3 Ways to Save on Your Oil Changes
Car mechanics, manufacturers and dealerships all tell you to change your oil on a regular basis to keep your car running efficiently. The problem with this method is that you end up burning a lot of money on your oil. Your car may be happy, but your wallet won't appreciate it. This is particularly true if you use higher grade motor oil, such as when you want to keep a sports car at the top of its game. You can't get away from this essential car maintenance task, but you do have a few ways to save money on oil.
Do it Yourself
Oil changes are one of those car maintenance tasks you can do at home with a bit of knowledge. You can save up to $75 using this method, and it takes between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your experience level. You'll need an oil filter wrench and oil drain pan for this task. The rest of the tools you may already have around your house, such as the wrench, funnel and gloves. Additionally, you may need a ramp or jack to get under your car. Once you've assembled your tools, you also need an oil filter, oil and replacement drain plug washer. Get under your car, and take off the undercover if necessary. Look for the screw-on oil filter and the drain plug. Put the oil drain pan under the drain plug, and remove the cap. Clean the plug, and wait for the oil to finish draining. Put the drain plug back in place, and move the oil drain pan under your filter. Remove the filter, and put in the new filter to finish the job.
You can save a great deal of money with this method, although you do have the disadvantages of needing to have the space to jack your car up and drain the oil, as well as buying some tools if you don't have everything you need handy.
If you don't have the inclination to change your oil or if you're afraid that you're going to break your car trying to drain it, plenty of oil change businesses will be happy to take your money. You'll want to keep this cost as low as possible, though, so turn to coupon hunting. When you live in an area that has plenty of competition for oil change services, you often get promotional coupons in the junk mail that comes to your door. Don't throw it out! You could save a significant amount off of your oil change. In fact, you might save so much that it's even more economical than doing it yourself. Take a look at all of the incentives in your local area to see what coupons are available. You may only get to use a coupon code as a new customer, so jumping between a few services may be a necessary part of your experience.
Changing Your Oil Less
One surefire way to save money on your oil changes is to opt to change it less. While 3,000 miles is the golden rule that everyone clings to, most standard oil is rated for 5,000 miles. Synthetic and premium synthetics are even better, going up to 20,000 miles before you get into trouble. These higher mileage oil changes depend on modern car engine efficiency, so if you're driving a 20-year-old car, you're better off sticking to the original guidelines. If you do have a newer car, however, you can get out of some of the maintenance costs by letting the oil last a bit longer before you swap it out. Try to slowly space out your oil changes instead of forcing your car to go a year without an oil change. You don't want to stress the engine or vehicle, so work your way up to longer times in between changes.