Do you change the engine oil yourself?

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newbie_Mo
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Do you change the engine oil yourself?

Post by newbie_Mo »

For those changing the engine oil yourself, how much do you save by doing it yourself vs. going to the mechanics?

My mechanics charges $28 (including tax).
I checked autozone, the 5w-30 oil would costs around $18 + $3 filter = $21 if I do it myself.
Bobalude
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Post by Bobalude »

Have always done it myself. Allows me to select my own oil/filter.

There's a big range of quality between oil filters (FRAM cardboard...). I keep my cars for many years so I prefer to know I'm putting in quality oil/filters.

I have it down to 30 mins with no spilling (ramps, large oil catch pan).
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sportal
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Post by sportal »

For the $7 price difference, I let someone else do it. My time/effort has a price. If I enjoyed it (such as selecting my filter quality), it would be different.

Oil changes for cars done by the shops are cheap. Where they try to get you is in changing/adding all the additional fluid/filters/services. Such as when they present your transmission fluid (brake fluid, etc) to you and tell you that it doesn't look like the new stuff out of the bottle. Haha.

Next poll. Do you rotate your own tires at home. :)
BogleTurtle
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Post by BogleTurtle »

I do, but our cars take specific type oil not normally available at the cheap places. The dealer cost is just under $100, I get parts for less than $50. Times two, I save more than a hundred bucks, save driving to the dealership two different cars and dealing with their scheduling.
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sage1166
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Post by sage1166 »

Used to do my own on my old truck. It was much easier to get under than my current car. I just take the car it to my local quick lube joint for a few bucks more.
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tibbitts
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Post by tibbitts »

I change my own because it's less hassle, not for cost savings. It's a good thing to check around under the car once in a while, and less hassle than taking the car to have it done.

Paul
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White Coat Investor
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Post by White Coat Investor »

Used to change oil and rotate tires. Wal mart does oil changes for $25 while my wife shops. 6 quarts and a filter is about the same. Not to mention the mess and hassle.

I buy tires at shops that offer free rotation for life (pretty much all of them these days). It's quick and easy and they're only a mile away. I read a book for 10 minutes and its done. Much harder with my little dinky jack doing one tire at a time. If it is more than a ten minute wait, I pull in another day. Like I said, I drive right by once or twice a day.

So basically I get both of these services done for free. What's not to like?

As my kids get older though, I suspect I'll make them each do it at least a few times so they know how.
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Calum
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Post by Calum »

tibbitts wrote:I change my own because it's less hassle, not for cost savings. It's a good thing to check around under the car once in a while, and less hassle than taking the car to have it done.

Paul
Same here. I use synthetic and factory oil filters so there really isn't a cost savings.
wts
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Post by wts »

Yes, but I've also been known to swap my own tires, brakes, , suspension,radiators, engines, transaxles, transfer cases....
TT
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Post by TT »

I enjoy doing it since I was 16 with my 1967 VW bettle.
I do my own as it is more convenient for my schedule, cost is not a big factor but knowing what is going into my engine is important to me. Dealers are pretty good with oil being what is stated but I question the small shops.
I worked in a "local" garage while in high school and the Mobil bunk tanks were filled with the cheapest oil the owner could find which at that time was about 59 cents a quart and charged his patrons for Mobil oil.
strafe
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Post by strafe »

Mechanic charges $150.

I do it myself. Oil costs $72 ($8/qt) retail but often on sale for $45 ($5/qt). OEM fleece filter $12.50. Total cost is anywhere between $57.50 and $84.50 depending on cost of oil.

Time-wise, it's a wash.
FRANK2009
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Post by FRANK2009 »

Have always done it myself. Reasons are as follows:

a) I am cheap.

b) I know that the right oil and filter are used.




You can find better prices at walmart especially if they stock your filter. My oil change runs about $15.
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SpringMan
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Post by SpringMan »

I used to do always it myself years ago. Now I pay for the service. Those comparing the cost should not forget the chassis lubrication. I see some above that just count the oil and filter. The quick oil changes top off fluids and check tire pressure too. I never buy air filters from them though as they are marked up in price, same for bulbs but I have bought bulbs just to have it done. Regarding tire rotation, my newest vehicle has air pressure sensors, I don't have the tool to recalibrate that feature.
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isaidit
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Post by isaidit »

FRANK2009 wrote:Have always done it myself. Reasons are as follows:

a) I am cheap.

b) I know that the right oil and filter are used.




