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Recycled Oil vs New Oil: Does it Make a Difference for an Oil Change?

You may have heard of recycled oil, or never considered the idea.

There are worries that it is inferior to “fresh” oil or that it could damage your vehicle. In today’s environmentally focused world there are definitely strong reasons to consider recycled oil for your next change.

What is Recycled Oil?

Simply put — recycled oil is used oil that is processed in a way that returns it to a base lube stock.

Through the recycling process, the impurities and water in the oil are removed, allowing for additives to be reintroduced to the lube stock. Since the additives are what really matter in the oil, this recycling brings old oil to a point where it is perfectly safe to use.

The new process of recycling is much better than the old acid-clay treatment. Thanks to technological progress we are able to more effectively remove impurities from old oil.

The process is so effective that one gallon of used oil can produce 2.5 quarts of usable oil. It takes 42 gallons to make the same amount of clean oil in the first place.

Does it Matter?

For the environment, yes.

Recycling oil reduces the amount that has to be mined which cuts down on the amount of mining we have to do. Anything that cuts down on our carbon footprint is beneficial to us. It also reduces the amount of old oil just sitting around polluting the ground.

For your car, no.

Oil that has been run through the recycling process and had its additives re-added is just as good as fresh oil. Oil is oil at the end of the day. However, it’s fine if you want to use new oil to maintain that clean feeling after an oil change as long as you take your old oil to be recycled.

Some companies are trying to break into the consumer market with recycled oil as an alternative product.

Valvoline Nextgen is a line of recycled oils made for the average person. They back it up with a 150,000-mile and 225,000-mile guarantee for their conventional and synthetic brands respectively.

If you are looking for where to recycle oil, most chain auto part stores like Autozone will take your old oil. A good system is to save your old oil in the new container and take it with you when you go to get ready for the next change.

Keeping your car maintained with new or recycled oil keeps it functioning longer and safer. It can even lower car insurance.

Keep Your Car Going

Cars are expensive, that’s no lie. But oil changes are one of the cheaper maintenance areas. New or recycled doesn’t make a difference, what matters is how good you are about when you perform the changes.

The better you take care of a car, the better it takes care of you.

Check out our DIY and maintenance sections to see what else you can do to keep your car on the road and out of the garage.