Should I buy a cheap oil change?
There is nothing wrong with being frugal, but it’s important to understand the consequences of repeated cheap oil changes over the life of your car or truck. As in all areas of life, we tend to get what we pay for. We don't sell cheap oil changes at LubeVan, but here are some questions to ask (yourself, and the technician) if your goal is purchase the cheapest oil change possible.
- Why is this oil change so cheap?
- Is this oil change “bait” to sell me more services?
- Will I actually pay the advertised price, or are there hidden fees?
- Is the technician working on my vehicle being paid enough to care about the quality of their work?
- Is the technician working on my vehicle experienced enough to spot any potential problems?
- Is new or recycled oil being pumped into my vehicle?
- Does the oil meet the standards set forth by my vehicle manufacturer?
- Is the oil filter being replaced?
- What type of oil filter is being used?
- Does the filter meet the standards set forth by my vehicle manufacturer?
- What other inspections are performed during this service?
- Will this shop provide any warranty on their work?
- Will this shop take responsibility if something goes wrong?
We’ve all seen oil for sale at gas stations, usually for $5 - $12 per quart. The average vehicle takes 5 quarts, or a minimum of $25 worth of oil at gas station prices. While almost all service facilities will get a discount on their oil purchase, its important to keep in mind the cost of oil when considering an oil change for $29.99. Even with a volume oil discount, there isn't much left to pay the technician or the electric bill after considering the cost of the oil and filter. These businesses need to stay afloat somehow and its important to consider their strategy beforehand.
Regular oil changes are more complex than just draining and filling your engine oil. When it is time for an oil change, your technician uses the opportunity to inspect several components that are critical to the long-term safety and operation of your vehicle. We’re all tempted to save money, but make sure that cheap oil changes aren’t going to cost you more in the long run!