Author Topic: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?  (Read 33317 times)

reader2580

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #100 on: December 17, 2015, 08:13:26 AM »
I was afraid Menards might be out of the oil over a week into the sale, but they had plenty of all grades in stock.

bobertsen

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #101 on: December 17, 2015, 01:15:26 PM »
For the family minivan (Chrysler T&C) under warranty, I get it serviced at the dealership. There's a Mopar maintenance package the dealership offers and charges like 60 bucks for three oil changes. No brainer there.

For our second vehicle, which is out of warranty, I do the changes myself. I buy OEM filters online and high mileage Mobil 1 (during my regular shopping trips) when it's on sale, averaging about 30 bucks for a full synthetic oil change.

I also own a classic pickup truck (1966 Ford F100) and do everything possible on it myself. OEM Motorcraft filters are widely available and super cheap, and I use conventional oil designed for diesels in that due to the general recommendations of the 50 year old straight six. It's truly an amazing difference in how easy it is to maintain everything compared to new cars.

MasterStache

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #102 on: December 18, 2015, 07:35:58 AM »
Depends. The oil filter in my wife's cars is very difficult to get to. I have to remove a pan under the car or the oil pours out all over the pan when I remove the filter. And I have to access the filter by contorting my skinny arm around some engine components. So occasionally she'll get her oil changed by her mechanic, especially when she has other work being done.

For my car, I change it myself. Takes literally 15-20 minutes. Cost about the same as the "quick lube" place up the street but I've had a couple bad experiences with the quick lube place. I don't trust the kids that work there. They literally are kids. Plus for the same price I can put much better motor oil and filter into my car than the quick lube place offers. They typically use the cheap shitty stuff. And want to upcharge you for better oil. 

Cadman

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #103 on: December 18, 2015, 07:41:02 AM »
I was thinking of this thread last night when I read this:  http://jalopnik.com/lazy-idiots-at-lube-shop-cut-hole-in-audi-s4s-aero-pan-1748394648  There's just no excuse....

Faraday

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #104 on: December 18, 2015, 08:08:57 AM »
For my car, I change it myself. Takes literally 15-20 minutes. Cost about the same as the "quick lube" place up the street but I've had a couple bad experiences with the quick lube place. I don't trust the kids that work there. They literally are kids. Plus for the same price I can put much better motor oil and filter into my car than the quick lube place offers. They typically use the cheap shitty stuff. And want to upcharge you for better oil. 

+1. You are echoing my experience as well as many others in this thread. They can all go to hell. Premium prices for shitty product and shitty work. They exist to take advantage of our mothers, wives and daughters.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #105 on: December 18, 2015, 08:18:37 AM »
Yes, I change my and my wife's oil.  As everyone has mentioned, it doesn't save a whole lot of money.  I can usually get 5 quarts of oil and a filter for around $20.00 .  Most Jiffy Lube type places charge anywhere from $30 to $35.  If you don't know what you're doing, the risk can outweigh the reward for sure... for instance, not checking to see if the old o-ring came off can be a costly mistake.  Some of the additional benefits include seeing the underside of your vehicle on a regular basis (kind of like goign in your crawl space), using quality parts and oil, and of course feeling slightly manlier.

Joggernot

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #106 on: December 18, 2015, 08:38:06 AM »
I was thinking of this thread last night when I read this:  http://jalopnik.com/lazy-idiots-at-lube-shop-cut-hole-in-audi-s4s-aero-pan-1748394648  There's just no excuse....
The mind boggles... :(

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #107 on: December 21, 2015, 06:12:33 AM »
Yes, I change my and my wife's oil.  As everyone has mentioned, it doesn't save a whole lot of money.  I can usually get 5 quarts of oil and a filter for around $20.00 .  Most Jiffy Lube type places charge anywhere from $30 to $35.  If you don't know what you're doing, the risk can outweigh the reward for sure... for instance, not checking to see if the old o-ring came off can be a costly mistake.  Some of the additional benefits include seeing the underside of your vehicle on a regular basis (kind of like goign in your crawl space), using quality parts and oil, and of course feeling slightly manlier.
That o-ring thing is no joke. I always lube my filter gaskets when installing the filter and try not to over-tighten them, so I have gotten in the very bad habit of not looking to make sure it came off with the filter when I change my oil.

