Author Topic: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?  (Read 32576 times)

Spork

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #50 on: June 02, 2015, 03:20:33 PM »
If you don't drive very often and/or need many oil changes, the ROI isn't great.  I personally am slightly paranoid of dying in a really dumb way, so I'm scared to get under a car.  If the car crushes me, that would be dying in a really dumb way.

Embarrassing...

That's why you use jack stands for work that requires it.  And: in 99% of cases, oil changes don't require jacks.  Cars don't fall when they're sitting there on their own wheels.

dragoncar

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #51 on: June 02, 2015, 03:20:52 PM »
Totally not worth it in my opinion.   I have mine done at 6 k at Walmart while shopping.  30 bucks twice a year.   Sure I could diy it for 15.   But for 30 bucks a year I leave to the pros.    You've more important shit to do I hope?
Bob when you find a "pro" at Walmart, please notify management, since that indicates an obvious system failure.  The co. has a good system for idiot proofing a lot of their tasks, but that doesn't mean that they are not buying new engines and chasing rims down the road when bubba forgot to check the lug nuts. Like Spork correctly notes, I can service my car is less time than it takes to drive there, and secondly, I have used them about a dozen times while on the road, and know fully well that I have to double check absolutely everything they do, since they are only willing to pay bottom of the scale wages, and get what they deserve when it comes to skill and experience levels.

To specifically answer your question, If I can do the work faster, cheaper, and better than the knuckledraggers at Walmart, I do not, in fact have, better things to do. I also do not pull out of MY garage with loose lug nuts, a dry dipstick, loose drain plug, or anything else these clowns could F-up while "servicing" your vehicle. Maybe you will get lucky and never have a problem like this, or maybe not. I do know that I do business with a large independent shop that is located five minutes from a local Walmart auto care shop. At first my guy was not happy to have them move up the street. A decade later, he has more work than he can handle, and the monkeys at Walmart are an endless source of amusement and customers.

No offense to you pro change folks ------

I'll be sure to pass this along to my service Manager friend at Walmart and his assistant manager,  Vietnam Vet,  former trucking company owner.  They'll get a big laugh out of it. 

Here is the truth -- Steve and Bill are great guys with years of oil changing experience.   Their staff is highly trained in oil changing (shit yeah they are).  YMMV in whatever town you live in.      So my total oil change time for a year is 12 minutes.  (3 minutes to walk in an sign in,  3 minutes to pick up twice a year.   I'm already shopping their so there is no waiting and no oil disposing.)   That also includes tire rotation,  which on an all wheel drive vehicle should be done at roughly the same time as an oil change.  I have lifetime tire rotation with my tire purchase.   They also check everything for me.   

Never been "sold" anything I didn't need.     

Please don't tell me that you can rotate your tires in 10 minutes as well.   IMHO for the average,  nonmotorhead person it is not worth it.   If time is of no concern,  then go for it.     For a newbee,  why not give it a shot.  Then you can make an informed decision. 

I speak from considerable experience as I have changed oil in my vehicles dozens of time.   Think of it as poaching salmon --- Martha Stewart makes it look easy and indeed it is if you have the tools and expertise to do it.  But my guess is Martha is pretty sick of poaching salmon.  I guess that is where I'm at.  Been there, done that.   Not amused.

It pencils out better if you are doing synthetic oil though.  So yeah, consider the price vs.  convenience.

I say to the OP  -- try it -- you may like it.

I just did mine for the first time.  Made a huge mess.  But it was fun for me, so worth it.  Doubt I saved much money.

However -- I say get jack+stands (instead of ramps) and don't consider that part of the cost.  The jack+stands are handy to have around if you need to take off the wheel for whatever reason.  I've used it to inspect/replace my brakes, fix a broken wheel stud, and so on.  Once my AC condensation drain got clogged and water was soaking my carpet.  Easier to correct with a little bit of headroom.

The last people who did my oil also torqued my bolt too much.  I needed space under the car for a giant breaker bar to get it off.  Next time I'll install a fumoto valve. 

paddedhat

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #52 on: June 02, 2015, 07:47:38 PM »
No offense to you pro change folks ------

I'll be sure to pass this along to my service Manager friend at Walmart and his assistant manager,  Vietnam Vet,  former trucking company owner.  They'll get a big laugh out of it. 

Here is the truth -- Steve and Bill are great guys with years of oil changing experience. 


Bob, The fact that your buddy is vet, or whatever, doesn't mean a thing in this situation. As others point out, he isn't the guy making $7.25 hr. doing the work. Like I stated, they do have great protocol to double check the monkeys, and it does keep the finger tight drain plugs, loose filters, and lug nuts to a minimum. It doesn't do much for the stripped threads in the drain pan, or the cross threaded wheel stud that you have to snap off with a breaker bar. The later BTW, was a gift to me from a Walmart in Anchorage AK. while on the road one summer. It only took $5 in parts, and half an hour to fix, but it never would of happened in the hands of a skilled tech. You are also clearly an outlier, time wise, as the few times I have done business with them, they are so extraordinarily slow, it becomes evident that there is no way that the shop is functioning at a profit.

