Changing Your Own Oil: Is it Worth It?

Posted on: September 28th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

Is Changing Your Own Oil Worth it?

changing your own oil Common wisdom suggests that the more do-it-yourself you can do, the more money you will save. That is true for a lot of things, including maintenance on your vehicle. For example, changing an air filter in your car is very easy – socket wrench and a $10 filter from your average big box store. Usually mechanics will charge about $30, so you save $20. Other things, like changing your own oil may not be as cut and dry as replacing your air filter. As your auto body repair experts at Accurate Auto Body, we take a look at the question: is it worth it to change your own oil?

If you watch videos on how to change your car’s oil, it can seem pretty easy. In fact, most experienced pros can change oil in about 20 minutes. But, there are many different factors that can steer you off course when it comes to changing your own oil, such as:

  • More upfront investment is required including an oil pan ($10+), vehicle jack stand ($30+), gloves, towel, and funnel.
  • Safety concerns as you can get burned or the car could fall on you if you don’t have it jacked correctly.
  • You could really mess things up which can lead to more costly repairs. For example, if you do not re-plug the engine correctly or if you do not get the oil filter properly attached. Another common error is not using the right level of oil. Any of these errors can be catastrophic to your vehicle’s engine.
  • It is messy, even for the pros. So clean up can take a bit of time, as well as ensuring you correctly dispose of the oil.

Are There Cost Savings When Changing Your Own Oil?

Let’s assume that you decide to go ahead and change your own oil. Our analysis found there is not a great deal of cost saving doing oil changes on your own (other than your own self-validation of a completing a DIY project).

Let’s assume your car uses 5 quarts of a full-synthetic oil. The cost for the oil and the filter is going to be about $34 (post-tax) from a place like Walmart. It could be more if you got to a regular auto parts store. Also, there are the up-front investments we noted such as an oil pan, car jack, and more.

Most good service shops and dealerships charge about $35 for an average 5-quart oil change. So, you may (if you are lucky), save $1. That means you will have to do many years of oil changes to just pay off the $10 oil pan you have to buy.

So, there you have it. One whole dollar! Is it worth your time, the mess and the potential for error? Since we live here in Denver, it is likely that a good oil-change outfit is conveniently located near your home, so it is probably worth it to have someone else handle your oil changes.

How to Use This Information

We hope this helps you think a little about your car’s maintenance. And, if you have need of any body repair – be it dent repair, hail repair, new paint, or collision repair – please give us a call. We will go out of our way to please you with our exclusive Focus on Your Service System™. Call us at 303-344-2212 or schedule your estimate appointment online.

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