DIY Oil Change, is it worth it?

by Admin on September 18, 2012

When the time comes to change the oil in your car, you have a decision to make. You can do the job yourself or you can pay a garage to do it for you. There are somedo it yourself oil change advantages to doing the work yourself but price usually isn’t one of them. It’s hard to change your oil for less than a chain or franchise garage can do it for. But like I said, there’s some good reasons for taking on the dirty job yourself. You get to have complete control and knowledge of how the oil change went for example. You won’t wonder if they tightened your drain plug properly. Another real advantage of doing the work yourself is that you will be able to choose exactly the oil and filter you want.

The largest cost of any oil change these days is the oil itself. The days of paying 89 cents per quart are long gone. For the generic bottom of the line oils you’re going to pay close to $2 a quart. If your car takes 5 quarts, you’re already up to $10. However, if you’re like me then you don’t want to run that junk oil in your vehicle. I prefer to run higher grade oil or even synthetic depending on the application. A mid grade oil will likely run you $3-$4 a quart and synthetic oil will be over $5 a quart. So if you plan to change your oil using synthetic oil you’ve just brought the cost up to $25 and you haven’t even picked out a filter yet. It’s not all bad though, synthetic oil will last longer and provide your engine with more protection against heat and friction which in turn makes your engine run better and last longer.

Now that you’ve got your oil picked out you need a new filter. I have heard some people say they only change their filter every other oil change. I say, why? If you’re going to put new oil in, why would you run it through a dirty filter? Change the filter every time you change your oil! You’ll have some choices here as far as brand and quality go. FRAM is a very popular filter and some people swear by them, but I’ve had bad experiences with them so I will opt for a better filter. If you pick up a decent grade oil filter expect to spend around $10 for it.

So what does this all come out to? Well, if you’re on a shoestring budget and you buy the cheap stuff you can probably change the oil yourself for under $20. On the high side of things, you can get a quality filter and synthetic oil which is likely to bring the cost of your do it yourself oil change up to around $40. Of course there is a whole lot of middle ground as well, and it’s up to you to decide how much money you want to spend. For more information on oil changes and other vehicle maintenance please visit Captain Oil Change.


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