Bought a used car a few months ago and I guess the filter that was on there hadn't had the gasket lubed and was definitely cranked down as tight as the dipshit shop jockey could get it. I pulled the old filter off, slapped a new one on, filled the oil and fired it up. Pulled it about halfway out of my garage and noticed there was a giant puddle of oil on the floor.
I lost about 3 quarts of oil all over my garage floor because I was too confident that the last person to work on the car new what they were doing to double-check my work. Definitely learned my lesson there.

It took me almost 9 hours to change the oil in two cars that day (for various other reasons).
It was not a happy day.

FunkyStickman

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #108 on: December 21, 2015, 09:29:10 AM »
I always always always do my own oil changes and tune-ups. And my car has one of the crappiest oil filters to get through, I have to partially disassemble the intercooler piping and use a 12" extension to get to it... it's under the supercharger. Needs 7 quarts of full synthetic, too... just the oil + filter cost me $50. No way am I paying someone to screw it up.

I do all my own repairs, too, except for A/C. I don't have the tools and permits for that.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #109 on: December 21, 2015, 09:38:17 AM »
I always always always do my own oil changes and tune-ups. And my car has one of the crappiest oil filters to get through, I have to partially disassemble the intercooler piping and use a 12" extension to get to it... it's under the supercharger. Needs 7 quarts of full synthetic, too... just the oil + filter cost me $50. No way am I paying someone to screw it up.

I do all my own repairs, too, except for A/C. I don't have the tools and permits for that.

What kind of car has a factory supercharger & intercooler?  Or is it an aftermarket setup?

BlueMR2

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #110 on: December 21, 2015, 09:56:18 AM »
What kind of car has a factory supercharger & intercooler?  Or is it an aftermarket setup?

1988-89 Toyota MR2s had a factory SC/IC as an option.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #111 on: December 21, 2015, 09:57:23 AM »
There were a couple years where the chevy cobalt ss was supercharged too
Not to mention all kinds of high-end performance cars.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #112 on: December 21, 2015, 10:04:18 AM »
There were a couple years where the chevy cobalt ss was supercharged too
Not to mention all kinds of high-end performance cars.

Yes, but many of them don't have factory intercoolers, that's why I was interested.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #113 on: December 21, 2015, 10:05:23 AM »
What kind of car has a factory supercharger & intercooler?  Or is it an aftermarket setup?

1988-89 Toyota MR2s had a factory SC/IC as an option.

Very nice... should have known from your screen name!  I have owned two first gen MR2's... neither of which was the factory supercharged version.  Both '86, one was red and the other black. Very fun cars, would love to own another one :)

FerrumB5

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #114 on: December 21, 2015, 10:23:35 AM »
I know that recent/not so old Mitsu Lancer Evo's have stock intercoolers

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #115 on: December 21, 2015, 10:26:05 AM »
I know that recent/not so old Mitsu Lancer Evo's have stock intercoolers
Evos are turbo, not supercharged

FerrumB5

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #116 on: December 21, 2015, 10:35:22 AM »
Good point, actually! Supers just might not need it

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #117 on: December 21, 2015, 10:44:50 AM »
Good point, actually! Supers just might not need it
Yes and no. The reason intercoolers are so important on a turbocharged car is because the air being compressed is being compressed in extremely close proximity to where the hot exhaust gasses are spinning the turbine. Since cool air is more dense and less damaging to intake components, it is beneficial to run the compressed air through a cooling system before entering it into the intake.
Because a supercharger is driven by a belt usually connected to the crank shaft, you don't have the problem of a really hot exhaust warming up your intake air, but when a gas is compressed it tends to heat up so the forced induction from a non-intercooled supercharger is still generally hotter than ambient temperatures. An intercooler on a supercharger will help it to keep the charged air cool and dense, but has the drawback of creating "lag" while the air in the cooling system compresses. Since superchargers are generally used to improve torque and power low in the rev range, this kind of lag is somewhat counter-productive and the reason many supercharged systems aren't intercooled.
Turbochargers, on the other hand, are generally designed to come into "boost" higher in the rev range and can afford to have the added time of an intercooled system while compression builds.

This is the reason it was asked what car had an intercooled supercharger. Those two things combined aren't very common.

