“Check Your Number” Campaign Challenges

SACRAMENTO – Should motorists change their vehicle’s oil every 3,000 miles? Not necessarily, according to the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) and its “Check Your Number” campaign to encourage drivers to rethink their current driving habits and only change the motor oil as needed.

“With significant advances in auto technology, it’s important for drivers to understand that changing motor oil every 3,000 miles is an old default that may not be relevant for their vehicle,” said CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen. “Frequent oil changes do not necessarily mean better performance or longer engine life. By following the manufacturer’s recommendations, you will not only do right by your ride, but you’ll also benefit the environment by using fewer resources.”

A recent survey by CalRecycle indicates almost 10 million Californians change their motor oil every 3,000 miles or less. However, many cars can now go farther. For example, Ford recommends an oil change every 5,000 miles for a 2005 Explorer SUV, while Honda recommends 7,500 miles for its 2007 Civic. Luxury makes, such as BMW and Mercedes, can go up to 15,000 miles before getting an oil change, with synthetic oil.

Since launching in November 2011, the “Check Your Number” campaign has garnered mass media attention throughout California and nationwide from the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times, to name a few. Over a half-million visitors have flocked to the campaign website (CheckYourNumber.org) to find the manufacturer-recommended oil change intervals for most cars manufactured since 2000.

CalRecycle hosted public education “Check Your Number” campaign events in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Free parking was available to drivers who agreed to check their manufacturer’s recommended oil change interval and displayed that number on a windshield poster, creating a sea of “Check Your Number” supporters helping to educate their fellow Californians. Additionally, the CalRecycle team was available to look up the recommended oil change intervals for event participants via the campaign website, CheckYourNumber.org.

Approximately 400 cars and 2,000 people participated in these “Check Your Number Saturday” events. Through these events, CalRecycle demonstrated to Californians that different vehicles have different oil change needs, and that re-evaluating their current oil change habits can help them save money while reducing their impact on the environment.

Motorists can take the first step by checking their owner’s manual or by visiting CheckYourNumber.org to find recommended oil change intervals for popular vehicle models made 2000-2012. Additional tips and information can be found on the CalRecycle Facebook page and @CalRecycle on Twitter.

Do your part for your vehicle and the environment and Check Your Number today!