You can find better prices at walmart especially if they stock your filter. My oil change runs about $15.
I agree. I get the cheapest oil and filter recommended for my car. Usually $13 to $14 total at Walmart. I run my cars 200,000 plus miles before getting a new one. Change your oil regularly and you'll find that all the differences in oil prices is advertising hype....which many people fall for. Most people don't understand that their car never runs hot enough to even see the the benefits of full synthetic oil...sorry but running up to Taco Bell is not considered a Baja torture test! But if it makes people feel good then I guess significantly over-paying for oil is worth it.....to them.
SPG8
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Post by SPG8 »

Time Out.

I've seen oil changes for $100 and $150 posted. We take a Honda Accord to the local garage for $39.

What's a Boglehead, anyway? Is it a low-cost index investor or do you have to be cheap, too?

If it's the latter, were there some savings left on the table by buying a vehicle that requires a $100 or $150 oil change?
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Post by Triple digit golfer »

SPG8 wrote:Time Out.

I've seen oil changes for $100 and $150 posted. We take a Honda Accord to the local garage for $39.

What's a Boglehead, anyway? Is it a low-cost index investor or do you have to be cheap, too?

If it's the latter, were there some savings left on the table by buying a vehicle that requires a $100 or $150 oil change?
Bogleheads could splurge, too!
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OAG
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Post by OAG »

I have always done it myself. Current car takes 8 quarts of full synthetic oil (0/40W). I want to be sure the correct oil is used along with the correct filter. It also gives me a chance to look over other parts that may need attetnion (I think I can do that better than a sales oriented check). I have made one concession now that I have reached 70 years old which is to use a vacumn pump to extract the oil so I do not have to go under the car. Last oil change took about 10 minutes and material cost was about $70 - dealer would have charged about $175.
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979 21 years of service @ 38.
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touchdowntodd
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Post by touchdowntodd »

did it myself until recently..

i need a $4 filter and $13 worth of oil to change my car

local spot changes it for $19 as i sit in the car, and its mom and pop owned.. plus i get a car wash.. cant beat that, and i support them instead of walmart for my oil and filter..

win/win for me for the extra $2
tryin to do this right... thanks guys
MWCA
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Post by MWCA »

I really have no place to store used oil.
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White Coat Investor
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Post by White Coat Investor »

touchdowntodd wrote:did it myself until recently..

i need a $4 filter and $13 worth of oil to change my car

local spot changes it for $19 as i sit in the car, and its mom and pop owned.. plus i get a car wash.. cant beat that, and i support them instead of walmart for my oil and filter..

win/win for me for the extra $2
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mcblum
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oil change

Post by mcblum »

I started changing my oil with my first car, a 1967 VW bug. I was really poor so I did it myself.I remember getting under the car in 20 degree weather , draining the oil and replacing a screen they had instead of a filter. It was every 3K miles but I was young. I did this until a got my first Honda in 1983. On this car, the filter was on the back of the block and there was a lot of struts to get your arm around to put a wrench on it. I also needed ramps to do it. I did it once and, since then, have gone to either Jiffy Lub or my local mechanic.
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Post by lws6772 »

Haven't really checked how much I've saved, but over the last 37 years of oil changes, it's probably a good amount.
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MWCA
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Post by MWCA »

I been self cutting my hair for awhile. Probably made up for the difference in getting my oil changed ;)
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leonard
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Post by leonard »

EmergDoc wrote:Used to change oil and rotate tires. Wal mart does oil changes for $25 while my wife shops. 6 quarts and a filter is about the same. Not to mention the mess and hassle.

I buy tires at shops that offer free rotation for life (pretty much all of them these days). It's quick and easy and they're only a mile away. I read a book for 10 minutes and its done. Much harder with my little dinky jack doing one tire at a time. If it is more than a ten minute wait, I pull in another day. Like I said, I drive right by once or twice a day.

So basically I get both of these services done for free. What's not to like?