The last straw for me was a visit to my local store where I left my truck in their "capable hands" and went shopping. An hour and a half later I stopped back to pay the bill, since it was parked way out in the lot, and we had completed our grocery shopping a half hour ago.  The idiot then tells me that they couldn't do the work, and just parked it there. I asked why I heard several other customers being paged to report to the auto service counter? The clerk explained that it was because their cars were done. I asked if I was supposed to learn of my vehicle being abandoned in the lot after all my groceries were rotted, and the lights were turned off at night, or if they thought paging me might of been a decent thing to do, since they told me to wait to be paged?  The service manager shrugged his shoulders and walked away. The store manager was professional and apologetic, but did nothing to resolve the issue.  Years later, I still occasionally see the service manager wandering through the store, with his typical slightly confused, and distant look on his face. I guess when you pay peanuts, that's the caliber of leadership you end up with?

It's good that you have a decent relationship with a reliable store, but too many of them are best avoided.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #53 on: June 02, 2015, 09:35:07 PM »
I don't understand the whole debate over paint buckets/soda bottles/whatever other container.  What's wrong with using an old, empty oil jug from the last oil change?
I'll have to look into that.  Changing oil in WI in winter can be 'challenging'.
I'm just a bit south of you (chicago suburbs).  I change the oil in march/april and september/october.  That way the weather's always warm enough :)

BlueMR2

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #54 on: June 03, 2015, 05:38:30 AM »
If you don't drive very I personally am slightly paranoid of dying in a really dumb way, so I'm scared to get under a car.  If the car crushes me, that would be dying in a really dumb way.

*Most* cars you can lift and set on jackstands in a way that minimizes your exposure to that risk.  I also hate doing things that require being under the car while it's not on the wheels, so transmission work is totally out for me, but I can do oil changes.  The car has to be in the air to reach the filter and drain plug, but really only my arms have to go under very far and my head is at a place where if it drops there's still some room.  Suspension shouldn't compress too much on a few inch drop.  I hope.  :-)

Michread

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #55 on: June 03, 2015, 09:11:00 AM »
Thank you all so much!  I will pass this info to my young adult sons.  As I said my dh has NO interest in doing this but the info and discussion on this thread is educational and thus valuable.  I have been recently ripped off at our regular service station and have now opened my eyes to not trust them and seek a second opinion on costly service quotes. 

Jack

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #56 on: June 03, 2015, 09:46:47 AM »
If you don't drive very I personally am slightly paranoid of dying in a really dumb way, so I'm scared to get under a car.  If the car crushes me, that would be dying in a really dumb way.

*Most* cars you can lift and set on jackstands in a way that minimizes your exposure to that risk.  I also hate doing things that require being under the car while it's not on the wheels, so transmission work is totally out for me, but I can do oil changes.  The car has to be in the air to reach the filter and drain plug, but really only my arms have to go under very far and my head is at a place where if it drops there's still some room.  Suspension shouldn't compress too much on a few inch drop.  I hope.  :-)

If you're doing work that requires taking the wheels off, you can put the car up on jack stands and then also put the wheels under the frame rails. That way, if the jack stands fail the car lands on the wheels. You'd probably ruin the rims if that happened, but it's better than ruining your skull.

Thank you all so much!  I will pass this info to my young adult sons.  As I said my dh has NO interest in doing this but the info and discussion on this thread is educational and thus valuable.  I have been recently ripped off at our regular service station and have now opened my eyes to not trust them and seek a second opinion on costly service quotes. 

What does your DH have to do with anything? Why don't you do it?

Greg

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #57 on: June 03, 2015, 11:30:23 AM »
What does your DH have to do with anything? Why don't you do it?

My question too.  I find it fascinating when people pigeon hole themselves.  It's seems natural though, at my home my spouse and I have, without much planning or discussion, divided up chores... but not exactly to gender stereotypes.

DangleStash

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #58 on: June 03, 2015, 11:51:52 AM »
I'd need 6 quarts + the filter, and my dealership found me a prepaid "service plan" that works out to 6 quarts of penzoil platinum full synthetc + Mopar filter + 5 tire rotation (on my unmustachian wrangler) for $47.  They also do about a million point inspection, perform any TSBs/Software Updates, and top off my washer fluid.

I spend ~30 minutes there while they do this, and don't have to dispose of a thing.

nereo

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2015, 12:09:04 PM »
I'd need 6 quarts + the filter, and my dealership found me a prepaid "service plan" that works out to 6 quarts of penzoil platinum full synthetc + Mopar filter + 5 tire rotation (on my unmustachian wrangler) for $47.  They also do about a million point inspection, perform any TSBs/Software Updates, and top off my washer fluid.
you rotate all 5 tires?  Like, you put your spare onto your jeep and pull one of your driving tires out of rotation...?  :: confused::

Quote
I spend ~30 minutes there while they do this, and don't have to dispose of a thing.
... except for your $47...

Jack

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #60 on: June 03, 2015, 12:16:54 PM »
you rotate all 5 tires?  Like, you put your spare onto your jeep and pull one of your driving tires out of rotation...?  :: confused::

When you have a full-size spare (which doesn't come on many cars except Jeeps these days) that's indeed how you're supposed to do it.

I wish my Ranger could use a full-size spare, but noooo, Ford decided to make the spare tire hanger not quite deep enough...

paddedhat

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #61 on: June 03, 2015, 02:42:55 PM »
I'd need 6 quarts + the filter, and my dealership found me a prepaid "service plan" that works out to 6 quarts of penzoil platinum full synthetc + Mopar filter + 5 tire rotation (on my unmustachian wrangler) for $47.  They also do about a million point inspection, perform any TSBs/Software Updates, and top off my washer fluid.