FerrumB5

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #118 on: December 21, 2015, 10:46:32 AM »
All correct. I'm an ex-physicist, so I have good understanding of how it all works in terms of PV = NkT etc

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #119 on: December 21, 2015, 10:50:26 AM »
All correct. I'm an ex-physicist, so I have good understanding of how it all works in terms of PV = NkT etc
I'm just Mech. Engineer and a car lover.

FunkyStickman

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #120 on: December 21, 2015, 01:06:48 PM »

What kind of car has a factory supercharger & intercooler?  Or is it an aftermarket setup?

An '06 Saturn Ion Red Line. Has one of those cartridge filters that goes into a hole in the block. On the regular N/A cars, it's easy to get to cause it's right on the front of the block. On the Red Line, the supercharger hangs forward right on top of it. It's damn near impossible to get out. Don't even get me started on the air filter... you have to disassemble the entire intake from the throttle body down to get it out.

(EDIT)
It's the car they based the Cobalt SS on, has the same drivetrain and suspension. Has a factory water/air intercooler built into the intake manifold, and a heat exchanger between the A/C condenser and radiator.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 01:10:19 PM by FunkyStickman »

stlbrah

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #121 on: January 06, 2016, 04:35:54 PM »
absolutely hate changing oil. I kicked the pan over once and decided I would never do it again.

Secretly Saving

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #122 on: January 06, 2016, 04:50:02 PM »
All car things (oil change, motor swap, rewiring, carpet, alignment etc) done in the home garage.  It's great!    We only outsource specialty work like painting. 

dragoncar

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #123 on: January 06, 2016, 05:48:16 PM »
All car things (oil change, motor swap, rewiring, carpet, alignment etc) done in the home garage.  It's great!    We only outsource specialty work like painting.

Any tips on alignment? 

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #124 on: January 06, 2016, 09:55:15 PM »
All car things (oil change, motor swap, rewiring, carpet, alignment etc) done in the home garage.  It's great!    We only outsource specialty work like painting.

Any tips on alignment?
Put a push pin into each tire towards the rear, just below the frame of the car, and measure the distance between them.  Then roll the car forward until the pins are on the front, just below the frame, and measure again.  If they're equal, your toe is 0 degrees.

dragoncar

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #125 on: January 06, 2016, 11:13:24 PM »
All car things (oil change, motor swap, rewiring, carpet, alignment etc) done in the home garage.  It's great!    We only outsource specialty work like painting.

Any tips on alignment?
Put a push pin into each tire towards the rear, just below the frame of the car, and measure the distance between them.  Then roll the car forward until the pins are on the front, just below the frame, and measure again.  If they're equal, your toe is 0 degrees.

I'm guessing this works best with a lot of tread... otherwise nice prank

hoping2retire35

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #126 on: January 07, 2016, 05:44:17 AM »
Since all the gearheads are on this one...

Does anyone know if it is ok to put regular air in nitrogen filled tires? We have a newer car that has only had nitrogen in the tires but they are starting to wear on the sides and I wanted to over inflate a little with my own pump instead of trying to get someone from a shop convinced to do it. I know you can't take the 'bad' air out but since they are almost worn anyways didn't know if it matters. I guess it would not mess up the tire sensors or anything else.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #127 on: January 07, 2016, 07:15:02 AM »
Since all the gearheads are on this one...

Does anyone know if it is ok to put regular air in nitrogen filled tires? We have a newer car that has only had nitrogen in the tires but they are starting to wear on the sides and I wanted to over inflate a little with my own pump instead of trying to get someone from a shop convinced to do it. I know you can't take the 'bad' air out but since they are almost worn anyways didn't know if it matters. I guess it would not mess up the tire sensors or anything else.
Filling your tires with pure nitrogen won't actually do anything unless *maybe* you're racing on a track.  There's no such thing as "bad air" in a tire, and if you fill it with plain air, it's 78% nitrogen anyway.

Go ahead, fill your tires yourself--you're not going to hurt anything (except someone's profits).

dragoncar

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #128 on: January 07, 2016, 12:23:32 PM »
Since all the gearheads are on this one...

