Wednesday, May 09, 2012

3,000 Mile Oil Change? Changing Your Own Oil? Synthetic Oil Change?

If it costs about $20 plus $4 for the drive to the parts store and back, not counting the floor jack and oil filter wrench, it costs the same or more to change your own oil.

Last time I changed the oil was in 1979 for my 1970 Plymouth Valiant which you could actually change the filter without jacking up the car, and it was still a pain. Modern cars you can barely get at the thing even with the car on a lift. If you pay the regular $39.99 at a quick change like Valvoline, then you might be paying yourself $20 for the half hour or hour it takes to do t his job. If you go for the $80.00 full synthetic, the NAPA synthetic still costs less than $4 a quart, and if want a top-end oil filter which can run cheap as $3.29 or as much as $12.49 for platinum, you can spring for those too.

Urban myth / Marketing Scam: Change Your Oil every 3000 miles

See [3,000 mile oil change myth]

This is like the drink 8 glasses of water a day myth. A long time ago cars actually need to be changed this often, but that changed with cars in the 1980s. It's just a way to get as much business as possible.

Although the average car's oil change interval is around 7,800 miles — and as high as 20,000 miles in some cars — this wasteful cycle continues largely because the automotive service industry, while fully aware of the technological advances, continues to preach the 3,000-mile gospel as a way to keep the service bays busy. As a result, even the most cautious owners are dumping their engine oil twice as often as their service manuals recommend. After interviews with oil experts, mechanics and automakers, one thing is clear: The 3,000-mile oil change is a myth that should be laid to rest. Failing to heed the service interval in your owner's manual wastes oil and money, while compounding the environmental impact of illicit waste-oil dumping.

Check Your Owner’s Manual First The first place to check to see what your car manufacturer recommends is in the manual. You are likely to find that they recommend an oil change every 5,000 to upwards of 10,000 or more. Even if they recommend 5,000 you can probably even extend it a bit further if you do primarily highway driving.One thing is for sure and changing your oil every 3,000 won’t do any harm, the only thing it will do is make your wallet a bit lighter than probably necessary. Some people feel more comfortable with frequent changes, but if you take a moment to determine how often you should be changing the oil you are likely to find you can save some money if you do what is appropriate for your vehicle.

My old 1970 318 V8 Plymouth Valiant had a 3,000 mile interval, but I noticed when I got my new 1981 Mercury Lynx / Escort, the factory interval was 7,000 miles Most cars these days specify 7-8,000 mile oil changes in the manual. However... they usually specify shorter 3,000 interval for "heavy use" which is short trips or cold climates where it snows, which a dealer can argue applies to just about anybody. I've never done 3,000 mile intervals so I've never had a problem. I also like to do partial synthetic or synthetic sometimes to feel better about the 8,000 mile interval since that used to be a big selling point, but now they're not pushing for long oil change intervals anymore.The other rule is to change every 3 months even if you don't drive much, so don't leave oil in a car for over a year if you can help it. 

How much does oil cost?:

For some reason, NAPA's synthetic oil is slightly cheaper than their normal oil, just under $4 a quart. Mixed synthetic is $6-somethning, top end synthetic oil is $9 per quart. So if you get the $3.79 for synthetic, and it's the same as the Valvoline then you could save a lot of money.  Best deal I could find so far is Walmart which is $18 for 5 quarts.

Synthetic is recommended for exotic cars, you can run 10,000 mile oil change and feel good about, but if you want to change every 3000 miles, it is not worth it. 

  1. NAPA Full Synthetic Motor Oil - $3.38/QT through end of July
    4 posts - 2 authors - Jul 24, 2011
    I know it isn't a huge deal but a good price for motor oil. The oil is made by Valvoline but sold under the NAPA brand. No 0W-40 or 5W-40 but they ... Got some descentreviews from bobistheoilguy forums. '04 R32 - Deep Blue ...