I spend ~30 minutes there while they do this, and don't have to dispose of a thing.

Might be a good deal if all the inspections were happening. Next time watch the work being performed, if you can. Typically you will find that the they do a quick glance at critical things like brakes and tires, and then check fifty boxes they never, ever look at. You have a box checked that they check differential and transfer case fluid levels? Well, before you go next time, find these plugs, clean them up a bit, and draw a mark across the plug and housing with a sharpie. I guarantee you will find all three plugs undisturbed, and they will remain so, until you, #1 pay to have the fluids changed, or report a noise in any of the three. It can't be stressed enough, in most cases the public is living a fantasy if they think they are getting a "fifty point inspection" when their vehicle rolls in for service. It jut doesn't happen, 99% of the time.

DangleStash

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #62 on: June 10, 2015, 02:41:42 PM »
Quote
I spend ~30 minutes there while they do this, and don't have to dispose of a thing.
... except for your $47...
[/quote]

Yes, but when I look at what the cost would be for me to do it myself:
~$30 - 6 qts full synthetic oil on sale at walmart, must stockpile to have enough/supply between sales, do mail in rebate, hassle
~$8 - Oil Filter
~$9 worth of my time to get up to the $47.  I'd rather spend $9 than have to dispose of the oil and dedicate an hour or so of my time (plus clean up) to a different endeavour.

And on the 5 tire rotation - yes, on a wrangler they have 5 full size/real tires.  I'm trying to wear them all evenly because you get a bit more life out of the stock set, then have a new matching set that doesn't have dry rot.  The Jeep is my unmustachian flaw, but my main vice so I'll indulge..

The Beacon

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #63 on: June 13, 2015, 10:14:57 AM »
I'd need 6 quarts + the filter, and my dealership found me a prepaid "service plan" that works out to 6 quarts of penzoil platinum full synthetc + Mopar filter + 5 tire rotation (on my unmustachian wrangler) for $47.  They also do about a million point inspection, perform any TSBs/Software Updates, and top off my washer fluid.

I spend ~30 minutes there while they do this, and don't have to dispose of a thing.

Include your time to drive there and back.  That is one hour at least.

The Beacon

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #64 on: June 13, 2015, 10:22:29 AM »
I change oil myself.  It does not just save 10 or 20 dollars per oil change.   It takes me 15 minutes to change the oil and do a quick inspection under the car.  If I go to a shop, it would take me a hour (30 min wait + time to drive back and forth). If my time is worth 50 dollars/hr, that is a saving of 60 or 70 dollars per oil change.  In addition, I can make sure things are done right, such as using the right amount of oil, replacing the washer, lubing the filter, using a good filter and torquing the drain plug to the spec......
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 10:24:10 AM by Sharpy »

a1smith

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #65 on: June 14, 2015, 02:51:11 PM »
I've changed oil a lot myself but then got tired of it.  I started using a family owned and operated oil change place and had good luck.  They didn't rotate tires so I took it to the dealer who has a reasonable price for oil change/tire rotation.  Recently, I bought a used car for our kids and went back to changing the oil myself on that car.  However, I'm back to getting tired of it - as mentioned above I have a lot of other things to do with my time.

I did have one bad experience at a car dealer who shall remain nameless . . . I went to pick up the vehicle we were getting one Friday after work.  My wife and I walk in and the sales guy meets us in the hallway with a concerned look on his face.  He says he was getting the car prepped for pickup - car wash, tank of gas, oil change . . . but the oil change guy forgot to put oil back in the engine!  :-D  The engine siezed after he had run it for a while without oil.  BIG HINT - check to make sure your oil pressure gauge/light shows normal oil pressure right after engine start.

I told him it was no problem, the car is yours!  I'm not signing any papers!  He and the dealership owner tried to convince me that they would replace the engine.  I asked them why I should trust them to swap out the engine when they can't even get an oil change done properly!  :-D

nereo

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #66 on: June 14, 2015, 03:21:51 PM »
I've changed oil a lot myself but then got tired of it.  I started using a family owned and operated oil change place and had good luck.  They didn't rotate tires so I took it to the dealer who has a reasonable price for oil change/tire rotation.  Recently, I bought a used car for our kids and went back to changing the oil myself on that car.  However, I'm back to getting tired of it - as mentioned above I have a lot of other things to do with my time.

I did have one bad experience at a car dealer who shall remain nameless . . . I went to pick up the vehicle we were getting one Friday after work.  My wife and I walk in and the sales guy meets us in the hallway with a concerned look on his face.  He says he was getting the car prepped for pickup - car wash, tank of gas, oil change . . . but the oil change guy forgot to put oil back in the engine!  :-D  The engine siezed after he had run it for a while without oil.  BIG HINT - check to make sure your oil pressure gauge/light shows normal oil pressure right after engine start.