Does anyone know if it is ok to put regular air in nitrogen filled tires? We have a newer car that has only had nitrogen in the tires but they are starting to wear on the sides and I wanted to over inflate a little with my own pump instead of trying to get someone from a shop convinced to do it. I know you can't take the 'bad' air out but since they are almost worn anyways didn't know if it matters. I guess it would not mess up the tire sensors or anything else.
Filling your tires with pure nitrogen won't actually do anything unless *maybe* you're racing on a track.  There's no such thing as "bad air" in a tire, and if you fill it with plain air, it's 78% nitrogen anyway.

Go ahead, fill your tires yourself--you're not going to hurt anything (except someone's profits).

I had to look up the advantages of nitrogen filled tires.  Seems nitrogen escapes slower than other gasses.  So over time, shouldn't you end up close to 100% anyways?  I wonder how many times you have to refill to make a significant change... Brb excel

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #129 on: January 07, 2016, 06:47:24 PM »
Filling your tires with pure nitrogen won't actually do anything unless *maybe* you're racing on a track.  There's no such thing as "bad air" in a tire, and if you fill it with plain air, it's 78% nitrogen anyway.

Go ahead, fill your tires yourself--you're not going to hurt anything (except someone's profits).

I had to look up the advantages of nitrogen filled tires.  Seems nitrogen escapes slower than other gasses.  So over time, shouldn't you end up close to 100% anyways?  I wonder how many times you have to refill to make a significant change... Brb excel
Bwahahahahaha!  That sounds like something i'd do....

Gevans17

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #130 on: January 08, 2016, 07:32:21 PM »
I do it myself so I know what was done.

reverend

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #131 on: January 10, 2016, 12:27:51 AM »
I change my own oil.  Mobil 1 full synthetic at 6 quarts is $14, plus the Mann filters are $4 each.  I have a Fumoto valve so it really takes no time whatsoever. I also take the opportunity to analyze the oil the first time I do a change on a new-to-me car so I know what shape the engine is in.

It also gives me time to poke around under the car to see if anything else needs maintenance.

I just re-read this entire thread.  I'm curious about the "shitty FRAM filters" comments.  I have *never* seen an engine destruct from a crappy filter. I've never even heard of it.
I've seen one filter pop, but there were other issues at play on a very tuned/built engine that operated way outside of factory specs.

Intercoolers?  I think you'd have to look to old Mercedes cars to find anything with forced induction WITHOUT intercoolers.  I could be wrong, but I wager they're more common than not.


big_owl

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #132 on: January 10, 2016, 06:52:09 AM »
I change all my bikes and my old WRX (yes it too has an intercooler) myself.  My wife has her Jetta TDI done at the dealer since it goes in there for service checkups every 10k miles or so anyway.

Only thing I have to be cautious of doing it myself is to use a torque wrench when putting the plug back in - my arm-calibrated torque wrench is always a bit too heavy-handed.

Joggernot

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #133 on: January 10, 2016, 07:04:50 AM »
+1 on the Fumoto valve.

One older Honda had an oil plug torque of 26 in-lbs.  I used an 8-inch crescent wrench to tighten it with a slight twist of the wrist.  Never leaked.  Took it only once to an oil change place a little after 200k miles.  They stripped the plug and put in an oversize plug that leaked.  I sold the car the next month.

FunkyStickman

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #134 on: January 11, 2016, 09:29:53 AM »
Some cars even have top side cartridge oil filters so you don't have the pain of dealing with a regular oil filter underneath the car.

What cars?

4-cylinder GM Ecotec motors have this.

Manguy888

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #135 on: January 11, 2016, 10:41:41 AM »
I just changed my oil for the first time in my Scion, and am about to do my CRV next. I loved it.

Even if the money savings aren't great, I'd encourage everyone to do it once. I got a real buzz from actually working on my car and understanding a small part of how it works. Once you've done it once, you can feel free to go back to paying for it, but at least you understand what you're paying for. You're no longer working from a place of ignorance.

One of my 2016 resolutions is to move up to more high-value work like changing brake pads and rotors.

dragoncar

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #136 on: January 11, 2016, 11:45:04 AM »
I just changed my oil for the first time in my Scion, and am about to do my CRV next. I loved it.

