Valvoline Introduces Greener Motor Oil

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As drivers get their cars ready for summer road trips, Valvoline is marketing a new, greener car oil which is made from 50 percent recycled oil. Recycled oil used to have a bad rap but re-refining technology has improved.


As drivers get their cars ready for summer road trips, Valvoline is marketing a new, greener car oil.

Scott Graf of member station WFAE in Charlotte reports.

SCOTT GRAF: You may have seen the ads for Valvoline's new oil, NextGen, on TV.

(Soundbite of TV advertisement)

Unidentified Man #1: Just because I'm a car guy doesn't mean I don't care about the environment.

Unidentified Man #2: Or being green, as if I all I care about is my car.

Unidentified Man #1: My engine.

GRAF: The messaging is unusual, because NextGen is made from 50 percent recycled oil. Recycled oil has been around for decades, and it used to have a bad rap.

Oil analyst Terry Dyson runs Texas-based Dyson Analysis. He's sort of a guru in the oil industry and has consulted with NASCAR teams. He says the old way of cleaning used oil wasn't very good.

Mr. TERRY DYSON (Oil Analyst, Dyson Analysis): Basically, what they've done is run them through a clay filter to get the majority of the larger particles out of the used oil, when everybody knew you were taking your chances with it.

GRAF: But re-refining technology has gotten much better. Thom Smith is a Valvoline vice president.

Mr. THOM SMITH (Vice President, Valvoline): We can now get a base oil from a re-refiner that's every bit as good as a virgin-base oil.

GRAF: Smith says the additives in motor oil wear out. But most oil consists of base oils, which can be used again and again. And Valvoline points to independent research that shows re-refining oil is better for the environment than mining virgin crude.

But does recycled oil protect your engine? Dyson - the oil analyst - says NextGen exceeds the industry standard for conventional oil. Valvoline is the first major company to market a recycled oil, and it's likely that other major companies will soon follow suit.

For NPR News, I'm Scott Graf in Charlotte.

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