As my kids get older though, I suspect I'll make them each do it at least a few times so they know how.
An opportunity to expand their knowledge and their vocabulary :D .
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Post by leonard »

What are we driving that requires a $100 to $175 oil changes? A tank?
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Post by trico »

I absolutely don't trust anybody with my car. Especially the jiffy lube types that pay minimum wage. I once took my car into a care care place and marked the tires so I could tell if they rotated them as I requested. I found they only rotated one side, and also missed several lube points. I have had you name it (loose drain plugs, loose filters, loose lug nuts, ect). The real costly thing is they overfilled my transmission and it caused it to slip into nutural. This was a real problem, I had to have it serviced.
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FrugalInvestor
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Post by FrugalInvestor »

When I was a poor young adult I changed my own oil. While I was working I paid someone else to do it for me. Now that I'm a poor retiree I'm back to changing it myself.
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tetractys
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Re: Do you change the engine oil yourself?

Post by tetractys »

newbie_Mo wrote:For those changing the engine oil yourself, how much do you save by doing it yourself vs. going to the mechanics?

My mechanics charges $28 (including tax).
I checked autozone, the 5w-30 oil would costs around $18 + $3 filter = $21 if I do it myself.
And then there's the cleanup and the labor. Maybe you could do it as fast as a shop, but most people in most situations couldn't.

Many many years ago I used to do my own oil, but then switched to a shop. Tires and windshields the same. I still did all the other repair work because of cost and quality, and at times would make a leisure day or two out of that; but oil, no, not worth it. -- Tet
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wander
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Post by wander »

It's not much about saving. I use synthetic oil so I rather change it myself to avoid mistaken with regular oil at repair shops and the awaiting time.
MidwestBill
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Post by MidwestBill »

FRANK2009 wrote:Have always done it myself. Reasons are as follows:

a) I am cheap.

b) I know that the right oil and filter are used.

+1
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norookie
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Post by norookie »

:D Geezzzzz....advaced auto and many places in my area have special's for 5 qts and a decent filter for 12.99. constantly.
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Spades
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Post by Spades »

I'll admit immediatley, that yes, the cost is a wash doing an oil change myself if you count the amount of time it takes.

I still do it anyway. I like taking care of my own stuff. I'm certain that once I get old I'll take a break and go to the shop instead. Ugh... I've got to stop thinking about retiring.... too far down the road.
biasion
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Post by biasion »

Yes because my car burns some oil due to running very hot with a turbo and because I drive it hard.

I know it burns through a quart of oil every 1,500-2,000 miles. So I just add oil and change it every 5-8k. More than once I brought the car in for service and it was approaching the change date. I asked them to change the oil as well. Three times in 3 different locations, when I went to pick it up, a few weeks later I checked the oil and it was a quart down (and smelly and dirty like old oil). That would have been impossible had the oil been changed a few weeks before.

They can get away with this and know it because they always tell you to change at 3,000 miles even though with synthetic, it has been shown that 25k miles is just fine (for "normal use", for which my driving certainly is not).
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Boglenaut
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Re: Do you change the engine oil yourself?

Post by Boglenaut »

newbie_Mo wrote:
I checked autozone, the 5w-30 oil would costs around $18 + $3 filter = $21 if I do it myself.
That's more than I pay to have it done for me most of the time.
SamB
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Re: Do you change the engine oil yourself?

Post by SamB »

newbie_Mo wrote:For those changing the engine oil yourself, how much do you save by doing it yourself vs. going to the mechanics?

My mechanics charges $28 (including tax).
I checked autozone, the 5w-30 oil would costs around $18 + $3 filter = $21 if I do it myself.
I change my engine oil, but the cost difference is pretty small. I am paranoid about the oil and filter not being threaded properly and having the proper torque applied.

If you want to save money, try changing your brake fluid. I change mine every two to three years, and it costs about $5. You will need your wife to pump the brakes and assist, however.

Sam
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Scott S
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Post by Scott S »

I dunno. For me, it's a pride thing.

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katnrica
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Post by katnrica »

I change my oil myself too, but I buy oil by the case when it's on sale @ Costco. FRAM filters are available at all Walmart stores. And, I like the smell of fresh engine oil ;-)
jayars35
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Post by jayars35 »

Have been changing it myself for years.

1. I know it is done right.

2. I can do something else while the old oil drains out.

3. Allows me to look for other potential problems. I found a bad head gasket, ready to split radiator bypass hose and a few other things this way.