Even if the money savings aren't great, I'd encourage everyone to do it once. I got a real buzz from actually working on my car and understanding a small part of how it works. Once you've done it once, you can feel free to go back to paying for it, but at least you understand what you're paying for. You're no longer working from a place of ignorance.

One of my 2016 resolutions is to move up to more high-value work like changing brake pads and rotors.

This is really the best reason to do it.  I'm still kicking myself for once paying a furnace repair guy like $150 to change a $10 capacitor.  Classic example of "$10: part, $140: knowing which part to use".  If I had taken the time to learn basic furnace maintenance I would have been able to handle it myself, but I'd also know which jobs I didn't want to do myself.

For me, Diy oil changes was the gateway to realizing I actually like working on cars.  I just did my spark plugs and am likely to try my timing belt and water pump after those "wins"

reader2580

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #137 on: January 11, 2016, 12:22:37 PM »
I change my own oil.  Mobil 1 full synthetic at 6 quarts is $14, plus the Mann filters are $4 each.  I have a Fumoto valve so it really takes no time whatsoever. I also take the opportunity to analyze the oil the first time I do a change on a new-to-me car so I know what shape the engine is in.

You must be getting a heck of a sale price on Mobil 1 oil if you are only paying $2.67 a quart!

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #138 on: January 11, 2016, 01:46:27 PM »
I just changed my oil for the first time in my Scion, and am about to do my CRV next. I loved it.

Even if the money savings aren't great, I'd encourage everyone to do it once. I got a real buzz from actually working on my car and understanding a small part of how it works. Once you've done it once, you can feel free to go back to paying for it, but at least you understand what you're paying for. You're no longer working from a place of ignorance.

One of my 2016 resolutions is to move up to more high-value work like changing brake pads and rotors.

This is really the best reason to do it.  I'm still kicking myself for once paying a furnace repair guy like $150 to change a $10 capacitor.  Classic example of "$10: part, $140: knowing which part to use".  If I had taken the time to learn basic furnace maintenance I would have been able to handle it myself, but I'd also know which jobs I didn't want to do myself.

For me, Diy oil changes was the gateway to realizing I actually like working on cars.  I just did my spark plugs and am likely to try my timing belt and water pump after those "wins"
Fair warning; timing belt replacement is a hell of a lot more complicated than spark plugs. Unless you are really confident in what you're doing or willing for your car to be out of commission for a few days I would recommend against a timing belt job.

JLee

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #139 on: January 11, 2016, 01:58:23 PM »
I change my own oil.  Mobil 1 full synthetic at 6 quarts is $14, plus the Mann filters are $4 each.  I have a Fumoto valve so it really takes no time whatsoever. I also take the opportunity to analyze the oil the first time I do a change on a new-to-me car so I know what shape the engine is in.

You must be getting a heck of a sale price on Mobil 1 oil if you are only paying $2.67 a quart!

No kidding! I paid $27.99 for 6 quarts ($4.665/qt) a couple of weeks ago and I was happy with that.

What kind of car has a factory supercharger & intercooler?  Or is it an aftermarket setup?

1988-89 Toyota MR2s had a factory SC/IC as an option.
03-04 Mustang Cobras as well.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #140 on: January 11, 2016, 02:01:46 PM »
I change my own oil.  Mobil 1 full synthetic at 6 quarts is $14, plus the Mann filters are $4 each.  I have a Fumoto valve so it really takes no time whatsoever. I also take the opportunity to analyze the oil the first time I do a change on a new-to-me car so I know what shape the engine is in.

You must be getting a heck of a sale price on Mobil 1 oil if you are only paying $2.67 a quart!

Yeah, um, please let me know where I can buy Mobil 1 Synthetic at under half price so I can load up :)

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #141 on: January 11, 2016, 02:04:56 PM »
I change my own oil.  Mobil 1 full synthetic at 6 quarts is $14, plus the Mann filters are $4 each.  I have a Fumoto valve so it really takes no time whatsoever. I also take the opportunity to analyze the oil the first time I do a change on a new-to-me car so I know what shape the engine is in.

You must be getting a heck of a sale price on Mobil 1 oil if you are only paying $2.67 a quart!

