a green oil change alternative
By Al Parker
When Doug Brown wheeled his family car into Cherry Capital Cadillac Subaru for an oil change he didnt plan on making an environmental statement.
But thats what the Munson Medical Center retiree did last month when he became one of the dealerships first customers to opt for the green alternative of using re-refined oil.
It works great and if it helps reduce the amount of oil we need to import, why not do it? says Brown.
In September, Cherry Capital Cadillac Subaru and Traverse Motors Toyota Nissan Volkswagen Volvo Audi became the first dealerships in Northern Michigan to offer re-refined oil, according to John Owsley, sales rep for Lyden Oil, the Ohio-based petroleum company that produces and distributes the product, ProGuard ECO.
ProGuard ECO starts out as dirty used oil that is cleaned of contaminants such as water, dirt, fuel, heavy metals, anti-freeze and used additives through vacuum distillation. It is then infused with hydrogen under high heat and pressure to produce a very high quality, near synthetic quality base stock during the hydro-treating process.
This process truly minimizes the environmental footprint of passenger car motor oil, says Paul Lyden, vice president of Lyden Oil.
To complete the process, the oil is blended with a fresh additive package, resulting in a clean product. The result is a product that can be used and re-refined over and over.
Your grandchildren could be using the same oil you use now in your car, says the dealerships parts department manager Jim Moloci.
According to Owsley, almost 100% of a gallon of used oil can be recovered into reusable products. Also, it takes 42 gallons of crude oil to produce what Lyden can make from one gallon of used oil.
Re-refined oil has come a long way from the days when it used to be some of the darkest, lowest quality oil in the market, according to Lyden. It was a tough sell decades ago because re-refining technology was not very advanced and the quality of re-refined oils was considered poor, rightfully so. But thats all changed.
Refining technology has advanced to the point where the quality of the base oils is indistinguishable from refined crude oil. In fact, according to Lyden, its actually better than the quality of some of the so-called virgin base oils currently in the market.
ProGuard ECO meets all the quality standards and certifications of standard oils, explains Owsley. But in the end, it takes 85 percent less energy and it lowers our dependence on foreign oil.
Earlier this year, Moloci read an article about the greening of oil products, especially in fleet vehicles, and talked with Owsley about the product. In late September the dealership began offering the eco-friendly oil in 5-20, 5-30 and 10-30 viscosities to oil change customers.
Each year the dealership uses about 10,000 gallons of oil for oil changes, estimates Moloci. Hed like to see the re-refined oil replace about half of that. A five-quart oil change of re-refined oil is $39.95, while a conventional oil change is $33.95.
In the first month, about 100 quick-lube customers and 30 service department oil change customers opted for the re-refined oil, which comes in drums that hold 270 quarts. To reduce the number of plastic bottles going to landfills, ProGuard ECO is not available in individual quarts, but customers can buy it in bulk from the dealership.
This is the next thing in motor oil its called cleaning up your act, says Moloci. The state of California requires it in its vehicles and its been used by the government in military and fleet vehicles too. Theres never been a documented failure of re-refined oil.
In addition to the re-refined oil, the dealership also offers a complete line of environmentally friendly tires.
In Michigan there is only one other dealership in Kalamazoo that offers re-refined oil, according to Owsley. It took Jim and Otto Belovichs foresight to really break the ice up here, he notes. Theyre doing the right thing for their customers and the environment.
Cherry Capital Cadillac Subaru is located at 1747 South Garfield in Traverse City. For more information about re-refined oil, call (231) 947-9000 or 800 868-8994 or go to www.cherrycapital.com.