Frugal Friday frugality household tips

Saving Money on Oil Changes

May 22, 2008

Here’s a tip from my husband this week 🙂

I’m no mechanic, but mechanics will tell you that the number one thing you can do to keep your car in tip-top shape is to change the oil regularly. You will not save money by changing the oil once or twice every 100,000 miles. Instead, you will wear out your engine faster, and in the long run, will lose money big time. So, my first bit of advice is: change your oil on a consistent basis-every 5,000 miles or so.

Now, lest you fear that this tip is going to recommend that you get under the car, get dirty, and change your oil yourself, think again. Did you know it can actually be less expensive to have your oil changed than to change it yourself?

I have been taking my Buick to a Chevrolet dealership. There, the certified Chevrolet mechanics will 1) change my oil, 2) replace it with high-quality synthetic oil, 3) change the filter, and 4) do a once-over check on my vehicle. All for the low price of $7.99. You can’t buy 5 quarts of oil for $7.99. Dealerships often use this as a “loss leader” to try to sell you more service or parts; as long as you can say “no,” it will be a great deal.

So, first, check on prices with your local dealership (we didn’t buy our car from a dealership, but dealerships will service any vehicle that they manufacture). If your dealership doesn’t run a special, you can get your oil changed at Wal*Mart for under $20, which is about the same as doing it yourself.


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  • BarbaraLee Malikowski May 23, 2008 at 8:05 am

    I think my dh changes the more times then he gets his hair cut. We have had our vehicles for a long time. We have a 98′ 86′ & our son bought our 93′ b/c he knew how dh took care of it.
    He does change his own oil but if there is major problems we do take it in. That way there is a warnity.

  • Kim May 23, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    We’re going to have to try that – we get our oil changed all the time, and we have a Buick – we’re gonna have to try taking to Chevorlet – where exactly do you take your car?

  • Keren May 23, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    We take it to Easley Chevrolet. Daniel says he always calls ahead and makes an appointment. Go here for their website.