I told him it was no problem, the car is yours!  I'm not signing any papers!  He and the dealership owner tried to convince me that they would replace the engine.  I asked them why I should trust them to swap out the engine when they can't even get an oil change done properly!  :-D
Hmm...  your story seems very suspicious.  First oddity - a car engine can be run for several minutes without any oil at all in the pan.  Second oddity - why the heck would the service department run your car any length of time at all?  Most would run it only long enough to drive it the 50 feet from their bay to the closest parking space.  Third oddity - 'a tank of gas'?  What sales guy drives around a car getting serviced to top off the fuel tank, and then doesn't notice there is a problem (like a giant oil-change light on the dash)?  Forth oddity - that a dealership would automatically open by admitting fault and make their opening offer swapping out the entire engine for free.  Then you (apparently) turned down a replacement engine because... you thought you'd get an even better deal somehow?

I can't say it didn't happen this way, but if true it just further supports the idea of changing your own oil.  If dealership service monkeys can screw up that badly, and no one even notices, you'd have to chalk that up as a potential risk of letting others work on your car - total engine failure!

a1smith

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #67 on: June 14, 2015, 05:03:44 PM »
I've changed oil a lot myself but then got tired of it.  I started using a family owned and operated oil change place and had good luck.  They didn't rotate tires so I took it to the dealer who has a reasonable price for oil change/tire rotation.  Recently, I bought a used car for our kids and went back to changing the oil myself on that car.  However, I'm back to getting tired of it - as mentioned above I have a lot of other things to do with my time.

I did have one bad experience at a car dealer who shall remain nameless . . . I went to pick up the vehicle we were getting one Friday after work.  My wife and I walk in and the sales guy meets us in the hallway with a concerned look on his face.  He says he was getting the car prepped for pickup - car wash, tank of gas, oil change . . . but the oil change guy forgot to put oil back in the engine!  :-D  The engine siezed after he had run it for a while without oil.  BIG HINT - check to make sure your oil pressure gauge/light shows normal oil pressure right after engine start.

I told him it was no problem, the car is yours!  I'm not signing any papers!  He and the dealership owner tried to convince me that they would replace the engine.  I asked them why I should trust them to swap out the engine when they can't even get an oil change done properly!  :-D
Hmm...  your story seems very suspicious.  First oddity - a car engine can be run for several minutes without any oil at all in the pan.  Second oddity - why the heck would the service department run your car any length of time at all?  Most would run it only long enough to drive it the 50 feet from their bay to the closest parking space.  Third oddity - 'a tank of gas'?  What sales guy drives around a car getting serviced to top off the fuel tank, and then doesn't notice there is a problem (like a giant oil-change light on the dash)?  Forth oddity - that a dealership would automatically open by admitting fault and make their opening offer swapping out the entire engine for free.  Then you (apparently) turned down a replacement engine because... you thought you'd get an even better deal somehow?

I can't say it didn't happen this way, but if true it just further supports the idea of changing your own oil.  If dealership service monkeys can screw up that badly, and no one even notices, you'd have to chalk that up as a potential risk of letting others work on your car - total engine failure!

"I can't say it didn't happen this way . . ." - Yes, you are correct.

1st and 2nd oddity - Yes, the engine can run for a while without oil.  I don't know why the tech ran the engine long enough to sieze it.  I didn't get a chance to ask him, he was fired.  They showed me the vehicle in the service bay with accessory belt removed and wrench on harmonic balancer where they tried to break free the siezed engine.

3rd oddity - The salesman did not drive the car.  He had the service department prep the car. He merely informed me of the outcome.

4th oddity - The vehicle worked fine when it was delivered to the dealership.  It didn't when I went to sign the papers.  Pretty hard for them to not admit fault.  I turned down the engine swap deal because at the time of the disaster I did not own the vehicle.  And there was no way I was signing papers for a car with a siezed engine.

Oh, ye of little faith.


nereo

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #68 on: June 14, 2015, 07:28:32 PM »
"I can't say it didn't happen this way . . ." - Yes, you are correct.

1st and 2nd oddity - Yes, the engine can run for a while without oil.  I don't know why the tech ran the engine long enough to sieze it.  I didn't get a chance to ask him, he was fired.  They showed me the vehicle in the service bay with accessory belt removed and wrench on harmonic balancer where they tried to break free the siezed engine.

3rd oddity - The salesman did not drive the car.  He had the service department prep the car. He merely informed me of the outcome.

4th oddity - The vehicle worked fine when it was delivered to the dealership.  It didn't when I went to sign the papers.  Pretty hard for them to not admit fault.  I turned down the engine swap deal because at the time of the disaster I did not own the vehicle.  And there was no way I was signing papers for a car with a siezed engine.

Oh, ye of little faith.
I have no 'faith' in what people say, especially on the internet.  Everything should be taken with a grain of salt, and researched as much as is practical.
So I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and conclude that you somehow escaped a very bad situation relatively unscathed.  glad to hear it!
As I said, if a dealership screwed up that badly it would make me not want to ever have someone else change my oil.  What the hell were they doing??  Oh, and you did say that the sales guy was the one who was preparing your vehicle.  The fact that the tech didn't notice seems even worse.

If you didn't own the car - who did? If it was a lease, then you still presumably were under some contract.... I'm still confused by how this was ultimately resolved. 

a1smith

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #69 on: June 14, 2015, 10:38:07 PM »
Oh, and you did say that the sales guy was the one who was preparing your vehicle.

Actually, I didn't.  I stated "He says he was getting the car prepped for pickup"  That doesn't necessarily imply that he did the work himself.

If "I got my car repaired" I mean someone else did it.  If "I repaired my car" I mean I did it myself.

