One major element of vehicle ownership is routine maintenance. Along with basic car washes and new tires, your car needs regular oil changes and inspections to make sure it runs at its best. However, because oil changes are needed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, they are definitely a larger part of vehicle maintenance expenses.
When do you need an oil change?
Most maintenance guidelines recommend changing the oil in your car or truck every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. In some instances, you may be able to go as far as 7,500 but that depends on the make, model, and overall wear and tear on your vehicle.
If you don’t drive a lot of miles, it’s important that you change your oil out anyways. Especially if your car sits in very hot or cold weather for extended periods of time, the oil could go bad fast. When you finally start using your car again, the additives in your oil could be expired or less effective.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your oil, make sure to change it out every 4 to 6 months, or before a long road trip as a general rule of thumb. For more specific timeframes, check your owner’s manual.
How much should you pay for an oil change?
If you are wondering what a normal price for an oil change is, the national average is about $45. However, many mechanic shops charge as low as $20 for an oil change while dealerships and higher-end repair shops may charge up to $50 or more.The thing that influences price most is the quality of oil your car needs. If your car needs a synthetic oil blend, you could pay even more than $50 even at a regular mechanic. Conventional motor oil is much cheaper and much easier to come by, but it doesn’t last as long or have as many benefits.
How to save money on an oil change If you are on a tight budget, it might be tempting to just buy the cheapest motor oil and do the oil change yourself. But this could cause damage to your engine and even other components if you don’t know what you’re doing.So instead of asking yourself “What’s the cheapest motor oil?” you should instead ask “Which motor oil will give me the most value for my money?” Most synthetic motor oil will tell you which additives it provides, as well as how far you can drive the vehicle before changing the oil again. The more (useful) additives and the further you can get on one oil change, the more value for your money.
Avoid DIY oil changes A DIY oil change might seem tempting, as well, but most car manufacturers recommend always visiting professional mechanics. Not only do they know how to change oil, but they can also inspect your car quickly to make sure everything is in perfect working order. The few extra dollars will be a great investment in the longevity of your vehicle.