Handle Your Used Motor Oil Like a Pro

Do you change your car, motorcycle, or ATV’s motor oil? If so, you are considered a do-it-yourself (DIY) oil changer! According to the American Petroleum Institute, over 50 percent of all motorists fall into this category.


DIY oil changers generate about 150 millions gallons of used motor oil each year. This is approximately a quarter of all used motor oil that has the potential to be reused or recycled.



By recycling your used motor oil at a collection program or facility and limiting spills and leaks you can prevent damage to the environment and ensure quality for future generations.



Here are some helpful steps to changing you motorcycle’s motor oil:


  1. Refer to your owner’s manual for proper directions in changing your motor oil.
  2. Make sure you have a clean drain pan that will accommodate all the oil in your vehicle before removing the drain plug on your engine’s oil pan. This is generally no more than three quarts.
  3. Drain the used oil into a drip pan.
  4. Have rags available to clean up any drips or spills.
  5. When changing your oil filter take care not to spill the oil that is in the filter. Catch this oil in your drip pan and properly drain the filter of excess oil.
  6. Replace the drain plug and securely tighten according to the manufacturers’ instructions.
  7. Using a funnel, add new engine oil allowing each container to fully drain. Have rags available and do not overfill. Most motorcycles and ATVs generally will need three to four quarts of oil.
  8. Be sure to check around the oil filter and drain plug for leaking oil. Oil spilled or leaked on your driveway, streets or other surfaces will inevitably wash into storm drains during heavy precipitation, which contaminates freshwater.
  9. Using the funnel, pour the used oil from the drip pan into a proper recycling container. Many drain pans serve as both a drain pan and holding container for recycling. Visit your nearest auto parts store to find these specialized containers.
  10. Bring the sealed oil container to Barnhart’s. Do not mix in other fluids such as brake fluid, water, or coolant.