Like many people, you may not normally pay much attention to the oil in your car even though it plays an essential role in the function of a vehicle. By lubricating moving parts in the engine and working to cool, clean, and protect parts, the oil helps to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly. When it’s time to change and dispose of the oil, there are many aspects to consider such as environmental factors, laws and safety.

Check out our latest blog on how to tell if engine oil needs changing

Dealing with an oil spillage 

  • Do not tip, wash or hose oil down a drain 
  • Don’t mix detergent with oil as this makes the pollution worse
  • Stop spilt oil entering drains by using an oil spill kit 

What to do with used oil

Most people get specialist technicians to change their engine oil which is always highly recommended, however, you can also carry out an oil change at home, with all the right knowledge. As this liquid can be hazardous and polluting, it needs to be handled with complete care and with all the right equipment. 

For example, purchasing an oil spill kit to use before you drain the old oil from your engine is essential. You can buy this kit online, from DIY stores or from car part suppliers. You’ll also need a purpose-made sump canister or a drip tray to use when draining the oil. When draining and storing the oil, there are a number of key tips to remember. 

  • Store used oil in a suitable plastic or metal container 
  • Fasten the container securely to prevent any spills
  • Ensure you don’t mix the oil with household chemicals 
  • Find your local oil bank 
  • Clean any equipment 

Local oil banks

Whatever you do, do not just pour the oil down drains or pipework for convenience. By doing this, you’re not only polluting the environment but you are at risk of being prosecuted as there are strict laws in place.

To dispose of your oil legally and safely, you’ll need to local your nearest oil bank. The Oil Care Campaign, which is a joint initiative between industry, trade, and professional bodies and UK environmental regulators, offers these details and has plenty of online information.