If you didn't own the car - who did? If it was a lease, then you still presumably were under some contract.... I'm still confused by how this was ultimately resolved.

I think one point you still fail to recognize is that I did not bring the vehicle in for service.  The dealership was prepping the vehicle for me to pick up that day; we were going to lease the vehicle.  I'm not certain who owned the vehicle at that time other than the fact it was not me.

nereo

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #70 on: June 15, 2015, 03:40:49 AM »
Oh, and you did say that the sales guy was the one who was preparing your vehicle.

Actually, I didn't.  I stated "He says he was getting the car prepped for pickup"  That doesn't necessarily imply that he did the work himself.

If "I got my car repaired" I mean someone else did it.  If "I repaired my car" I mean I did it myself.

If you didn't own the car - who did? If it was a lease, then you still presumably were under some contract.... I'm still confused by how this was ultimately resolved.

I think one point you still fail to recognize is that I did not bring the vehicle in for service.  The dealership was prepping the vehicle for me to pick up that day; we were going to lease the vehicle.  I'm not certain who owned the vehicle at that time other than the fact it was not me.
ah, ok... so you never had the car for any amount of time.  I got down the wrong track when thinking about bringing in a car for an oil change vs doing the oil change yourself.  So the dealership's claim was that this destroyed engine was all due to some tech (who you never met because they supposedly fired him) didn't put the oil back in and no one subsequently noticed driving it around.  Still think there's more to the story they never told you.

and ok with who was doing the work.  I was confused when you said the sales guy met you and "he says he was getting the car prepped for pickup - car wash, tank of gas, oil change..."  I misunderstood and thought the pronoun 'he' was referencing the sales guy in the previous sentence.

Chris22

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #71 on: June 15, 2015, 03:57:20 PM »
My value of DIYing oil changes is solely related to whether or not I can bulk-buy oil in the 5qt jug, or have to buy individual qts.  WalMart usually sells Mobil 1 in 5 qt containers for $26-28, plus $10 for a filter, you're at ~$40.  Dealer charges ~$75.  However, my wife had a VW that required a goofy weight of oil, never available in the 5qt jug, and WalMart charged ~$8/qt (times 6 qts).  That's $48, plus a $10 filter, now you're at $60 versus $75 at the dealer?  I'll blow the $15 and munch a free donut while the dealer does the work.  Later, WalMart started carrying her oil in the 5qt jugs, and I started DIYing it.  Generally I only have the dealer do it in the winter (who wants to crawl under a filthy snow-encrusted car on a cold concrete floor?)

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #72 on: June 15, 2015, 04:00:38 PM »
I always get a coupon for a $15.99-$19.99 oil change.......I don't see how doing it myself would be worth it in my situation.

Buying 5 QT's of oil + filter alone comes out in that ballpark.

Chris22

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #73 on: June 15, 2015, 04:14:38 PM »
I always get a coupon for a $15.99-$19.99 oil change.......I don't see how doing it myself would be worth it in my situation.

Buying 5 QT's of oil + filter alone comes out in that ballpark.

As others have pointed out, that will be non-synthetic oil at that price, which needs to be changed at 3-5k miles versus synthetic which will go more like 10k.  And if that's at the dealer, no problem, but at a Jiffy Lube type place, I'd be wary of using them.

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #74 on: June 15, 2015, 04:54:50 PM »
I always get a coupon for a $15.99-$19.99 oil change.......I don't see how doing it myself would be worth it in my situation.

Buying 5 QT's of oil + filter alone comes out in that ballpark.

As others have pointed out, that will be non-synthetic oil at that price, which needs to be changed at 3-5k miles versus synthetic which will go more like 10k.  And if that's at the dealer, no problem, but at a Jiffy Lube type place, I'd be wary of using them.

...and possibly more important: You will get the cheapest filter on the market.  There really is a difference in the filtration among brands.  Some allow larger particles.  Some have way more pleats (and thus more surface area for the oil to pass through).

a1smith

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #75 on: June 15, 2015, 05:37:16 PM »
My Chevy dealer has the following oil change and oil change/tire rotate prices.  These prices are good for dexos (semi-synthetic) but it is more for synthetic (Mobil 1) or diesel oil.  I think they add $1-2 for oil disposal + sales tax.  It is still cheaper than what some people are listing for what they pay for oil & filter (even 5qts at a time).

The dealership is about a mile from where I work.  I drop off my car and have lunch at the restaurant next door.  The car is ready when I've finished lunch.  So, it doesn't take any extra time because I go out for lunch anyways.

And I get a "free" car wash!  :-)

LUBE, OIL & FILTER
Perform Full Service Oil & Filter Change. Check & Fill Fluids. Check & Set Tire Pressures. Reset Oil Life Monitor. Courtesy Car Wash.
$29.95

LOF W/ TIRE ROTATION
Perform Full Service Oil & Filter Change. Check & Fill Fluids. Perform 4 Tire Rotation & Reset The Tire Pressure & Oil Life Monitors. Courtesy Car Wash.
$39.95

Spork

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #76 on: June 15, 2015, 05:48:00 PM »

LOF W/ TIRE ROTATION


Check around.  I know it varies by region, but every single tire shop in my town (and there are a ton of them) do tire rotation for free.  I still do it myself, because that's when I inspect the brakes and lines.

