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How To Save Money On Oil Changes
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Save Money on Your Next Oil Change

Even do-it-yourselfers can't beat these tips to save money and keep your mechanic honest. With a little preparation you can save hundreds of dollars on auto repairs by following some simple guidelines during your next trip to an auto repair shop.

The mechanics of an oil change

Let’s review how oil changes are different today than in years past. Certainly there are new rules and guidelines concerning today’s modern cars, what kind of oil to use, and how frequently oil changes are really needed.

Today’s highly engineered motor oils are better solutions than the motor oil your father used. Whether your car uses typical motor oil or the newer synthetic oil, both will provide better and longer protection with better engine cleaning treatment today.

When should I change my oil?

The 3,000 mile rule is a thing of the past for many new cars. Auto maker guidelines for many new cars call for 5,000 mile oil changes; some even go past that mark and call for changes of 7,500 or even 10,000 miles.

So don’t let that auto shop sticker on your windshield dictate when you need an oil change. Refer to your owner’s manual to see what intervals you should be using. Be sure to note if intervals are different depending on light or heavy duty use of your car or SUV.

Oil changes don’t have to be costly

A simple search of the internet will always yield results in terms of discounts and coupons. Paying more than $20 for an oil change is often unnecessary provided you plan ahead. If a shop recommends using a more costly synthetic or other oil ask why. There’s little difference between quality motor oil and a more costly synthetic blend if you’re changing oil at recommended intervals.

Just change the oil thank you

Steer clear of oil change packages that offer services, such as checking fluid levels, at an additional cost. These simple checks take little or no time and most reputable repair shops will look at fluid levels for no charge. The same holds true for tire rotations, a service that’s usually included with every tire purchase you make.

There’s a reason shops give you those discounts for oil changes; they want to have an opportunity to offer maintenance or repair work. Listen carefully to any recommended repairs. Reputable shops may notice needed brake repairs or belt replacements, but just as many other shops will recommend parts and services you don’t need. Listen carefully and ask the shop manager to carefully go over what repairs might be needed, and why.

And a final tip. Most newer cars have oil level indicator lights to alert you to low oil levels. Often they illuminate when your car is low by one quart, maybe more. For a typical automobile that uses 5 quarts or so, it’s important to replenish your oil quickly. Even better, check your oil twice a month to keep your car’s oil levels topped off.

The author has nearly three decades of experience in consumer finance,


Street Talk

Thank you for letting consumers know that an oil change does not have to happen every 3,000 miles. Auto shops have been getting over on us for too long.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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