    My buddy works at Napa and he tells me the Napa brand oil is really Valvoline. Is there any truth to this? Their synthetic oil is slightly less than $4. ... Knowledge Base, Wiki 

Motor Oil - NAPA - HD SAE 5W20 - 1 Qt
Part Number: NOL 75150
Product Line: NAPA Oil - Regular States
IMPORTANT INFO: Primary,4.5 Qt. Capacity

$3.99 /Qt(s)
 In Stock
Online purchase not available. Wh

Motor Oil - Semi-Synthetic 5W20 - 1 Qt
Part Number: VAL 317
Product Line: Valvoline Oil - Regular States

$6.29 /Qt(s)
 In Stock
Online purchase not available. Why?
Cheapest seems to be Walmart

SuperTech Full Synthetic 10W30 Motor Oil, 5-Quart

SuperTech Full Synthetic 10W30 Motor Oil...

Can this be any good? 
Nobody can pin down where this oil comes from, and it probably varies by region, but nobody says bad things about it. 

Its a modernfull synthetic, engineered to meet every spec, and rebottled for walmart. May not have the name, or the loyal following, but its not like theyre sticking water in there and selling it as oil!

who makes super tech synthetic - Bob Is The Oil Guy
Depends on what part of the US you are in....but it is either going to be Warren (WPP) or Mobil.

Still a good oil either way.


O'Reilly Oil - Motor Oil

Motor Oil - NAPA Synthetic - SAE 10W30 - 1 Qt
Part Number: NOL 75500
Product Line: NAPA Oil - Regular States
IMPORTANT INFO: Full Synthetic,3.9 Qt. Capacity
$3.79 / qt 

Motor Oil - Mobil - 1 Qt, Synthetic; 0W30
Part Number: MOB 0W30
Product Line: Mobil Oil - Regular States

$8.79 /Qt(s)
 In Stock

Oil filters can run from 3-something up to $12.49 for Honda Accord

Product Image
Oil Filter (Platinum) $$$12.49
Part Number: PFL 41334
Product Line: Platinum Filters

Oil Filter $$7.00
Part Number: ATM RB3312
Product Line: Altrom Imports

Oil Filter (ProSelect) $3.29
Part Number: SFI 21334
Product Line: NAPA ProSelect Filters

This is how to do a 2001 Honda Accord like I have

You'll need an oil filter wrench or pliers, be able to jack up the front of the car, put a drip pan under the oil filter, reach up to the oil filter above the oil pan and loosen and tighten the thing, on top of opening the drain plug, draining oil, getting rid of it, and filling up with new oil.

Here is one guy that shows how to change oil for 2009 Honda Accord
The owner's manual for this 2009 Honda Accord LX Premium sedan recommends using 5W-20 weight oil. This car's 2.4L four cylinder engine requires 4.4 U.S. quarts (4.2 liters) for an oil change. A 3.5L V6 Accord will need 4.5 U.S. quarts (4.3 liters).
I went to Pep Boys and purchased 5 quarts of ProLine SAE 5W20 all season conventional motor oil and a Purolator L14610 oil filter. The oil was $2.79 per quart and the filter was $4.37 for a total cost of $18.32.

Note: I usually get the coupon job at $20!

Here is just one section of about 10 sections of how to do the job: 

By now almost all of the used motor oil should have drained out of the engine. When the flow slows down to just an occasional drip, wipe off the area with a rag and replace the oil drain bolt. Tighten it down with a 17mm socket or wrench to just past snug. Don't over tighten the oil drain bolt or you could risk splitting, cracking, or otherwise damaging the oil pan. To remove the old oil filter, either use clean dry hands or an oil filter wrench. Turn the old oil filter counter clockwise to loosen it.
Screwing On New Filter
Funnel In Oil Filler Hole
Pouring In New 5W20 Oil
Be sure to have the oil catch container still below the car when you remove the old oil filter as it will contain some used motor oil. Since used motor oil can contain carcinogens (cancer causing agents) try to use another pair of latex or rubber gloves when removing the old oil filter. Carefully twist the new oil filter on in the clockwise direction. Tighten it down by hand and then tighten it just slightly more until it is securely snug. The 2.4L inline 4 cylinder engine in this 2009 Honda Accord requires 4.4 U.S. quarts of 5W-20 oil. I poured in about 4 quarts of the new ProLine 5W-20 oil into a funnel in the engine oil filler hole. Then I ran the engine (with the oil filler cap in place), turned off the engine, and checked the oil level on the dipstick. To bring the level up to about half way between the lower "ADD" and upper "FULL" marks on the dipstick, I added just less than half of a quart. I checked the level again and replaced the oil filler cap.

