Maintaining your car is one of the most important things that you need to do every few weeks and one of the things that you will need to do is to schedule regular oil changes for your car. While oil changes are usually not too expensive, knowing how to save money on oil changes is something that everyone should know how to do. Even little bits of savings can make a big difference in your budget.
How to Save Money on Oil Changes
Stop getting oil changes every 3,000 miles –
The first thing about saving money on oil changes that you should know is that the mileage for oil changes typically recommended is 7,500 – 10,000 miles, not the 3,000 miles that most oil change shops put on your dash window sticker. Make sure and check your vehicles owners manual and see what is recommended. I have asked my oil change company to make my dash sticker say 7,500 miles until it needs it again. They also will do free top offs anytime if you feel you are getting lower on oil too. So by not getting your oil changed so frequently you can save up to 50% off.
Look for coupons –
Tire and lube places often put out coupons in the newspaper or your local weekly free ads. These coupons can often help you score your oil change for as little as $14.99. Before you take your car into have the change done, be sure to scour around to look for a coupon. Doing so can save you 50% or more off of the work that you need done. Most companies also have online coupons that you can just pull up on your phone and show them to save money. Here are a few online coupons:
Jiffy Lube Coupons
Pep Boys Oil Change Coupon
Oil Can Henry’s Coupons
Use Groupon –
The last time that I had an oil change done on my car, it was done at Sears for $9.99. How? I used a Groupon. While Groupon is usually more for fun activities and eating out, occasionally you will find something such as an oil change to really help you save money. It never hurts to check and you may just find yourself getting lucky with a deal.
Stay away from the dealership –
I know that this sounds like a bad idea, but hear me out for just a moment. Dealership repair sites are great for specific repairs that your car might need such as a major fix with your engine. For smaller repairs though, like an oil change, they are usually much more expensive than other places.For these types of repairs, going to the local chain business or a mom and pop business will generally save you quite a bit.
Skip the Do it Yourself Oil Change –
Now I’m usually an advocate for doing things yourself. And when I was growing up I changed my own oil all the time. However, if you do a cost comparison for doing it yourself vs at an oil change shop, the price is usually only a few dollars different. For example my van takes 5 quarts of 5W-20 Synthetic blend ($25 at Walmart) plus $10 for the filter making it around $35, not including the basic equipment you need to get started, your time and labor and disposing of the old oil. Most oil changes at a shop you can get for around $30-$40 depending on your location, and with a coupon you can almost always get the price even lower than doing it yourself.
Prepare yourself for the Add-Ons
Have you ever been to an oil change shop where they haven’t tried to up sell you something, like your air filter needing replaced? Yeah, me neither. They always try to up sell me something. So keep track of when your car actually does need to be serviced or when the last time you replaced that air filter was. You can always say “maybe next time” if you know you don’t need it.
Got any other tips for saving money on oil changes? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear!