Readers Rides

Is the future of…Oil Changes?

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By Mark Weisseg

Earlier this year I was in Las Vegas with four thousand of my closest friends at a big hotel. One of the friends was my brother Craig. No matter how hard we try to talk about other worldly things we always seem to get back to cars.

This little box you see in the picture is the future of oil changes. It has the filter inside and when it is time to change the oil and filter, you simply remove the box, dispose of it properly, and drop a new box in. You see Craig and I were talking about how many unnecessary oil and filter changes are done every year.

Craig and I agreed on this topic but not dinner. The automotive repair shops that put that little static strip on your windshield that reminds you to change your oil and filter every 3,000 miles are just wrong. The only way you would need that service is if you are in a severe duty cycle such as a coal mine, or forestry service or constant dirt roads. But for Mr or Mrs Average car driver it is silly to change your oil at 3K. Craig and I put on our way back hats and recall a day where we would just throw the filters in the dumpster with oil still seeping out. Later, many of us got oil filter crushers and crushed the tin cans so we could condense them for a company like Safety Kleen to come out and get them. You see, years ago you just threw them away. Out of site out of mind. But, with the laws changing we had to drain them, crush them, put them in a separate container and then we paid a company to come out and take away our used oil, used antifreeze, oil filters, and transmission oil and filters. It is expensive and the costs were at the end of your invoice such as disposal fee or some other type of jargon.

The company that has designed this new system should be applauded for the forward thinking. Not only can any Joe or Sally change the oil and filter without making a huge mess, the consumer will only change it WHEN needed. My newer car has a on board computer like they all do today. However, my car is so smart it will advise me based on the oil condition and level when to change it. If I drove an easy 12,000 miles the computer might say I need one at 15K.
If the road was a tough one with lots of idle time, very hot summer days, and too many dirt roads the sensor knows I should change it sooner, just like the air pressure in your tires, it sends you a email or text that the RF tire is low. Put air in it or it will keep reminding you until you take action. I like this science and this oil and filter box is the answer. It will stop people service centers from doing unnecessary oil and filter changes and filling up land fills. Obviously it will save you some money. And, it is easy, clean, and so simple I am shocked it was not thought of earlier.

Having the tools in your on board computer is a blessing. We need to embrace the change and benefit from the change. Just on a personal note, I discovered we are changing the oil in our newer car about every 15 k as an average. In the old theory that would have meant about 5 oil changes already. We must and we do use synthetic oil and it does cost more, so what would you rather do?
Unless you get turned on going to the repair shop you would have gone five times versus my one time. Put the math to that and if the dollars do not make sense to you then nothing does. Engines are complicated but today it is not unheard of to hear of an engine with 250K on the odometer. Years ago at 100K you were thinking of selling the car, or taking it to the bone yard.

Embrace this change because it’s coming and I hope sooner rather than later.

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