Oh.... the last free car wash I got from a dealer (getting a recall handled) blasted all the paint off my rear view mirrors.  I will pass now on that offer.

a1smith

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #77 on: June 15, 2015, 05:56:35 PM »
The tire shop a mile from my house rotates tires for free if you bought the tires there.  For the used car we bought the tires were bought there so I'm all set (I got the receipt for the new tires from the seller).

But, I have gone in there a few times with our other car and they have done it for free. I think I have paid twice; they only charge $10, same differential as the dealer.

Right now, we got the first year of service on our Chevy for free so we are going to the dealer.

AZDude

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #78 on: June 16, 2015, 11:44:03 AM »
I started changing my own oil just avoid the hassle of going to the dealer to get my "free" oil change that would end up with them attempting to charge me for anything and everything they could think up. Plus it would take two hours of my time and I would get hounded by car salesman telling my car was getting old and I should take a look at the new models.

Ramps and a special oil wrench were about $100(depends on the car, at the time I had a Mazda and I had to order off the internet), but after that its dirt cheap and takes 30 minutes.

dess1313

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #79 on: June 27, 2015, 12:59:31 AM »
I do mine and put in synthetic oil to help with our cold winters.  Its a bit of work but a lot cheaper. 

I have a good small town mechanic i take my car to, and every year or two i will take it in and have him check it over for issues if i have not had anything happen lately, otherwise he takes a look at it when its in for repair.  He doesn't BS me about stuff, and does good work.  Its hard to find now a days.  Had it at a big shop once, and they couldn't spot the problem, it was an odd one.  My guy found it right away.  and it was a whopping $10 part in the end hahaha.  Paid way more than that at the big shop to be told i had nothing wrong before my cross country trek with my car.

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #80 on: June 29, 2015, 03:18:27 PM »
Just did mine this weekend.  Wanted to add that the filters with the grippy texture are well worth the extra $.50.

Jack

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #81 on: June 29, 2015, 03:52:53 PM »
Just did mine this weekend.  Wanted to add that the filters with the grippy texture are well worth the extra $.50.

I agree that grippy filters are nice (especially on my Miata, where I can barely get my hand down in there, let alone a tool), but there's a potential problem:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that filters with grippy textures are made by a particular brand, Fram. The trouble with that is the cheapest Fram filter model ("Extra Guard," with the orange can) has a poor -- or at least controversial -- reputation for quality. The more expensive filters ("Tough Guard" and above) are fine, though. Because of that, the "real" premium for a grippy filter is more than 50 cents.

That doesn't bother me, though; I use Fram Ultra on my cars and keep them on through 2 or 3 oil changes (and since I use synthetic oil with extended change intervals, that means I might keep the filter on for up to 15K miles). I'd rather pay $9 for one good filter than $3 each for 3 cheaply-made ones that (collectively) don't even last as long.

paddedhat

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #82 on: June 29, 2015, 08:10:56 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that filters with grippy textures are made by a particular brand, Fram. The trouble with that is the cheapest Fram filter model ("Extra Guard," with the orange can) has a poor -- or at least controversial -- reputation for quality. The more expensive filters ("Tough Guard" and above) are fine, though. Because of that, the "real" premium for a grippy filter is more than 50 cents.

We once had a V6 engine that would rattle ominously when it was started, after a few days of sitting. After a week, it would sound like it was going to grenade. Nobody could figure it out, until I did some research and found out why I needed to stop using the el-cheapo Frams. The problem was cured instantly when I switched to a Purolator product.  Turns out that the cardboard anti-drainback valve in the Fram fails soon after it's put in service, and the top of the engine is starved for lubrication, if it has been sitting for a bit.

This leads to the smirk I get when somebody jumps on a thread and brags about the place down the street does their oil change, AND a fifty point inspection for $19.95.  Problem is that it takes roughly $34 in parts to do a legitimate DIY change on my Honda with a quality filter and Mobil One. So what could go wrong with a  with a semi-skilled, low paid employee using the cheapest bulk oil, and filter they can get their hands on, to do the job for under $20 bucks? I have no idea what unbranded, commodity grade oil costs, by the drum, but commodity filters from my car, from RockAuto are $1.66 each.  I can only guess how cheap they are when you buy them by the truck load? So, in the end you pay twenty bucks for $8 worth of questionable oil, and a garbage filter, and we don't even need to get into the fake "fifty point inspection". As a Mustachian I can think of a hell of a lot better places to save a buck. 

GoingConcern

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #83 on: June 29, 2015, 08:48:49 PM »
You guys realize you can use a pump and don't have to use a car jack and get dirty?

http://www.amazon.com/Hydro-Turf-Oil-Extractor-6-Liter-OIL01/dp/B000GU0MMU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1435632498&sr=8-2&keywords=oil+pump+extractor

I prefer doing mine.  I buy original oil filter and use premium oil. 

paddedhat

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #84 on: June 29, 2015, 09:08:24 PM »
You guys realize you can use a pump and don't have to use a car jack and get dirty?

http://www.amazon.com/Hydro-Turf-Oil-Extractor-6-Liter-OIL01/dp/B000GU0MMU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1435632498&sr=8-2&keywords=oil+pump+extractor

I prefer doing mine.  I buy original oil filter and use premium oil.

