turn your car into a mean, green driving machine – for your wallet and the environment. Drive Green – Recognize that how you drive has a lot to do with fuel economy. Avoid sudden starts and stops and go the speed limit. Jerky and aggressive driving READ MORE »

Simple Steps to Save Gas Without Driving Less

Driving less doesn’t have to be a consumer’s reaction to rising gas prices, according to the Car Care Council. While consumers can’t control the price of gas, they can control how much gas they use by following some simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance. “Most motorists don’t have the option of driving less when gas prices READ MORE »

The Lowdown On Hydrogen

Hydrogen may offer a solution to the looming fuel crisis, but it”s not without issues. DriverSide is here to give you the lowdown. You know all about hybrids. They’re everywhere. Nearly every manufacturer has at least one to offer, but there are other alternative fuel sources available today that are nearly as viable, and we”re not READ MORE »

A Surge of Funding for Battery Technology

With $2 billion of the stimulus package slated for battery technology, green cars may soon receive the jolt they need. One of the biggest hurdles for battery-powered hybrids and plug-in electric cars is their price tag. Buying that green car means shelling out plenty of green from your own pocket despite the narrow profit margin READ MORE »

Should We Be Computing Gallons Per Mile?

How to compute efficiency more efficiently. Like so many things in life, we’ve grown accustomed to an oft-used phrase without fully appreciating what it even means. Miles per gallon, or mpg, is well known by car owners throughout America. Literally, it means that your car gets X number of miles out of one gallon of READ MORE »

The Case For Clean Diesel

I tend to think of ecological automotive solutions like weight loss. Or, rather, attempts at weight loss. Crash diets are a temporary fix, which can help you shed those five pounds in time for your 10-year reunion, but come six months later, you’ll be right back where you started, if not worse off. Instead, long-term READ MORE »

The Real Costs Of Owning A Hybrid

After buying a hybrid, know what to expect at the service shop. You’ve heard all about the joys of saving gas money while owning a hybrid. Perhaps you’ve been envious of your neighbor with the Toyota Prius or the friend with a hybrid Honda Civic. In addition to their stellar mpg, hybrids are at the forefront of an READ MORE »

Diesel Debunked

Ever take a deep breath, only to discover that the shaky, old diesel in front of you is filling your trailing car with a pungent odor? While those ancient oil burners won’t disappear anytime soon (they seem to last forever), the new diesels entering the market are radically less offensive to the senses. In fact, READ MORE »

How To Save Gas

Tips and tricks on how to save gas at the pump and give you better fuel economy on the road. Fuel prices have mercifully fallen from the astronomical perches they occupied just a few short months ago, but that’s no excuse to not do what you can to save gas. Every penny that stays out READ MORE »


How easy is it to achieve better-than-estimated fuel economy? Rising gas prices are back, and most of us are doing everything possible to keep gas bills at a minimum. “Everything possible” takes on any entirely different meaning for a group of people that calls themselves “hypermilers”. These dedicated, fuel economy-conscious drivers alter their driving habits to READ MORE »

The History Of The Electric Car

If you believe electric vehicles are a new technology, think again Part I: 1830-1930  General Motors EV1 If you believe electric vehicles are a new technology, think again. Their widely unfamiliar history actually pre-dates that of gasoline-powered cars. In fact, it takes going back as far as 1830 – that’s no typo – to start uncovering their READ MORE »

Recyclable Cars

Which parts of your car end up as landfill? Each year, around 10 million vehicles are disposed of in the United States. Luckily, over 95 percent of these “retired” cars head straight to one of the 7,000 vehicle recycling operations around the country and 75 percent of these cars’ parts are completely recycled, letting cars READ MORE »