Yeah, um, please let me know where I can buy Mobil 1 Synthetic at under half price so I can load up :)
I keep hearing people saying that SlickDeals occasionally has $12 rebates for it.

dragoncar

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #142 on: January 11, 2016, 02:12:21 PM »
I just changed my oil for the first time in my Scion, and am about to do my CRV next. I loved it.

Even if the money savings aren't great, I'd encourage everyone to do it once. I got a real buzz from actually working on my car and understanding a small part of how it works. Once you've done it once, you can feel free to go back to paying for it, but at least you understand what you're paying for. You're no longer working from a place of ignorance.

One of my 2016 resolutions is to move up to more high-value work like changing brake pads and rotors.



This is really the best reason to do it.  I'm still kicking myself for once paying a furnace repair guy like $150 to change a $10 capacitor.  Classic example of "$10: part, $140: knowing which part to use".  If I had taken the time to learn basic furnace maintenance I would have been able to handle it myself, but I'd also know which jobs I didn't want to do myself.

For me, Diy oil changes was the gateway to realizing I actually like working on cars.  I just did my spark plugs and am likely to try my timing belt and water pump after those "wins"
Fair warning; timing belt replacement is a hell of a lot more complicated than spark plugs. Unless you are really confident in what you're doing or willing for your car to be out of commission for a few days I would recommend against a timing belt job.

I'm pretty confident after watching some videos... what exactly do you consider the hard part to be?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 07:03:43 PM by dragoncar »

GoatStache

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #143 on: January 11, 2016, 06:44:37 PM »
Depends on the make and model of your car

I have a corolla, I can always get good mobil one deals from Costco for oil (5W-20 or 30 depending on which corolla)

I can get paper filters for my 2010 off of ebay pretty cheap.

I grab a fram one cheap at walmart for my 2006, I look every now and then for oil rebates or filter rebates... some are amazing and some are meh.. ymmv.

This is a very cheap way to run synthetic oil in my cars and make sure the change is done properly.

FunkyStickman

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #144 on: January 12, 2016, 01:06:18 PM »
Fair warning; timing belt replacement is a hell of a lot more complicated than spark plugs. Unless you are really confident in what you're doing or willing for your car to be out of commission for a few days I would recommend against a timing belt job.

I'm pretty confident after watching some videos... what exactly do you consider the hard part to be?

I've done a few on FWD cars. The belt is hard to get to, for one. Second, you'd better be real damn sure the cam(s) are timed correctly when you put it back together, or it 1. won't run, or 2. will destroy the valvetrain. It's also hard to get the belt on the pulleys, unless you can back the tensioner off a lot.

That being said, both the ones I did ran afterwards, so... it is possible. Just not much fun, and there is some risk involved.

Here's me doing the belt on my friend's Escort ZX2: it had some sort of mechanical intake cam advance thing that we were supposed to reset, but required pulling the cam gear and using a special tool... I put it back together without doing that, and it ran, but the cam advance was disabled (didn't hurt the motor, just didn't make as much power on the top end).

(EDIT)
For the record, I know what I'm doing and it still took me about 4-5 hours to do it. I took it slow and made sure I didn't screw anything up. The belt itself cost $50, the mechanic wanted $300 to change it. My friend was flat broke, so I offered to do it.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 01:09:55 PM by FunkyStickman »

dragoncar

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #145 on: January 12, 2016, 03:00:42 PM »
Fair warning; timing belt replacement is a hell of a lot more complicated than spark plugs. Unless you are really confident in what you're doing or willing for your car to be out of commission for a few days I would recommend against a timing belt job.

I'm pretty confident after watching some videos... what exactly do you consider the hard part to be?

I've done a few on FWD cars. The belt is hard to get to, for one. Second, you'd better be real damn sure the cam(s) are timed correctly when you put it back together, or it 1. won't run, or 2. will destroy the valvetrain. It's also hard to get the belt on the pulleys, unless you can back the tensioner off a lot.

That being said, both the ones I did ran afterwards, so... it is possible. Just not much fun, and there is some risk involved.

Here's me doing the belt on my friend's Escort ZX2: it had some sort of mechanical intake cam advance thing that we were supposed to reset, but required pulling the cam gear and using a special tool... I put it back together without doing that, and it ran, but the cam advance was disabled (didn't hurt the motor, just didn't make as much power on the top end).

