Author Topic: Oil change: Is it really cheaper to do it yourself?  (Read 30336 times)

Eggman111

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Re: Oil change: Is it really cheaper to do it yourself?
« Reply #50 on: July 15, 2014, 02:31:03 PM »
My dad had something similar happen with his serpentine belt.  They told him he needed a new one.  He didn't think he did from the looks of it but he changed it (himself) anyway.  Next time he was in, they seemed to think he needed a new serpentine belt.  He was pissed.

I went to Mr. Lube one time and they told me my differential and transmission fluids needed changing. They wanted some exorbitant amount, well over $100, for the service. I figured it probably needed to be done since I got the car used, but I did it myself a bit later with my dad's help. (The old fluids did legitimately look like they needed changing.)

I went again for a change in a few months and they told me that the same fluids needed changing again. When I said that I already did it, the employee had a surprised and confused look on his face.

Since then, I haven't been back. I can't change it at home since they don't really approve of that in our apartment parkade, but I just go over to my parents' house. It's worth not having them try to up-sell as much as possible every time.

Joggernot

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Re: Oil change: Is it really cheaper to do it yourself?
« Reply #51 on: July 15, 2014, 03:39:18 PM »
...Also, I don't know about you guys, but I do a lot of couponing. It isn't unusual for me to get a mail in rebate for 5 qts of oil free. Also, a local dealership used to sent me $25 off coupons at their service center - I would just go and get 4-5 filters for free. Sometimes, to use my favorite MMM term, you have to be a hasselhoff. Financial independence is gained $1 at a time.
People in populous areas get coupons because of the competition.  We don't get coupons and Groupon just doesn't have any for our area either.  Never seen a mail-in rebate either.  The only thing I get from the dealer service center is a coupon for $x off a $250 brake job or $26.95 oil change special.  One nearby auto store has had their synthetic oil on sale twice in three years.  The others don't bother.  Dino oil does work if you change it often.  I like the interval between changes of synthetic oil.

davef

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Re: Oil change: Is it really cheaper to do it yourself?
« Reply #52 on: July 15, 2014, 04:47:57 PM »
Eggman,
They dont look at it. They go off the manufactuters maint schedule and assume if you havent done it with them, then you havent done it. It works if you have them do everything but it is a bit dishonest.

Eggman111

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Re: Oil change: Is it really cheaper to do it yourself?
« Reply #53 on: July 15, 2014, 05:01:11 PM »
Eggman,
They dont look at it. They go off the manufactuters maint schedule and assume if you havent done it with them, then you havent done it. It works if you have them do everything but it is a bit dishonest.

Yes, I've noticed that they are looking at a schedule, which is pretty much useless with a car bought when it was 10+ years old. They did take a swab of it and showed me to try to prove that it needed doing. The funny part with that for transmission or differential fluid is that it's almost impossible to get every last little bit out when changing it, so it always looks a little dirty.

nushagak

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Re: Oil change: Is it really cheaper to do it yourself?
« Reply #54 on: July 19, 2014, 07:38:16 AM »
So the consensus is... there's no consensus. Mustachians seem to be falling on either side of this debate. But you all have inspired me, particularly because I want to put a fully synethetic oil change in there, to go out and get the stuff.

Costs:
Filter - $7.95
Oil (5 quarts) - $28
Oil pan (fancy one with the spout) - $14
Funnel - (Free, just cleaned one I've had around the house)
(No ramps needed for this vehicle, it's a small pickup and I can get under it pretty easily.)

Cost 1st time: $49.95
Next time: ~ $35

And I'll keep my eye out for any coupons or promotions on discounted oil filters and oil to bring that cost down a little more.

But today I get to learn a new skill: how to change oil - at the ripe old age of 32. Not a bad way to start a Saturday.

ender

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Re: Oil change: Is it really cheaper to do it yourself?
« Reply #55 on: July 19, 2014, 07:45:26 AM »
Well, I have the tools, and may look at it differently if i didn't but here's my opinions.
IF YOUR CAR IS UNDER WARRANTY use the manufacturer recommend oil and interval and document it. Saving $20 every 3k or 5k is not worth invalidating you warranty. For this reason I tell my wife to go to jiffy lube and turn down anything extra they offer. (its always $26 even though they advertise 19.99.

I do my own, I use mobil 1 full synthetic every 12 months (I normally only drive about 10-12k a year) It costs me $27 for 6 quarts and $4 for a filter. A 6 quart mobil 1 oil change at jiffy lube is about $60. so yes, it saves me about $30.

note: I used to be an ASE Certified mechanic. Still an enthusiast

How many cars people would have a warranty on still recommend every 3k miles for an oil change?

rtrnow

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Re: Oil change: Is it really cheaper to do it yourself?
« Reply #56 on: July 19, 2014, 08:15:02 AM »
Eggman,
They dont look at it. They go off the manufactuters maint schedule and assume if you havent done it with them, then you havent done it. It works if you have them do everything but it is a bit dishonest.

Yes, I've noticed that they are looking at a schedule, which is pretty much useless with a car bought when it was 10+ years old. They did take a swab of it and showed me to try to prove that it needed doing. The funny part with that for transmission or differential fluid is that it's almost impossible to get every last little bit out when changing it, so it always looks a little dirty.

Sometimes they just lie and are too stupid to even know what they're talking about. I took my fit to the dealer while under warranty to check the AC. While there I got a call telling me the power steering fluid was very dirty and needed to be changed. I declined and waited until having that recommendation in writing to call them on it. The Fit does not have power steering fluid. Maybe I should have had the service performed and then called them out. I did receive a free service credit but I'm not letting those people touch my car again. It really sucks that this was a Honda dealer. Who can you trust?

RiskDown

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Re: Oil change: Is it really cheaper to do it yourself?
« Reply #57 on: July 19, 2014, 10:33:15 AM »
I def. see things differently that some here...

Many years ago I purchased the stuff needed to do my own oil changes (ramp, pan, tools, etc)... After doing it a few times, there was no question that it wasn't worth it for me personally...

For me the equation was something like this....

$34.99 and 15 minutes of time (we have quick in and out oil change businesses called superlube here, which you can eyeball and verify how busy they are)

vs.

30 minutes of my time doing it myself, having to plan around scorching Florida weather, having to spend time buying oil/filter, finding a place to discard oil, finding a place to store ramps+pan, having to roll around underneath a car, getting my hands dirty with oil + having to scrub, etc. etc.

For me personally, far more mental stress was created through doing myself... and I was better off spending the $34.99 and using that spared energy to make up the $34.99 on something I'm better at and enjoy doing. With that said, I've changed the radiator+fan+break pads... and will continue to do the one-time, "non-specialized" tool maintenance.... I can stomach spending 4-hours on my car, if it's a one-time fix...and I'm saving hundreds.... But periodic maintenance, to save $10 = zzzz

The true answer to this question is... it depends on your personality and how much mental energy it cost you... and if there is a more valuable use of your time. 
« Last Edit: July 19, 2014, 10:37:10 AM by RiskDown »