No thanks, too many reports of sucking "all" the oil out, (or  "top side oil changing") as it's called, then pulling the drain plug, to find a few ounces, or more, still in the pan. If you have a high level of contaminants, solids, particles etc..... in the oil, you want to guess where they are, after you allegedly vacuumed all the oil out of the pan?  My guess it that they are laying in the few ounces you didn't remove. All ready to contaminate the fresh oil and filter you are installing. Seems like a lot of money wasted on an unnecessary tool that assists in doing a faster, cleaner, but questionable job.  And yes, I have used one, when my buddy bought a new one and claimed that it was the greatest invention ever. He insisted that I give it a try. Once was enough.

Jack

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #85 on: June 30, 2015, 11:44:06 AM »
You guys realize you can use a pump and don't have to use a car jack and get dirty?

http://www.amazon.com/Hydro-Turf-Oil-Extractor-6-Liter-OIL01/dp/B000GU0MMU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1435632498&sr=8-2&keywords=oil+pump+extractor

I prefer doing mine.  I buy original oil filter and use premium oil.

No thanks, too many reports of sucking "all" the oil out, (or  "top side oil changing") as it's called, then pulling the drain plug, to find a few ounces, or more, still in the pan. If you have a high level of contaminants, solids, particles etc..... in the oil, you want to guess where they are, after you allegedly vacuumed all the oil out of the pan?  My guess it that they are laying in the few ounces you didn't remove. All ready to contaminate the fresh oil and filter you are installing. Seems like a lot of money wasted on an unnecessary tool that assists in doing a faster, cleaner, but questionable job.  And yes, I have used one, when my buddy bought a new one and claimed that it was the greatest invention ever. He insisted that I give it a try. Once was enough.

I agree. Maybe I just suck at it (pun intended), but I used one of those and had a hard time getting the thing to work properly. I still have the device, but I went back to unscrewing the drain plug. I am strongly considering trying Fumoto valves next time, though.

a1smith

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #86 on: June 30, 2015, 05:06:24 PM »
You guys realize you can use a pump and don't have to use a car jack and get dirty?

http://www.amazon.com/Hydro-Turf-Oil-Extractor-6-Liter-OIL01/dp/B000GU0MMU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1435632498&sr=8-2&keywords=oil+pump+extractor

I prefer doing mine.  I buy original oil filter and use premium oil.

No thanks, too many reports of sucking "all" the oil out, (or  "top side oil changing") as it's called, then pulling the drain plug, to find a few ounces, or more, still in the pan. If you have a high level of contaminants, solids, particles etc..... in the oil, you want to guess where they are, after you allegedly vacuumed all the oil out of the pan?  My guess it that they are laying in the few ounces you didn't remove. All ready to contaminate the fresh oil and filter you are installing. Seems like a lot of money wasted on an unnecessary tool that assists in doing a faster, cleaner, but questionable job.  And yes, I have used one, when my buddy bought a new one and claimed that it was the greatest invention ever. He insisted that I give it a try. Once was enough.

I agree. Maybe I just suck at it (pun intended), but I used one of those and had a hard time getting the thing to work properly. I still have the device, but I went back to unscrewing the drain plug. I am strongly considering trying Fumoto valves next time, though.

I had not heard of Fumoto valves before so I just looked them up.  Interesting device.  One concern I would have is that on my car the oil drain plug is angled downward so when you screw this in it will be hanging down and reducing clearance under the car.  If you ran over something it might hit the valve, damage it, and cause a leak.

Fumoto USA home page

dess1313

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #87 on: July 03, 2015, 07:43:21 PM »
I had a relative who took their car to one of those quick oil change 20min places.  When she left they had cross threaded the nut on the oil pan and it started leaking.  she pulled over realized it and *facepalm* tried to finish her drive.  Either way she ran out of oil and ruined the engine.  So the 'professional' places like those have a little disclaimer removing them from responsibility if its done wrong.  I'd rather do it myself and know its done right.  Even if she hadn't noticed it, she wouldn't have lasted long with it dripping oil badly

paddedhat

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #88 on: July 03, 2015, 08:56:27 PM »
I had a relative who took their car to one of those quick oil change 20min places.  When she left they had cross threaded the nut on the oil pan and it started leaking.  she pulled over realized it and *facepalm* tried to finish her drive.  Either way she ran out of oil and ruined the engine.  So the 'professional' places like those have a little disclaimer removing them from responsibility if its done wrong.  I'd rather do it myself and know its done right.  Even if she hadn't noticed it, she wouldn't have lasted long with it dripping oil badly

If you're ever bored enough, Google "Walmart oil change screw ups" If you read enough of the suffering posted by the victims, you discover two things. First, if it's possible to do it wrong, one of their monkey wrench commandos has done it, and maybe even invented a new way to F-up, repeatedly. Second, any battle with corporate to do the right thing, like replacing engines they grenade, often involves "watching the video". The company has so little faith in the ability of their monkeys that they apparently video tape the entire process of their employees working on your car.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2015, 10:54:24 AM by paddedhat »

sequoia

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #89 on: July 22, 2015, 03:19:45 PM »
I used to have a quick oil change place do my oil change when I was in college (cant do oil change in dorm parking lot). One time they forget to grab a plastic bottle or something plastic. I drove the car for days, and the plastic thing melted on top of the engine block. Took it back and they clean them up. Another time, they fill in way too much tranny fluid. The tranny did not shift as smooth as usual. Luckily I figure out what they did pretty quick and it did not do permanent damage. And almost every time I go to oil change place, their dirty hands/gloves leave a mark on my white car. It drives me nuts.

