Maintaining your car and keeping it running properly is crucial to saving money in the long run. After all, if you don’t take your car to the shop occasionally, it will eventually break down and require much more expensive repairs or a replacement.
One of the most important regular maintenance tasks is changing your car’s oil. But if you’ve never done this before, you may be wondering how much an oil change costs. Read on for the answer to this question and more.
Why do you need to change your vehicle’s oil?
Simply put, the oil for your vehicle’s engine is a lubricant that prevents all metal and mechanical parts from rubbing against each other, causing corrosion, damage and failure. Without engine oil, your vehicle would not or hardly run smoothly.
However, your engine oil gradually accumulates dirt, grit, grime and other particles. In addition, your engine oil loses some of its lubricity or lubricity. This can accelerate the wear of your engines’ internal components.
When you change your vehicle’s oil, the fresh oil minimizes friction and keeps all the mechanical parts in the engine spinning smoothly. In addition, new oil helps fuel economy by making your vehicle run more efficiently (and therefore uses less fuel per mile driven).
Basically, you need to change your vehicle’s oil regularly to prevent engine wear and keep your vehicle running as smoothly as possible. It involves car care, engine protection and a healthy car maintenance schedule.
What does one oil change service Involving?
An oil change service can include several specific acts or services, depending on who you hire and what is involved.
At least one oil change means:
- Remove the drain plug from the bottom of your vehicle’s oil pan.
- By gravity draining oil completely into another pan called a sump. This old oil is then disposed of in a legal, environmentally friendly manner.
- Replace the drain plug.
- Replace the oil filter.
- Replace old oil with new oil. Most car engines use about 5 liters of oil.
As you can see, a conventional oil change service is relatively simple. That said, it’s not a good idea to perform this crucial maintenance task if you’re not prepared for it or if you don’t have experience.
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How much is one oil change?
There is no universal price for an oil change service. Your oil change will typically cost anywhere from $30 to $100 if you take it to a lube shop or car dealership. Alternatively, it typically costs anywhere from $30 to $50 if you change your oil yourself.
In general, the higher cost of an oil change will be due to higher labor costs (depending on where you live), differences in filter quality, and any additional services performed (tire changes, etc.). For the most part, oil costs will not differ between locations for the same vehicle.
Factors that influence oil change cost
The price of an oil change can vary depending on several important factors:
type of oil
First, the type of oil used affects how much it costs to change your oil, whether you take it to an expert or do it yourself.
There are two basic types of oil used for most oil changes:
- Conventional oil is standard and cheaper, but more common in older vehicles. It is the traditional type of oil used to lubricate engines and mechanical components.
- Synthetic oil is required for most modern vehicles and is more expensive. A synthetic blend oil is generally considered better than conventional motor oil because it is specially formulated to improve lubrication and engine quality over time. You can get a full synthetic oil change at most service centers and it is also included in many car warranties.
If your car doesn’t explicitly require synthetic oil, you can choose between them when you take your vehicle to the shop or change your oil in person.
However, synthetic oil is almost always better for your car. It wears out your engine less and lasts longer. Therefore, depending on how often you need to change your oil, paying a little extra for synthetic oil could save you more money overall.
The main price difference between conventional and high-mileage synthetic oil is about $32, so it won’t break the bank. What should you do? Go synthetic whenever possible and read your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out what type of oil your car needs.
The vehicle type can also affect the cost of an oil change. Some vehicle models require a specific type of oil to be used, such as a certain brand of synthetic oil. This is more common in luxury vehicles.
In addition, your car type can affect the amount of oil you need for a complete oil change. For example, a large truck that drives hundreds of miles a day will require much more oil per change than a small sedan that drives only a few miles a day.
Finally, the location where you get your oil changed can affect the cost. If you live in a more expensive area, an oil change will also be more important since the car dealership or lube shop will have to pay more for their rent and related costs.
Keep in mind that if you change your oil yourself, the location probably won’t affect the total price you pay.
Fast lubricant shops vs. dealerships
If you need professional help to change your oil (recommended if you are inexperienced), you have two options: Take your car to a lube store or a dealer.
A dealer may know more about the make or model of your vehicle, especially if you take it to a dealer for the make of your vehicle. Therefore, it may be wise to take your car to the dealer to have the oil changed.
As an added benefit, the dealer can look at other aspects of your car and tell you if you need to replace your tires or other replacement parts. It may be wise to go to the dealer for a semi-annual check of the condition of your vehicle in general.
A quick lube store, on the other hand, can be a more cost-effective, quick fix. You can find quick lube stores in most major metropolitan areas; some are even mobile.
These don’t specialize in any particular type of vehicle, but they can change your car’s oil in minutes if you come at the right time.
A quick lube shop may be the best solution if you need to change your oil more often due to long commutes or other factors. Many quick lube shops also sell the correct oil you need for your vehicle, but you should call to make sure.
How often should you change your oil?
That depends on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the type of oil you have. In general, better varieties of oil will allow you to change your oil less often. But it’s still a good idea to change your oil after about 5,000 to 7,000 miles, depending on your vehicle’s manufacturer’s recommendations.
You should have your oil changed twice a year, assuming you drive your car daily. If you drive your vehicle for many miles every day, the oil should be changed more often.
If in doubt, contact the local dealer or oil change expert you have hired to perform this service. Based on the oil they supply and the make and model of your vehicle, they should know how often you should change your oil to avoid significant problems.
How the cost of an oil change
While an oil change shouldn’t weigh too much on your wallet, you can lower the cost of that oil change with a few smart tips and strategies.
First, look for coupons or discounts in your area, especially if you just need an oil change and don’t need all the bells and whistles of a related car service service. If a quick lube store has a discount, you can visit that store and get your oil changed cheaply.
Second, learn how to change your oil yourself. Knowing how to change your oil is an important life skill and will help you get back on the road if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere.
Furthermore, it is not very difficult; once you learn how to do it, you can save yourself $50 or more by changing your own oil instead of taking your car to a shop or dealer.
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Third, take care of your vehicle in general. If you drive your vehicle all the time or don’t take care of it, the oil needs to be changed more often.
But if you take good care of your vehicle, have it inspected regularly by a service technician, and practice good driving habits, your oil will only need to be changed occasionally, saving you money.
In the end, an oil change will cost you anywhere from $20 to $100 or more, depending on the quality you expect, the type of oil you need, and a handful of other factors.
Even if it’s an inconvenient expense, get your car’s oil changed when needed; otherwise, set your car up for a more expensive repair later.
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