What Happens to Used Oil?

An engine is a complicated thing. So many parts, all moving, all working together to keep you in motion. Oil is imperative to keeping everything flowing harmoniously.
As oil flows through the engine it continuously draws heat away and lubricates thousands of components that all work together to keep your car rolling down the road without issue.

Oil is Everything

An engine is a complicated thing. So many parts, all moving, all working together to keep you in motion. Oil is imperative to keeping everything flowing harmoniously. As oil flows through the engine it continuously draws heat away and lubricates thousands of components that all work together to keep your car rolling down the road without issue. While it is lubricating, it is also cleaning; picking up dirt and debris as it goes.

Eventually, the oil becomes dirty from picking up the particles throughout the engine, making it abrasive and less effective. Dirty, used oil doesn’t lubricate well, and if left long enough, can lead to overheating, contamination of internal components, and in extreme cases even seizure of the engine.

To provide adequate protection we recommend an annual oil change or every 10,000 km for naturally aspirated cars and 6,000 km for diesel and other turbo-charged petrol engine cars.  Turbo-charged engine components create higher temperatures and therefore generate more wear.  When there is more heat, there is increase wear.

Then What Happens?

Once you have decided to get an oil change at the proper maintenance interval, and the oil has been removed from your car and replaced with fresh, what happens to it?

At Motor Werke, our used oil is stored on site until it is picked up by a company who is specialized in recycling and repurposing liquids.

There are many reasons not to dispose of oil, one being that it can be cleaned and made into new product. It can be turned into re-refined oil and used as a lubricant again, made into hydraulic oil, used in industrial burners, and used as an additive in manufactured products.

Oil Recycling

First, it is determined what oil can be re-refined. Re-refined oil will be turned once again into a lubricant of sorts. If it is in good enough shape to re-refine, it goes on to be dehydrated by removing all traces of water in the oil.
Once the water has been removed, the oil will then be filtered and demineralized. This removes any solids and additives that may be present in the oil. “Light” fuel is removed from the oil after this stage.

Vacuum distillation then removes the fraction of the fluid that is suitable for reuse as lubrication and it goes through a process called catalytic hydrogenation. This removes polymers and other chemical compounds remaining. At this point, the oil is separated into 3 grades and viscosities for different applications.

Finally, the appropriate detergents and anti-friction additives are added to produce a finished product.

Green for Life

Recycling and re-refining oil is greatly beneficial both environmentally and economically. Oil is a non-renewable resource, and so, every time it is re-refined we are protecting that resource. The process of re-refining is also less harsh than the refining of crude oil and uses less energy. Oil that is being re-refined is also oil that is not being dumped down a drain or spilled into our waters, lakes and rivers.  Improper disposal can wreak havoc on ecosystems and cause devastating contamination of soil and water.

At Motor Werke, we collect all oil into our catch cans to ensure it’s processed and recycled. For more information on our environmental responsibilities, please visit us here.

Don’t Forget To Brake Flush

Flushes are one of the most important things you can do …. for your vehicle. Did you know the average motorist who drives 20,000 km a year uses their brakes about 75,000 times a year?

A brake flush is one of the most important things you can do …. for your vehicle.

Did you know the average motorist who drives 20,000 km a year uses their brakes about 75,000 times a year?

Brake fluid is one of the most neglected fluids in vehicles today. The longer the brake fluid is in the lines, reservoir, calipers and ABS module, the more exposure to moisture.  Metal components in your brake system can become contaminated by brake fluid that has not been flushed due to oxidation.  In order to protect the internal components from oxidation and keep the system operating reliably and safely, a flush will keep the system protected. Moisture lowers the boiling temperature of brake fluid, and that can reduce braking effectiveness in repeated hard stops.

Here are some tips:

  • Brake fluid is based on time, not kilometers driven. Consult your owner’s manual, most recommend every 2 years for brake fluid flush interval.
  • What does your brake fluid look like? Open the hood, and then open the reservoir. The reservoir is typically located on the driver’s side of the vehicle above where your brake pedal will be. Brake fluid should be clear or translucent. If the fluid is rust-colored, moisture is present and a flush is due.
  • At Motor Werke, we test your transmission fluid with a refractometer which tells us the moisture content of the fluid. When brake fluid reaches 2% moisture content, there is enough moisture in the brake system to cause damage due to oxidation (corrosion). This amount of moisture in the brake fluid can also cause the fluid to boil. It is also possible, on extended braking periods (such as coming down a mountain or steep hill), that the moisture in the fluid could cause a soft pedal and partial loss of braking.  As the moisture content increases the potential for air in the system also increases, the possibility of expensive repairs and reduced braking performance and capabilities increases. It’s not uncommon for us to see 4% moisture content in many vehicles and some have never had a brake fluid flush performed!
  • Brake flushing and bleeding the brakes are two different procedures. A brake flush involves removing all the brake fluid from the system and getting all-new, clean fluid inside. Brake bleeding just means removing enough brake fluid to get air bubbles out of the brake lines. Once again, check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to be sure you are using the correct “DOT” fluid.  (some vehicles use DOT 3 and some use DOT 4).
  • ABS brake systems should also be tested for copper content. When the copper content exceeds set limits the chances of damage to expensive hydraulic components rises. If you are told that your brake fluid needs to be flushed, it has failed one or both of these two tests.

It is for these reasons that all manufacturers recommend minimum intervals of two years for a brake flush and pressure bleed. There are some manufacturers that recommend brake fluid renewal every year, Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin and Lamborghini typically fit into the annual category due to the extreme braking and high load that these cars endure on the track where they were designed to be driven.

Don’t forget to brake flush! Book your appointment with Kelowna’s auto experts, Motor Werke, today for all your vehicle service, repair and maintenance needs.