(EDIT)
For the record, I know what I'm doing and it still took me about 4-5 hours to do it. I took it slow and made sure I didn't screw anything up. The belt itself cost $50, the mechanic wanted $300 to change it. My friend was flat broke, so I offered to do it.

It costs about $1k for my car, so even if it takes me 10 hours it's still a great investment.

FunkyStickman

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #146 on: January 13, 2016, 09:11:11 AM »
It costs about $1k for my car, so even if it takes me 10 hours it's still a great investment.

What kind of car do you have? European import?

dragoncar

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #147 on: January 13, 2016, 11:45:08 AM »
It costs about $1k for my car, so even if it takes me 10 hours it's still a great investment.

What kind of car do you have? European import?

Accord v6, but expensive area.  I could probably get it down if I don't do the water pump, etc. but that just increases the cost for those separate items at a later time.  That's also what I paid last time to a trusted mechanic, I could probably pay less if I shop around, or drive out of the metro area (but then what do I do while I wait?).  However all that takes time that I could be spending doing it myself and learnin

I still have 1-2 years before the 7-year mark for replacement, so we will see.  Hopefully I'm fired by then.

It's not the most mustachian car, but I've had it for a while and took good care or it, so I think the value I get out of it exceeds the private market value.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 11:49:17 AM by dragoncar »

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #148 on: January 14, 2016, 06:49:33 AM »
It costs about $1k for my car, so even if it takes me 10 hours it's still a great investment.

What kind of car do you have? European import?

Accord v6, but expensive area.  I could probably get it down if I don't do the water pump, etc. but that just increases the cost for those separate items at a later time.  That's also what I paid last time to a trusted mechanic, I could probably pay less if I shop around, or drive out of the metro area (but then what do I do while I wait?).  However all that takes time that I could be spending doing it myself and learnin

I still have 1-2 years before the 7-year mark for replacement, so we will see.  Hopefully I'm fired by then.

It's not the most mustachian car, but I've had it for a while and took good care or it, so I think the value I get out of it exceeds the private market value.
does it have 2 or 4 cams? Timing a V-engine will be a nightmare. I have done a couple belt replacements on dohc and sohc civics and getting the cams and the crank shaft all lined up at DTC is the most frustrating and tedious part of it. Some older sohc hondas have a motor mount in the middle of the timing belt so you have to partially remove the engine to change the belt. A problem I had with my DOHC timing belt was that there wasn't actually enough room to get a socket on the tensioner pulley bolt and it was inside of the pulley so I couldn't get a crescent or box wrench on it either. Basically my only option was to take pry the belt onto the cam gear with it in full tension.
 
Some cars are easier than others, but it's definitely something I always hate doing.
That said, if you're going to do the belt you might as well do the water pump while the belt is off.

dragoncar

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Re: Oil changes: DIY or just pay for it?
« Reply #149 on: January 14, 2016, 10:41:00 AM »
It costs about $1k for my car, so even if it takes me 10 hours it's still a great investment.

What kind of car do you have? European import?

Accord v6, but expensive area.  I could probably get it down if I don't do the water pump, etc. but that just increases the cost for those separate items at a later time.  That's also what I paid last time to a trusted mechanic, I could probably pay less if I shop around, or drive out of the metro area (but then what do I do while I wait?).  However all that takes time that I could be spending doing it myself and learnin

I still have 1-2 years before the 7-year mark for replacement, so we will see.  Hopefully I'm fired by then.

It's not the most mustachian car, but I've had it for a while and took good care or it, so I think the value I get out of it exceeds the private market value.
does it have 2 or 4 cams? Timing a V-engine will be a nightmare. I have done a couple belt replacements on dohc and sohc civics and getting the cams and the crank shaft all lined up at DTC is the most frustrating and tedious part of it. Some older sohc hondas have a motor mount in the middle of the timing belt so you have to partially remove the engine to change the belt. A problem I had with my DOHC timing belt was that there wasn't actually enough room to get a socket on the tensioner pulley bolt and it was inside of the pulley so I couldn't get a crescent or box wrench on it either. Basically my only option was to take pry the belt onto the cam gear with it in full tension.
 
Some cars are easier than others, but it's definitely something I always hate doing.
That said, if you're going to do the belt you might as well do the water pump while the belt is off.

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