Now owning a house and a garage, I try to do everything - oil, tranny, brakes because I want to make sure it is done correctly, and I kinda enjoy working in the garage after sitting all day in front of my workstation.

With oil change, I crack open the drain, and do something else (usually I mow the yard). When I get back, there is no more oil coming out of the engine, so I get as much old oil as I can (I know I am being picky here). I got my routine down pat, so I dont waste time. Also a chance to give visual inspection under the car - any leaks, torn boots etc.

Is it worth it? Yes.
Do I save $? Maybe...
Do I save $ because someone will not over tighten the bolt, or over fill the oil, or do some other dumb thing to my car? Absolutely.

flyingaway

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #90 on: July 23, 2015, 10:00:48 PM »
Many years ago I had my new car's oil changed for the first time at a shop. The guy put oil in my washer fluid tank. I did not know it until two years later and I left that city, since I rarely used the washer and the oil is lighter than the water. It was a mess when one day I was on a freeway and started washing my window and there came oil on the window.

dragoncar

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #91 on: July 24, 2015, 01:00:44 AM »
Many years ago I had my new car's oil changed for the first time at a shop. The guy put oil in my washer fluid tank. I did not know it until two years later and I left that city, since I rarely used the washer and the oil is lighter than the water. It was a mess when one day I was on a freeway and started washing my window and there came oil on the window.

Did he at least change your blinker fluid while he was at it?

a1smith

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #92 on: July 24, 2015, 09:13:24 PM »
Many years ago I had my new car's oil changed for the first time at a shop. The guy put oil in my washer fluid tank. I did not know it until two years later and I left that city, since I rarely used the washer and the oil is lighter than the water. It was a mess when one day I was on a freeway and started washing my window and there came oil on the window.

Did he at least change your blinker fluid while he was at it?

He should have also checked to make sure the flux capacitor was fluxing!  :-D

FarmerPete

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #93 on: August 06, 2015, 02:56:00 PM »
As others have mentioned, if all you are doing is putting in cheap oil, you'll never reach the cost savings to make it worth while.  If you think that using a semi or full synthetic is worthwhile, then you will save a metric crap ton over shops.

I started doing my own oil changes a few years ago.  My plan when I started was that to fill in the void of the "inspection" that they do, I'd rather pay $100 or whatever to get a legit inspection done.  I worked at a car wash that was attached to an oil change quick change...I would never let those morons touch my car.

MrMoneyMaxwell

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #94 on: August 18, 2015, 03:42:59 PM »
It's worth it in the sense that you can put a quality filter on and quality oil for cheaper than you can generally get at a jiffy lube.

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #95 on: August 19, 2015, 09:19:36 AM »
I'd argue that even if you don't save much money on self-oil changes, the process can get you comfortable enough with car maintenance to move up to higher-value car work. One example is changing transmission fluid, which a local place wanted to charge me 100+ dollars for, even though it's not much different from an oil change (and you can get the fluid for around $30).

Arktinkerer

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #96 on: August 19, 2015, 10:46:28 AM »
Usually do my own and use it as an opportunity to check out the vehicle.  Last week had to have the tires rotated/balanced and had a coupon so I paid $15 to have it all done.  Included a courtesy check.  Two days ago the serpentine belt gave out on the highway.  Courtesy check is worth what you pay for it I guess.

MrMoneyMaxwell

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #97 on: August 19, 2015, 10:48:18 AM »
I'd argue that even if you don't save much money on self-oil changes, the process can get you comfortable enough with car maintenance to move up to higher-value car work. One example is changing transmission fluid, which a local place wanted to charge me 100+ dollars for, even though it's not much different from an oil change (and you can get the fluid for around $30).

Exactly. It's an almost identical process. But the shop will charge 3x as much to do a transmission fluid change.

dragoncar

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #98 on: August 29, 2015, 05:46:57 PM »
Just did my oil... have a question and maybe it doesn't deserve it's own thread. 

Basically I (stupidly) did not check the oil level before the change.  I let it drain until it was dripping very slowly, stuck a fumoto valve on there, and refilled with 4 quarts (owners manual says 4.2 quarts).  I stopped at around 3.8 quarts and the dipstick wasn't  above min yet, so I threw the rest in and now it's around max.  Honestly, the dipstick on this car kinda sucks and is hard to read.

Then I went to put the oil oil in the jugs I just used.  It only filled 2.5 jugs.  That's a big difference and now I'm worried I overfilled.  On the other hand, I guess it's possible it was already running very low.  But wouldn't 2.5 quarts cause noticeable problems in a 4.2 quart engine?

I'm letting the engine cool now so I can recheck  the dipstick.  If I need to remove some oil, it should be easy with my new valve... but am I missing something?  My wife will be pretty mad if I damage her car.

Greg

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Re: DIY car oil/filter change - worth it?
« Reply #99 on: August 29, 2015, 09:42:49 PM »
It's likely that you were low, and that now you have the correct amount in there.  Except for foaming the oil and possibly causing some to be sucked through the crankcase ventilation, overfilling doesn't usually cause harm.  Best way to check is to run the engine until warm, turn off and check after it sits for about 20 mins.