4. I can get it done at the best time for me and I don't have to drive anywhere to do it.

5. My 5 and 7 year old help me so we get more time together.

6. I buy oil by the case on sale and filters 3 or 4 at a time on sale. As long as the oil is the right viscosity and has the proper API classification, I don't care what the brand is. I think I have 7 cases of oil in my garage and they are 5 different brands.
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Post by TheEternalVortex »

Definitely not worth the time it would take.
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Post by lmpmd »

Not to hijack the thread, but now they have services that will clean up all the dog poop on your yard so you don't have to do it yourself. Anyone use these services? I've thought about it but I still do it myself. I guess it's pride thing and the satisfaction knowing it's done right ;o)
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daytona084
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Post by daytona084 »

norookie wrote::D Geezzzzz....advaced auto and many places in my area have special's for 5 qts and a decent filter for 12.99. constantly.
+1

To be fair, we need to compare the cheapest shop to the cheapest DIY cost, or the "average" shop to the "average" DIY cost.
Stonebr
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Post by Stonebr »

I do it myself because I enjoy being in tune with my car. I use the finest synthetic oil and only OEM filters. 'Course all the synthetics are the finest so I can buy the lowest price. Also, I've found that the mechanics never torque the drain plug to specs. Never. Even at the dealer.
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Post by p_qrs_t »

My wife doesn't allow me to work around power tools or things that explode. She knows my value added as an employee will be lost when I chop things off or get them blown off...

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Sidnaw_kid
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Post by Sidnaw_kid »

Hopefully all you do-it-yourselfers are recycling your used motor oil. It is a very nasty pollutant.
timmyp34
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Post by timmyp34 »

I do it myself and only change the filter every other time. Every 5000 miles for a change is plenty good. My current car is going flawlessly at 130K miles. I also use the dirty oil to kill weeds in the cracks of my concrete. Plus if our neighborhood ever has to invloke the "Angry Villager Rule" I figure I could soak torches in the dirty oil for a more meancing sooty smoke.
Yipee-Ki-O
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Post by Yipee-Ki-O »

Yes, not to save money but to ensure it's done right. Years ago I got tired of taking my '99 4-Runner in for a lube, O/F change and looking underneath afterwards and finding none of the zerts had been touched. And it didn't matter whether it was at the dealship or quick lube places. Plus the factory manual calls for two different types of grease. It's not like that's going to happen unless I do it myself. I figure if I'm going to have to do the lube job myself I might as well change the oil while I'm at it. I also like to make sure I'm actually getting synthetic oil and not just being charged for it And yes, the used oil gets dropped off at Wally's for recycling.
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Post by Peter Foley »

We do not drive a lot, about 6,000 - 7,000 miles per vehicle per year. I usually change the oil once per year myself and once per year at a local place I trust. I do not change the filter when I change the oil myself. While not changing the filter is probably heresy for some, changing about every 3,500 miles is too frequently for others. It cost me about $15 to change it myself and about $25 at the local service. Not bad for a year's service.
I do it myself as much for convenience as any other reason. I too have had a couple bad experiences with oil change shops.
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FrugalInvestor
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Post by FrugalInvestor »

Sidnaw_kid wrote:Hopefully all you do-it-yourselfers are recycling your used motor oil. It is a very nasty pollutant.
I absolutely recycle my used oil...at our local recycling center. We recycle the great majority of waste created in our household.

That said, I remember the day that many disposed of used oil down the storm drain without giving it a second thought. Things have definitely changed for the better.
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Scott S
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Post by Scott S »

Sidnaw_kid wrote:Hopefully all you do-it-yourselfers are recycling your used motor oil. It is a very nasty pollutant.
I do!

Image

:twisted:

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markpa
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Post by markpa »

I change my oil myself using a $50 mityvac fluid evacuator (topside oil change). both my family cars have topside oil filters elements that unscrew easily for replacement. Then the mityvac sucks up all the oil through the dipstick tube in 10 minutes.

12gal of Mobile one turbo diesel oil is $25 at walmart, OEM VW filter is $5 from the import shop locally. 10k oil change interval.

I did this not to save money as much as eliminate waiting time and stress. I would be frustrated at my attempts to get to the oil change places before they closed, then there would be longer than expected wait times. I went home without the job done a good % of time time (no open slots, out of my filters. etc).
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