- Check Your Number is the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery’s (CalRecycle) new education campaign to encourage Californians to do their part to help the environment by simply looking up the recommended oil change intervals and changing their habits accordingly.
- Most drivers rely on the old 3,000 mile standard, which no longer applies for most cars. Some cars can drive up to 15,000 miles before needing an oil change.
- The campaign also educates residents on the importance of properly recycling used motor oil and filters. Mixing it with other fluids may result in the certified collection center refusing to accept it.
How will less frequent oil changes impact my vehicle?
- More frequent oil changes (than necessary) does not equate to better car performance. Advances in modern engines and improved oil formulas have increased oil change intervals without sacrificing operational capabilities.
- Since 2005, automakers like Honda, GM, BMW, MINI, and Mercedes-Benz have started equipping their cars with high-tech service/maintenance systems that constantly monitor the “oil life” of the car to accurately determine when your next oil change is supposed to take place.
- These “oil life” systems look at driving speeds, cold starts, short-distance trips, and other factors that can negatively affect oil life. Based on driving conditions, the mileage between oil changes can vary considerably, between 5,000 to up to 15,000 miles.
What effect do driving conditions have on my oil change schedule?
- Driving conditions are an important factor in determining how often you should change your oil.
- Normal driving conditions typicallydo not include the following in a typical week:
- Cold weather, less than 10 degrees
- Extreme heat, more than 90 degrees
- Extreme humidity
- Towing a trailer or hauling heavy materials
- Extensive idling or in stop-and-go traffic
- Repeated short-distance trips of less than five miles
- If you do drive in any one of these conditions in a typical week, you may be driving in severe conditions, and may need to change your oil more often. Please consult your owner’s manual or dealership for accurate information on the oil change intervals best suited for your vehicle(s).
Why is the campaign important and how will it impact the environment?
- Currently, nearly 114 million gallons of motor oil are sold in California each year.
- One gallon of this insoluble substance can pollute one million gallons of water and if not recycled properly, it can find its way into oceans, lakes and other bodies of water, harming fish and other aquatic wildlife.
- Additionally, do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) are encouraged to use special receptacles to keep contaminates out of used motor oil and to dispose of it at designated waste facilities or collection events. Many centers take used motor oil for free and are easily found in local neighborhoods.
Where can I learn more about the Check Your Number Campaign?
- To learn more about this program, visit CheckYourNumber.org. CalRecycle launched the website to make it easy for residents to check their recommended oil change interval and be better informed about the responsible way to handle their next oil change.
- The Check Your Number website provides information on recommended oil change intervals for most vehicles made from the year 2000-2012, based on normal driving conditions.
- The website’s oil change interval database was compiled from the manufacturers’ official manuals and publications.
- Some makes, models, and year may not be available. The website will be continuously updated with more information as it becomes available to us.
- The Check Your Number website is meant to be a supplement to manufacturers’ publications. Car owners should always consult their owner’s manuals, manufacturers’ websites, or their authorized dealership as their primary resource for maintenance information.
What is CalRecycle?
- California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) is the state’s leading authority and central hub for recycling and waste management programs.
- From landmark initiatives (Integrated Waste Management and Beverage Container Recycling acts) to grassroots outreach (Check Your Number Campaign), CalRecycle provides insights, education, and resources that lead Californians to use less, recycle more and take resource conservation to higher and higher levels.
Are CalRecycle Programs Working?
- California leads the country by diverting approximately 65% of its waste from landfills.
- Today, recycling in California supports at least 140,000 jobs, according to data from the Employment Development Department.
- In 2010, California recycled:
- Approximately 30 million waste tires
- 16.5 billion California Redemption Value beverage containers
- 186 million pounds of electronic waste
- More than 100 million gallons of used motor oil
- There are now more than 3,200 Certified Collection Centers for used oil in California, many of which are conveniently located at auto parts stores and quick lube shops.