Oil Change Cost

Last Updated on August 15, 2020 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on November 12, 2014 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

People that think about buying a car, while trying to figure out the expenses that will go along with their purchase, sooner or later start to ask themselves:

How much would an oil change cost?

The initial cost of the vehicle, along with periodical maintenance costs like the oil change price can really hurt your budget, so you have to figure out all of these expenses before making the actual purchase. Professional workshops will charge more especially when they’ll add up costs for different services, some of them being less important or easily done by yourself at home, so make sure you know exactly what you pay for.

This being said, how much will an oil change alone cost you? Although the final price is usually around the same numbers, there are still some variables that will need to be taken into account.

One big price difference will be made by the type of oil that you’ll use. The first thing you need to do is find out if your car needs synthetic oil or any similar synthetic blend because this oil is more expensive. Most vehicles don’t require this type of oil to be used, even if it has extra qualities and seems better.

An approximate price for the oil and the labor will be around $25, although an exact cost depends on where you go for the oil change and the type of oil you’ll get. Expect to pay more for brand name oil or higher grade oils, but, usually, it is better to go for a high-quality product.

When you go into the shop for an oil change, you’ll notice exactly how low the oil in your car is. If you’re very low on oil, you will end up paying more. Professional stores charge you additional costs for every quart of oil you need and they will usually check all your fluid levels before starting the work.

If they’ll notice that other fluids are too low, they will refill them for you, especially if they feel that not changing them will put you and others in danger. It’s better to get a final price estimate and an idea about what they’ll be refilling before they start.

What to do to spend less on an oil change?

engine oil dipstickIf you don’t want to damage your car, understand that you can’t just have anybody change your car oil. It’s a lot more complicated than just adding new oil over the old one.

An oil change means that all of the old one will have to be completely cleaned out before new oil is added, and it’s not as easy as you’d think. It is a lot of work and in the end, if you do all of the work yourself, you’ll only save about $10 in labor costs. This is a way to save money, but if you haven’t done it in the past it will seem like a lot of work for just a few bucks. In the end, time is the most valuable currency you’ll ever trade.

Also, try to go to the shops you dealt with in the past. If you’ve worked with any local shop or mechanic in the past and they have done a great job, try to take your car there. By going to someone you already know, you will trust their work, and it may get you a discount for being a loyal customer. If you do get a discount, don’t expect a big difference in the final price.

As an estimate, people usually end up spending anywhere from $20 to $40 for the full job, although there are a lot of shops that offer deals and coupons that could take the price to lower numbers. If you have bigger things you need to be fixed or repaired, you can negotiate to get the oil change for free.

Can the average working Joe afford periodical oil changes?

A normal oil change can cost you around $20 – $40. Searching for discounts and deals or negotiating with big shops can take the price to as low as $10. Not having a periodical oil change can damage your car in time which means a lot more money spent in the long run. The average working Joe doesn’t afford not to change the oil periodically if you ask us. Spend $10 at the right time to avoid spending more on repairs, in the future.

Alec Pow
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