Making motor oil useful again in Renton

Javon Wilson, in foreground, and Jose Viezca perform maintenance on a car at Oil Can Henry’s in the Highlands as owner Darrell Doepke watches.  - Dean A. Radford/Renton Reporter
Javon Wilson, in foreground, and Jose Viezca perform maintenance on a car at Oil Can Henry’s in the Highlands as owner Darrell Doepke watches.
— image credit: Dean A. Radford/Renton Reporter

There’s no reason why used motor oil has to end up in a landfill – it’s there illegally – or burned to power a plant.

It can go right back in your car or truck.

Oil Can Henry’s in the Renton Highlands is one of the Oregon-based company’s nearly 90 locations in the West that are offering customers re-refined motor oil from a Kansas company, Universal Lubricants.

“This is the future,” said Darrell Doepke, who has owned the Oil Can Henry’s at Sunset Boulevard and Duvall Avenue Northeast for eight years.

So far about 12 percent of Doepke’s customers are using ECO ULTRA motor oil that is re-refined from recycled motor oil by removing worn-out additives and dirt. New additives that meet industry standards are added in.

The base oil never really wears out, said Doepke. The quality of the re-refined oil is the same as freshly refined motor oil, he said.

The process uses about 89 percent less energy than what is needed to produce a quart of motor oil from scratch, he said.

ECO ULTRA is priced just like any of his Castrol motor-oil products, he said.

Oil Can Henry’s began selling ECO ULTRA in fall 2011; in making the announcement Universal Lubricants reported the United States produces approximately 1.3 billion gallons of used oil each year, but only 10 percent of it is re-refined.

Oil Can Henry’s is the first oil-change company on the West Coast to offer the product, Doepke said.

Doepke and his crew have spent the last year educating customers about the environmental benefits of re-refined motor oil. It takes less energy to produce, preserves American jobs and reduces the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, he said.

Customers who switch to ECO ULTRA typically are environmentally conscious and those who opt not to prefer to stick with Castrol or may be skeptical about the process, he said.

Like other oil-change outlets, Oil Can Henry’s recycles used motor oil, filters and wiper blades.


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