In our fast-paced lives, cars play an indispensable role. They whisk us through daily commutes, aid us in running errands, and facilitate memorable family journeys. However, owning a car comes with a substantial price tag, encompassing not only the initial purchase and insurance costs but also ongoing expenses like fuel and maintenance. Fortunately, there are opportunities to economize on routine car upkeep, and one of these opportunities is the DIY oil change. Yet, before you roll up your sleeves and delve beneath the hood, let’s delve into the advantages and disadvantages of a DIY oil change, including the essential task of change oil filter.
Pro: A Lighter Load on Your Wallet
For vehicles that require standard oil, a professional oil change typically sets you back between $35 and $75. If your car demands synthetic oil, you can expect to pay anywhere from $65 to $125. While synthetic oil tends to last longer, reducing the frequency of oil changes, it does come at a higher cost. However, when you opt for a DIY oil change, you’re mainly covering the cost of materials – oil and an oil filter. This usually totals between $30 and $45, plus tax, depending on the grade and type of oil your vehicle needs.
Tip: Brick-and-mortar retail stores often mark up auto supplies, including oil and oil filters, purchased in bulk. To potentially find better deals on oil and change oil filter products, consider checking online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
It’s important to note that a DIY oil change requires a few essential tools, such as a floor jack, latex gloves, a replacement drain plug washer, a funnel, jack stands, an oil filter wrench, an oil drain pan, a socket wrench, and wheel chocks. While the initial investment in these tools may not yield significant savings for your first DIY oil change, consider that most manufacturers recommend changing your car’s oil and oil filter every six months or every 7,500 miles. As you become more proficient, the savings will become increasingly noticeable over time.
Con: The Burden of Keeping Track
Most vehicles running on standard oil require an oil change every 7,500 miles or every six months, whichever comes first. When you have your car serviced professionally, the technician typically affixes a convenient reminder sticker to your windshield, indicating the date of your next scheduled service. However, when you choose to change oil filter yourself, the responsibility of keeping a record of the date and mileage falls squarely on your shoulders to ensure your car continues running smoothly.
Tip: Consider placing a small logbook in your glove box to jot down mileage and change oil filter dates, and set calendar reminders as an additional safeguard.
Pro: Potential Time Savings
Sometimes, a busy schedule can make it challenging to find the time to visit a mechanic during their peak hours, resulting in long wait times. In contrast, if you’re experienced with DIY oil changes, including change oil filter, you can typically complete the task in approximately 30 to 45 minutes. As with any skill, practice makes perfect, and the more you do it, the more efficient you’ll become.
Tip: Many car dealerships offer an express lane for service, providing a less crowded alternative to quick-stop shops, with pricing generally comparable.
Con: Costly Errors
While changing motor oil isn’t an overly complex task, including change oil filter, it does require meticulous attention to detail. Using the wrong grade of oil can adversely affect your car’s hydraulic components and potentially lead to engine damage. Adding too little oil can result in inadequate lubrication of engine parts, while overfilling can cause oil leakage from engine seals and gaskets. Simple oversights, such as forgetting to tighten the oil drain plug or neglecting to remove the old oil filter gasket, can drain oil from your car without your knowledge. In the worst-case scenario, these oversights could necessitate a new engine.
To ensure a successful DIY oil change and avoid costly mistakes, consider these top tips:
- If your engine is hot, allow the car to cool for about 30 minutes before beginning the oil change.
- For quicker drainage, warm up a cold engine for a few minutes before starting the process.
- Use a drain pan with a funnel top to prevent spills.
- Keep paper towels and latex gloves within reach for a tidy workspace.
- Invest in an oil-absorbent product to expedite clean-up.
- Protect your garage floor by placing an old shower curtain under your car; it can be easily hosed off when you’re finished.
- Before installing the new oil filter, apply a small amount of oil to the seal for a better fit.
- Utilize a torque wrench to tighten the oil plug to your vehicle’s specified torque (typically around 25-foot pounds).
- When pouring oil, orient the quart with the spout at the top (not the bottom) and pour slowly to minimize spills.
Ensuring a seamless and successful DIY oil change, including change oil filter, demands meticulous attention to detail and adherence to recommended procedures.
Explore Professional Services
Whether you opt for a DIY oil filter change or other automotive services, Express Auto in Irving, TX, stands ready to provide professional assistance. Our experienced team is dedicated to offering top-tier automotive services, including change oil filter, tailored to your specific needs. To schedule a service or inquire about our comprehensive offerings, please visit our website Express Auto and Tires, or call us at 972-636-4903.
Let us assist you in maintaining your vehicle’s health and performance. Your trusted automotive partner for a quick oil change near me is just a click or a call away!