How Much Should an Oil Change Cost?

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How much should an oil change cost? You can expect to pay between $20 to $70, depending on your make and model, for an oil change. Mechanics in urban areas tend to charge higher prices than mechanics in rural areas for this service.
Frequent oil changes can keep your vehicle in good shape for longer. In fact, oil changes are one of the cheapest and least time-consuming ways to prolong the lifespan of your vehicle
Remember, regular maintenance is a good start, but you also need a good car insurance policy. Jerry can help you find an affordable policy with the coverage you need.
This article will cover factors that can impact the cost of an oil change, types of oil, where to get your oil changed, and how often you may need this service. Let’s get started.

What impacts oil change cost?

An oil change requires parts and labor. Labor refers to the hourly rate of the mechanic, and some cities and garages charge more than others. Parts include motor oil and sometimes a filter
Your cost will be influenced by the type of oil you need, the size of your engine (i.e., how much oil you need), and who services your vehicle (dealership or auto shop).

Types of motor oil

Some cars can only use one type of oil whereas others can use several. In addition, some oils are better for cold weather use. Check your owner’s manual or ask your mechanic for details. There are four general types of motor oil.
  • Conventional: The least expensive on this list, conventional motor oil is made from crude oil.
  • Full synthetic: A step up from conventional, full synthetic is made from crude oil that has been refined and purified. As a result, it offers better protection for your engine and better performance. Note that synthetic oil is more expensive than conventional oil. Experts recommend full synthetic oil for vehicles that tow heavy loads, spend time in intense weather (heat or cold), or contain turbocharged engines.
  • Synthetic blend: This is a combination of conventional and synthetic oil. It’s priced in between the two types and offers the benefits of both.
  • High mileage: This motor oil contains special additives to help engines with over 75k miles. They can be any of the first three types of oil with additives mixed in.
The most expensive type of motor oil is full synthetic, which costs about $70 at a place like Goodyear. The most affordable is conventional motor oil.

Which type of motor oil is right for me?

Your first step should be consulting your car’s manual. Most new cars should use fully synthetic or blended oil. Engines are very expensive to maintain and replace. Frequent oil changes with high-quality oil can help you avoid costly fixes later on.
If your vehicle does not require synthetic oil, it’s still worth considering it. It’s the most expensive type, but synthetic oil offers the most protection to your engine. It could even lower the lifetime maintenance cost of your vehicle since it will prolong the lifespan of your engine and help it run more smoothly. 
You can go longer between changes with synthetic oil (as opposed to conventional oil), too. Less money, fewer appointments—what’s not to love?

The size of your engine

If you have a vehicle with a large engine (like a truck), you may need more than the standard five quarts of oil. This will hike up the price of your oil change considerably.
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Where you go to get an oil change

You can change your oil yourself, but most people take their vehicle to a dealership or auto shop. Why? Most professionals perform additional services while changing the oil (like fluid top-off and brake visual check). It may be worth your time and money to visit an auto shop for this service.
Key Takeaway: It’s a myth that you’ll lose your car’s warranty if you get an oil change done by an auto shop instead of the dealership. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects you from being denied warranty coverage in this situation.

How often should I get an oil change?

Most manufacturers recommend getting the oil changed between 5,000 and 10,000 miles. See what your manufacturer recommends and follow their instructions. 
If you drive about the same amount every month, you can schedule this service every six months (or whatever aligns with the approximate mileage amount) rather than keeping an eye on your mileage.
Note that driving conditions also affect how often you should get an oil change. 
If you frequently drive through extreme temperature changes (like over the mountains or through a desert), if you tow heavy loads, or if you make frequent short trips that are less than five miles, this could impact the recommended interval for getting an oil change.

What to do next

Protecting your car is about more than just maintenance. Good car insurance can help save money and protect you and your car. 
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