Frugal Friday - How to Save Money on an Oil Change

The Hubby and I both need an oil change, we always use a coupon but still it seems expensive and really adds up through out the I did some research to see if I'm missing any potential savings. Heres what I found out:
  1. How many miles can you go between oil changes?
    Well, I did some research and talked to a mechanic and this is what I learned: If you use a semi-synthetic or full-synthetic oil you can go between 5,000 - 7,000 miles between changes. This is because the synthetics are much better chemically and wont break down nearly as quickly as older oils. Also, newer cars are better machined so there is less blowby or oil loss. Here's the thing though, the synthetics are almost triple the price of regular oil, so even though you can go longer between changes you may not be saving that much money as the oil is more expensive. However, it is much better for your car engine and most likely you'll get more years out of you car so in that sense it is a frugal choice....(you will get varying opinions on this).

    What if I'm going to go with the cheaper non-synthetic Oil?Although some would say you can push it up to 7.000 miles between oil changes, it really depends on your driving habits if you are driving mostly freeways then you can push it up to 7,000 or more but that is not the case for most of us. So I would stick to between 3,000 & 5,000.
  2. Do not get your oil changed at a Dealership!
    Unless they are offering you quite an incentive I would steer clear of dealerships. They tend to be over priced and will try and up sell you services & products you may not need.
  3. Think about going to a mechanic you trust
    If you or someone you know has a mechanic they trust that may be your best bet. They often charge less, and are often willing to do it because they realize you may keep them in mind when you need repairs.
  4. Bring your own oil
    Some places will allow you to supply your own oil which will bring the cost down. Ask, it wouldn't hurt, a mechanic may be more open to this. If you are able then do your homework and find the best price in your area...we've found that Sam's Club has good prices on oil in our area.
  5. Use a Coupon
    If you must go to a Quick Oil Change business look for a coupon to use. In this economy these businesses are hurting as people are getting less frequent changes to save money. So research your area find out who has the best price and then add a coupon in to save more.
  6. For the best deal do it yourself!
    Obviously this would be the cheapest route and it's easier then you think. For some of the newer cars you may need a specialized oil wrench, but it pays for itself in the long run. You may want to see if your oil filter is in an accesible place first, sometimes they put them in places that can be hard to reach without a lift so crawl under the car and have a look-see. Look for some videos on utube to see how it's done, or have a buddy teach you! Remember you will have to properly dispose of the old oil, so  research what the regulations/law is in your state/county on this.
  7. Barter for an oil-change:
    Do you know somebody that changes his own oil? If you are not able to change your own oil for any reason you could try to do a trade of service with a buddy. For example are an accountant? Offer to do his taxes if he changes your oil every few months.....get the idea?
  8. Avoid Up-Sells
    Nobody really makes money on an oil change. Not the dealership, not the lube place and not your mechanic. They are all betting on selling you other services. Don't fall for it. During their "free 20-point" inspection, trust me they will find something wrong! This is a regular business practice of all the oil repair companies to try to encourage customers for doing some other expenses also on the car. Its always a better idea to get a second opinion before giving anyone the go ahead for repair expenses.
  9. Change your own air filter if possible
    You should inspect your air filter and change as needed. You can see by the amount of junk/gunk when it needs to be changed. This will help with mileage and wear and tear on your engine. You can often do this yourself if your air filter is easily accessible. Here is an article on how to change your air filter: go here --->


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