Monday, October 20, 2008

Basic Engine Maintenance: The Oil Change Part 2.

What is the real cost of an OIL change?

As you can see be my previous post you can spend anywhere from $19.99 to $63.00 on a full service oil change. The advantage here is that you do not get dirty and the oil is disposed of for you. When you do it yourself you still have to collect the oil and drop it off at any garage.

Of course doing the job yourself still saves you money. Especially if follow the recommended every 3000 miles rule.

I went out to a discount store and priced out the cost of doing the oil change yourself. Here is what I came up with:
5 individual quarts of the cheap oil @ $2.77 per Qt totals $13.85.
Or you can buy a 5 quart container of the cheap stuff for $10.50.
Then the cheapest filter I found is $3.48. Now the oil filter is a FRAM ExtraGuard. This, in my opinion, is not a bottom of the barrel filter. I could not find any generic filters at that store.
This brings the grand total to $13.98 to do the oil change yourself. Not bad at all. If done every 3000 miles or every 3 months it would cost you only $55.92 (before tax) per year to change the oil in your vehicle by doing it yourself.

When I change my oil I usually get the Castrol brand. This can cost you $3.67 per quart or $16.00 for a 5 qt. container of the plain Castrol oil. I actually use their Syntec blend version at $4.27 per qt. This oil change would cost me a total of $24.83 before tax.

Now if you were to use a full synthetic brand, such as Mobil 1. You would end up paying $6.27 per qt. or $26.00 for the Mobil1 5 qt. container (if available). Your lowest total cost for the Mobil 1 oil change would be $29.48. ($34.83 if you purchased individual quarts)

Do keep in mind that these prices do vary by location and I do not recommend any particular brand. I'm sure we could get into a discussion on which brands are best, but that is better left for the comments.


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