Engine oil changes are a regular part of car ownership. You don’t have to change your motor oil as much as refilling your gas tank and may not spend nearly as much, but you should never put off an engine oil change.
Your car’s engine needs motor oil to function. If it goes dry, it can be damaged, and as we all know, engines are more expensive to fix than the car and way more expensive than motor oil changes. So, it’s all easier to take your car in for an engine oil change when you need to.
A motor oil change is done entirely for you by mechanics at service locations. Or, you can even go the DIY route and change your auto motor oil by yourself. The burning question on every car driver’s mind when it comes to oil changes is: how much is an oil change?
This post serves as your tell-all guide to the economy of oil changes.
How Much Is An Oil Change?
We can tell you right now that the average cost for a standard engine oil change is around $46 plus labor. But, the long answer to how much is an oil change is based on the car and its engine.
Several auto makes and models use similar engines, so automakers don’t completely play a role in the pricing of motor oil. Some car engines have filters that require synthetic motor oil, which has a different price tag than standard motor oil.
Engine oil capacity is also determined by how many cylinders your engine has. A four-cylinder car, for example, has a lower motor oil capacity than an eight-cylinder car.
Here are some cars and their motor oil capabilities:
- Kia Soul - A four-cylinder engine that holds 1.6 liters/3.5 quarts of motor oil.
- Chevy Volt - A four-cylinder engine that holds 1.4 liters/3.7 quarts of engine oil.
- Chevy Silverado - An eight-cylinder engine that holds six liters/6.1 quarts of motor oil.
- Dodge Grand Caravan - A six-cylinder engine that holds 3.6 liters/6 quarts of engine oil.
- Ford Fusion - A four-cylinder engine that holds 2.5 liters/5.3 quarts of motor oil.
- Ford F150 - A six-cylinder engine that holds 3.5 liters/6.1 quarts of engine oil.
- Hyundai Elantra - A four-cylinder engine that holds two liters/4.3 quarts of motor oil.
- Honda Odyssey - A six-cylinder engine that holds 3.5 liters/4.6 quarts of engine oil.
What Is The Difference Between Standard And Synthetic Motor Oil?
Synthetic engine oil can last a little longer than standard motor oil and is easy on the car engine’s filters. But with that premium comes a higher cost, roughly five times more than standard engine oil. Synthetic motor oil is also more suitable for harsh driving conditions, so your location can also play a role in whether you use synthetic motor oil or standard engine oil.
However, the difference in performance between synthetic motor oil and standard engine oil is very small. A study showed that automotive engines running for 3000 miles on both types of oil had little difference when it came down to wear and tear.
When it comes down to it, your engine oil preference is based on how much you want to spend to get your auto oil changed. You’ll still be getting your motor oil changed after 3000 to 5000 miles. But if you live in an area with inclimate driving conditions, going with more premium, cleaner engine oil may be in your best interest. You want to keep your car’s engine healthy.
What is The Cost of Motor Oil if You Choose to Change Oil Yourself?
Labor costs are a large part of engine oil change costs when you go to a service location. While filling up on the quarts of motor oil can cost around $46 alone, labor costs to get your car oil changed can add around $30 to the oil change bill.
When you go to such places as Jiffy Lube, they offer your cars more services such as air filter changes, tire pressure checks, and washer fluid refills. Their service fee takes all these services into account.
When you choose to change your car’s engine oil yourself, motor oil sells anywhere from $4 to $6 per quart. It depends on the brand. Quaker State, for example, sells for $4.99 per quart while Penzoil goes for $5.49 per quart.
These are also the most common motor oil brands among service locations. If the label mentioned that it is high-performance or synthetic, the price would reflect that.
Is Going to Service Locations For a Motor Oil Change Worth it?
Mechanics with a lot of years of expertise usually staff your full-service repair shop. Engine oil changes, at the very least, are carried out under the watch of seasoned mechanics by certified lube technicians.
Your local lube shop, on the other hand, employs almost all of its staff as merely lube technicians. They are simply performing a procedure handed to them by their employers. They may or may not have worked on your automobile’s engine before.
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