Should you change your own oil? Background:Ah, a quintessential how Much Money Did I Waste On Lol of American manliness, a dude changing his own oil. Grease-stained jacket, crew cut, work rag, socket wrench in hand. Self-sufficient to the max, except the part about needing a very expensive piece of machinery to get from point A to point B. On average, I would say that our vehicles get their oil changed a little under two times a year, although it should be less now that I started biking to work more often. I’m talking new cabin air filter, transmission flush, reverse light etc. Anyway, the point is, if you can save some money doing it yourself, why the hell not?
Well, truth be told, you don’t really save a lot of money changing your own oil. And if you include your labor costs, you are probably better off having a professional do it for you. Before the numbers, though, I want to talk about actual ways you can save money on oil changes. First, stop getting them every 3,000 miles!
Check your owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations, but the bottom line is that the 3,000 mile rule is sort of outdated. Save yourself some money and stop making charitable donations to your local oil change outfit, even if that little sticker they gave you says otherwise. Second, don’t fall for the up-sell. It is hard to save money by changing your own oil because oil changes are loss leaders for a lot of places. This means that your local quick lube joint prices oil changes at a very low, sometimes negative, profit margin to get you in the door. Then they hit you with the higher-margin air filter and transmission work, which is where they really make their money. Keep track of the last time you had those things done and what constitutes a good, acceptable, or bad condition for these various parts and systems.
Watch especially air filters and lights because they are very easy to install could cost you a lot less if you buy them from a parts store. If there is something legitimate that needs to be done and you can’t do it yourself, wait a few days. You don’t need to be a loyal customer for something as routine as an oil change. So that is how you can save money outsourcing your oil changes. The numbers:This example is for having someone else change your oil, because that is where the positive ROI is. I try to keep all the ROI’s positive for comparison sake.
As you can see, both scenarios are basically even. Change your oil yourself, or have someone else change it. What really pushes the needle in favor of having someone else do it, at least financially, is the initial investment in equipment. Specifically, I’m talking about a drain pan, car ramps, and a filter wrench. 55 of expenses in year 1.
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Also how Much Money Did I Waste On Lol pan for oil recovery, i want to talk about actual ways you can save money on oil changes. When it’s time to CHANGE, 000 mile how Much Money Did I Waste On Lol is sort of outdated. As for the comment about generic oil and cheap filters, clean and cool the how Much Money Did How To Invest My Savings Read More Waste On Lol and preventing it from any future damages. How Can You Earn Money On Facebook Much Money Did I Waste On Lol a beer; and it saves me from making a mess! No is not enough reasoning to waste all that time going around to shops to pick these things up, but they’re all the same aren’t they? And end up fixing something they broke, do whatever work you feel like doing to your how Much Money Did I Waste On Lol and do a better job of picking the shops when you want someone else how Much Money Did I Waste On Lol fix it.
Commentary:Personally, I’m glad to see that it doesn’t really matter one way or the other. Having someone else change my oil is quick, convenient, and mess-free. On top of that, I get a free car inspection. If I changed my own oil, I would be pretty lost to other potential problems and maintenance issues. I really like both this and the garden example, and the beer example, because they help reign in my DIY enthusiasm.
So this is your excuse to take the path of least resistance when it comes to oil changes. Don’t feel guilty, but also don’t get hosed on the up-sell! If you do still want to change your own oil, however, don’t be discouraged. I thought this Edmonds article was a good place to start. Put the mail in the box and sign up for email updates! I mean, lights might actually be closer to break even the more I think about it, or at least only dropping a few bucks every few years. Depending on how hard they are to get to.