What's Kleenoil technology?

Q. Kleenoil seems to be huge in Texas, but what exactly is it? Does it really lighten the environmental impact of driving? – Marie, TX

A. Fun Fact: Oil changes are necessary not because oil “wears out” after 3,000 miles, but rather because it becomes contaminated by particulate matter. That’s because most run-of-the-mill oil filters can only filter out particles of about 40 microns in size, or larger. (A human hair is about 70 microns in width, just to give you an idea). The Kleenoil Bypass Oil Filtration System, on the other hand, claims to filter out particles as tiny as one micron. So yes, Kleenoil extends the life of your oil, says Jon Cleveland, managing director of sales and marketing at Kleenoil. 

Unfortunately, the Kleenoil filtration unit is a bit pricey: $400 for passenger vehicles, or $700 to $900 for commercial vehicles. The company says that commercial buyers will see a return on their investment in just 2 to 3 oil changes, and that for the rest of us, filters will take about 2 to 3 years to pay for themselves. Keep in mind that you must also buy wood pulp filter cartridges (which can cost about $20 to $30 and need to be changed every 3,000 miles) to use in the Kleenoil unit. 

But if the company’s claims are accurate, and you really will drive between 25,000 to 50,000 miles before needing an oil change, the technology is great news for your pocketbook and for the environment. Motor oil is no joke: According to the Earth911, one gallon of the stuff can contaminate a million gallons of water. It’s a major source of pollution in waterways and in drinking water.

If you can’t afford a Kleenoil unit right now, consider recycling your used motor oil. Lots of oil change services, including Jiffy Lube and Autozone, now offer the hugely important service.

- Jessica A. Knoblauch 

Eco-inquiries, conundrums, snafus? Write to askplenty@plentymag.com.

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