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used motor oil

 
Posts: 47
Location: New Mexico
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What to do with used motor oil, recycle is 150 miles away?
 
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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keep it until you've got another reason to be near the recycler.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1663
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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Recycling is always the better choice IMO. Motor oil can be re-refined and used over and over.

I have seen plans and video for motor oil burners to heat shops and such. There are also commercial grade heating units for used motor oil. My mechanic installed one in his shop; it must burn pretty clean because you'd never suspect it was there.

I'm in a cold climate, so I sometimes use an inch of used motor oil in a hillbilly mouse trap -- 5 gallon pail with a baited, rotating plastic bottle at the top. I could use antifreeze but it's toxic to dogs/cats. (Yeah, that's nasty business, but they are hantavirus-y deer mice, and if they get inside my buildings it's them or me.)
 
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Used motor oil has roughly 240,000 BTU per gallon.......
 
Rocket Scientist
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Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Hi Tom;
How much oil are you talking about?
Saving it in 5 gal buckets until you make the trip to town comes to mind.
Otherwise there is not a whole lot you can do with it that is Permie like...

I only know a few un Permie like folks... like 98% of the locals.
Some have been known to mix it with diesel and soak fence posts...
Others may use it for fire starting...
Dust control on county gravel roads is actually legal to do...

I vote for saving it in buckets.
 
gardener
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Location: South of Capricorn
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Unless you have a friendly mechanic nearby who will let you dump the oil in their barrel, I'd also save it up.

At our shop people occasionally ask if they can dump their used oil (toxic trash pick up will take it but is only once a month and sometimes hard to figure out); if it's a civilian once in a while it's no big deal. Even if it fills up quickly we just call the recycler to come a bit earlier, doesn't cost us anything (I'm not sure it's the same in the US-- here they pay us for the oil and provide us with the barrel).
Might be worth asking, and (in the tradition of Car Talk), baked goods never hurt.
 
pollinator
Posts: 278
Location: Sierra Nevada Foothills, Zone 7b
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Most chain auto parts stores (O'Reilly's, Autozone, etc...) will take it for free at least around my area. I just put the used into the new's containers and drop it off.

But actually now I have a neighbor that filters it and runs it in his heavy equipment.
 
Posts: 525
Location: St. George, UT. Zone 8a Dry/arid. 8" of rain in a good year.
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I live in a city and have always had access to recycling so I have no suggestions as to what to do with it.

My neighbor uses it every few years to coat his wood shingle roof with!  (I think it's motor oil)  It stinks up the whole neighborhood for a few days after he does it, and his roof is almost black.  I think it's the same idea as said above about coating the fence posts.  Considering how hot and dry it is here I think it's a horrible idea.  Seems like an invitation to fire (and maybe cancer).

What I would like to say is that in my personal opinion, many people change their motor oil way too often.  I change mine every 10,000  - 12,000 miles....sometimes maybe 15,000.  Some people do it every 3,000 - 5,000 which I think is wasteful, and  not necessary.   I've done this since I was a teenager.  I've never owned a new car, never had engine problems, and have always had cars with 150,000 to 300,000 miles on them.  My current rides, a 1977 jeep cj (with over 200,000 miles) and 1998 4 runner (199,000 miles) are running great.   I use the cheapest oil I can find (usually walmart), and again, I don't change it until at least 10,000 miles.

If I had a new engine, I would probably change the oil every 3-5K miles for the first 20k miles.  After that, I'd let it go to 10K+.

I genuinely believe it's marketing to get people to buy more oil.  My dad did this as well, and he never had any engine problems with any car he owned.  I know, I know, lots of people will believe it needs to be changed more often, and the highest quality needs to be put in more frequently.  People are going to believe what they're told.  I'm just saying what's worked for me for my entire life driving.  I've never been to a mechanic in my entire life, done every car repair I've ever needed done.  If I thought I'd have to be working on my car's engine because of neglecting the oil, I'd change it more often....

I also heard a story, not sure how legit it was, that a diesel truck driver would collect his neighbors motor oil and use it in his big rig for another 20k miles?  I have no idea if that is true though.

Oh yeah, I'm also a cyclist/mountain biker.  I save a bit of my used motor oil and oil my bike's chain with it on every other ride.  Works great, and prevents me from having to buy oil for my chain.  I imagine it could be used on a garage door chain, motorcycle chain, etc.  It's messy, but it works.



 
pollinator
Posts: 141
Location: Southern Utah
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I filter mine with a home made gravity filter I set up between two 5 gallon buckets.  I thin it with diesel fuel so it filters faster, then the filtered product goes into the fuel tank on the diesel engine.  I try to keep the final mix at about 2/3 diesel and 1/3 filtered waste engine oil.  Of course you need something that burns diesel for this to be productive for you.  
 
Michael Fundaro
pollinator
Posts: 141
Location: Southern Utah
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You could also save it to heat during the winter.  A quick search found this link, I do not know anything about this company so it is just for a quick reference.  There are plenty of plans to make your own waste oil heater if you are the handyman type.
https://garageheaterexpert.com/garage-oil-shop-heater/
 
We don't have time for this. We've gotta save the moon! Or check this out:
Rocket Mass Heater Manual - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/8/rmhman
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