The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, when looking at illegal motor oil dumping, puts the figure in the ballpark of nearly 200 million gallons. Not only does that represent critical risks to the existing natural resources, but it represents large volumes of oil that could be reclaimed and recycled for further use. Using oil change locations that support American Petroleum Institute standards support proper recycling of different motor oil types.
Motor oils can be classified according to the Society of Automotive Engineers numerical grading system so that you know what you are buying when you get an oil change. Since different formulations and grades are recommended for different vehicles, it helps to understand motor oil facts that are relevant to your own car. The American Petroleum Institute standards also ensure that you are receiving the exact oil that you are paying for.
While some of the formulations have been around for quite some time, we no longer see the old glass bottles or metal and cardboard cans that oil used to be sold in. Typically, these days we visit a quick service station that pumps new motor oil into our vehicles from 50 gallon drums of oil. Fortunately the Motor Oil Matters designations have been put in place to assure customers that they get the exact formulations they select and are not subject to using inferior products.
To guarantee that suppliers are in fact properly labeling their motor oils, the American Petroleum Institute standards tests samples throughout the supply chain to chemically match known formulations. If there are any discrepancies, they are addressed or the supplier and vendor face various sanctions until they comply. In plain English, that means that you can look at the barrel of motor oil that your mechanic is using and not worry that you are getting a cheap substitute in your car.