Does not sound like something for the faint of heart. Bottom line, if you enjoy doing it, or if you don't trust the kid who drives a beat up 1981 Escort to do the oil change, then do it yourself. The rest of us, it's probably not worth the time.

Next research question - is it worth flushing your radiator and transmission fluid by yourself??


Here's what the web has to say:
1. Yahoo Answers: No
2. Cashmoneylife: No
3. Don't Bother
4. No
5. Art of Manliness: You'll save up to $15

  1. 1. Is it worth it to change your own oil? - Yahoo! Answers › ... › Cars & Transportation › Maintenance & Repairs
    21 answers - May 30, 2008

    Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

    No it is not worth it even if he came out $5.00 ahead he still has to dispose of the waste oil and filter.I work at a shop and pay to have my oil changed as well as the rest of my family.Oil is $3.00 bucks a quart, he will need 4.75 quarts, $15.00. An oil filter $3.00 maybe $4.00, $18.00. Change clothes, jack the vehicle up, risk stripping plug or damaging filter, change oil and filter, jack down and find a place to dispose of oil after driving to parts house to purchase oil and dispose of oil he spent another $5.00 he spent around $23.00. my opinion no its not worth it
  2. 2. Should You Change Your Own Car Oil
    Ryan Guina
    Apr 7, 2011 – Is changing the oil in your car worth the time and effort? How much money do you save when you change your own oil instead of going to...
  3. Answer: But I don’t change my oil anymore for several reasons:
    • The savings isn’t very much – $5 at best.
    • You still need to dispose of the used oil and filter and pay the disposal fee.
    • I don’t have the specialized tools and equipment (special wrench for my car, oil pans, ramps, etc).
    • I get my tires rotated for free where I normally get my oil change (I bought my tires there). This is important for the tire warranty.
    • Included extras like the 22 point inspection and fluid top off. Mechanics are trained to look for abnormalities and can catch some problems before they become big (read: expensive) problems.

    3. Don't Bother Changing Your Own Oil
    Jan 9, 2008 – Some maintenance items that are totally worth doing yourself is the ...Changing your own oil isn't quite as easy or convenient as stopping by a ...
  4. Most auto repair shops that also do other work like brakes, tuneups, and tires use oil changes as a loss leader to get you to come to their shop for more major repairs and maintenance. The regular price for an oil change at the shop I used to work at is currently $18.90. You can often find coupons for $14.90, and occasionally they have coupons for $12.90. They are set up to do oil changes very quickly, with an oil pit down below or at least on a lift. The guys that worked the oil change bay frequently could complete an oil change in about 5 minutes most of the time. Now, even if you have several cars in front of you, that’s still pretty fast timing. If you can hit the shop when there’s nobody in front of you, you can be in and out in about 15 minutes, most of the time.

    Compare that to changing the oil yourself. You have to buy ramps to drive your car up on, an oil wrench, plus you have to buy the oil at about $2.50 per bottle (I’m not 100% certain on this. I haven’t bought oil by the bottle in over 7 years, but my husband who drives a car that has a slight oil leak says this is what oil costs) and an oil filter for between $6 and $10. Consider that the average car requires about 5 quarts of oil and just the oil and filter is going to run more than the coupon price.
  5. 4. Changing Your Own Oil Is Not Worth Your Time. Outsource the ...
    I thought about changing my own oil the other day, but I then realized that it is notworth my time. After many years and several mistakes later, I now understand ...

