Save Money and Help the Environment

Guest Author: Brian England, Founder of British American Auto CareIn the past we all drove our cars without a second thought to gas costs or the environment. Today, it’s a different story.  Gas prices make us think twice, as should the harm we are causing to the environment by producing green house gases.

How much are your driving habits affecting the environment?

Daily we hear and often respond to TV commercials that encourage us to “change our oil every 3,000 miles.” But, with today’s modern vehicles and current environmental awareness, is that still the best policy?

Well, saving oil, money and reducing your effect on the environment, by extending the time between oil changes – while still maintaining the safety and reliability of your vehicle – sounds like the perfect goal.  But, is it possible? Yes!

Today, many manufacturers recommend changing their vehicles’ engine oil every 5,000 miles, 10,000 miles or at even longer intervals, but it depends on your vehicle and driving habits.

If we assume you drive your vehicle just 12,000 miles a year and you change your oil every 3,000 miles, that’s four oil changes a year!  The smallest vehicle uses five quarts of oil, so you are using 20 quarts of oil a year – that’s 20 empty plastic containers (that go to the landfill) and five gallons of oil. Also, add your gas and time spent getting the oil changes completed!

If you can change your oil change periods from 3,000 miles to every 6,000 or 7,500 miles you would at least cut that usage in half!   Now, not everyone’s driving habits and vehicle are suitable for extending oil changes so, first talk to your service provider (not the quickie-lubs shop, they make extra money by having you come back regularly!) and tell them about your driving habits and they can advise you if you can extend your oil change periods.

Not only will you be saving time and money, but also helping the environment.

Brian’s suggestions for green driving practices will be appearing on the VFC blog over the next few weeks. Read more Car Care Tips.