    How to Change Your Motor Oil | The Art of Manliness
    Oct 29, 2009 – Now, give a REALISTIC estimate of what your time is worth in ... I have added it up and I think changing your own oil still puts you out on top.

    The Benefits of Changing Your Oil Yourself

    Save money. Getting your oil changed at Jiffy Lube or similar shops usually runs between $25 and $30. Half the cost goes to labor.  They have deals every now and then, but they’re few and far between. Changing your oil yourself will only set you back about $15 for a new filter and some new oil. In this tough economy, every little bit helps. The manly man is self-reliant and frugal.

    You won’t get stuff stolen from your car. After one visit to the quick lube, my cell phone was missing. Of course, when I called the workers on it, they played dumb. I also had a few CD’s taken from another oil change place. (If you’re reading this Fast Lube guy, I want my Weezer Blue Album back.)

    You’ll feel manly. Nothing will boost your manly confidence like learning a manual skill and doing a job yourself. The satisfaction you get after changing your oil is way more fulfilling than the satisfaction you’ll get getting a perfect score on Guitar Hero. You’ll get your hands greasy, and you’ll have the manly smell of sweat and oil emanate from you.
  6. Changing your own oil: Is is really worth it? - Page 3 - TalkBass ... › ... › Bass Guitar Forums › Off Topic [BG]
    20 posts - 16 authors - Jun 20, 2010
    Quaker State and fram? You must really hate that car. read this: and read this: ...
    poll results:

    Changing your own oil is better 'cause you know it's done right3857.58%
    Having it changed by a "pro" is much easier and worth the extra bucks.2436.36%
    What's an oil change?46.06%

  7. Is it still worth changing your own oil? - The Garage Journal Board › ... › The Garage › Free Parking
    85 posts - 16 authors - Oct 10, 2011
    When it cost me $20 for oil and filter to change my car or truck, is it really worth my time? I ask myself this every 3-5000 miles. I kind of feel I ...

    There is no way I would let some teenager from Jiffy Lube touch my car.

    I always do my own. How long does it really take! I also use Mobil 1 and change the oil at 10K intervals. Never had a single internal engine problem in decades of doing this.

    What kind of oil and filter are they using for $20

    Really, just not worth it to do it myself. Gathering all the supplies, jacking up the car, getting underneath the car and all that is just too much effort. My dealer does oil changes for a reasonable price. I'm just not going to bother myself that much for a couple bucks. Plus disposing of the oil is another hassle that's worth letting someone else worry about.
  8. Changing your own oil-worth it? - Homesteading Today
    Sep 25, 2006 – I've changed my oil myself up until a few days ago. I needed thechange and didn't have time, so pulled into the 5 min oil change. In 7 mins I ...


KGB said...

Change your own oil if you are able - you think you save money by going to a quick oil change place, but do you really think that you're getting oil that's good for your engine if you're paying around $30 per change? Most oil change places buy their oil in quantity and it might cost them as little as $.50/quart - what kind of quality can you expect out of that low of a price? My wife used to go to Valvoline with our KIA Sedona and over a year's period of time, we were missing / and stripped all but one of the bolts that hold on the plastic valve covering. Unless you go to Midas or CarX (or another ASE certified shop), you won't even get an ASE certified mechanic - so you won't know what kind of damage may occur to your vehicle. I once had them strip out my oil plug because they used an impact wrench on it - and they told me that I needed a new oil pan and plug - when it was their fault (Merlin, Peoria, IL) Just had to vent, but think about it the next time you get your oil changed. - KB

tyre changing machines said...

One of the cornerstones of do-it-yourself car maintenance jobs is the home oil change. It's a simple process that requires few tools, and it's a sure way to save some money while you avoid the hassle of sitting in a dull waiting room somewhere reading outdated magazines.

Hickory Poscery said...

I need to change my oil soon. I haven't changed it in a while. I think I am going to use synthetic oil when I change it.