Walmart vs. Competitors: How Much Does an Oil Change Cost on Average?

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The average cost of an oil change varies depending on where you live. The type of oil used is another factor, with varieties including conventional, synthetic, and semi-synthetic. For basic service with conventional oil and no extra quarts, you can count on paying between $35 and $75, according to Kelley Blue Book.

We’ll discuss the ins and outs of oil changes, including how often you should get it done, the benefits to your vehicle and the environment, and how to save money on your next oil change.

How Much Does an Oil Change Cost on Average?

The cost of an oil change depends on several things:

  • Vehicle’s year, make, and model
  • DIY vs. service station
  • Geographic location
  • Service provider
  • Type of oil: conventional, synthetic, or synthetic blend
  • Add-on services like filter changes and tire rotation

You’ll pay about $35 for basic service with no extra quarts. Top service with extra quarts will run about $75. This is likely to be with conventional oil.

With semi-synthetic oil, the average cost will be higher: $40-$100. And with fully synthetic oil, the price inches up to $65-$125. Some luxury vehicles require special filters, which can cost $260 or more.

The average cost of an oil change at a dealership is generally around $100; this typically includes a filter change. Another popular add-on is tire rotation, which can tack on $20-$50. It’s possible that a dealership or auto repair shop will offer a small discount for more than one service.

Average Cost of Oil Change by Provider

The table below lists the price of the cheapest oil change option at a number of national service providers. Differences in price are often due to the quality of oil used, and the speed and scope of the service.

Average Cost of Oil Change by Provider

The Difference Between Synthetic and Conventional Oil

Conventional oil is crude oil that’s been refined, while synthetic is made from chemical compounds. Synthetic oil has fewer impurities and is designed to protect car engines.

Conventional oil needs changing more often and can have problems flowing in extreme temperatures. Synthetic oil can be used for longer periods and flows in a wider range of temperatures. Although there are clear advantages to synthetic oil, there’s one disadvantage: It costs more.

Check your owner’s manual to see what type and grade are recommended for your vehicle’s engine. How much your car is worth may factor into your choice of which oil to use.

How Often Should You Get an Oil Change?

Your owner’s manual should also list how often to change the oil in your specific vehicle. In general, conventional motor oil needs to be changed after about 5,000 miles of driving. Synthetic oil can go as long as 10,000 miles. If you use semi-synthetic motor oil (a blend of the two), you may get 8,000 miles of usage before it needs to be changed.

Did you know you should also be evaluating your insurance on a regular basis? Annual personal insurance planning sessions can help your coverage keep up with important life changes.

Benefits of Getting Your Oil Changed

The benefits of regular oil changes are significant. They include:

  • Cleaner engine. When you change the oil, you’re also getting rid of the dirt, debris, and contaminants in the old oil.
  • More efficient engine. When the engine is clean and the oil is new, the engine has better lubrication and works more efficiently. This helps boost performance and maximizes the life of the engine.
  • Better gas mileage. A more efficient engine will help your car get better gas mileage and save you money on fuel.
  • Environmental benefits. When oil stays in your vehicle for too long, it starts to degrade. At this point, it releases potentially toxic hydrocarbons.
  • Prevents overheating. Engine components generate heat, especially when you’re driving at faster speeds. When the engine is freshly and appropriately lubricated with motor oil, this lowers friction and reduces the risk of overheating.

How to Lower the Cost of Oil Changes

As noted above, timely oil changes can reduce fuel costs. To save money on oil changes, you can shop around for the best prices in auto shops or do it yourself.

Before your first DIY oil change, you may need to invest in a few supplies. These include a wrench to remove the drain plug (your owner’s manual should list what size and type), an oil filter wrench, an oil pan, latex gloves, and perhaps a jack.

You can save $25 to $75 per oil change on average, depending on the oil and filter you use. So, once you’ve saved enough to “pay back” what you invested in the right tools, you can enjoy savings each time you change your own oil. Check out more tips for saving on car maintenance costs.

The Takeaway

The average cost of a basic oil change with conventional oil is $35, but you can find low-cost oil changes for as little as $19. Higher prices may indicate a better quality of oil, add-ons like filter replacement, or faster service. Your vehicle’s owner manual will recommend a type and grade of oil. Conventional oil is typically cheapest, followed by semi-synthetic, and then fully synthetic. Synthetic oils allow you to go longer between oil changes — 10,000 miles compared to 5,000 with conventional. To save the most money on your oil change, don’t be afraid to DIY.

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org

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Historical data courtesy of Axlewise. Prices are adjusted for inflation and shown in 2020 dollars.

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Gas prices go up and down in response to a variety of global and domestic factors. But there are a few ways to source the best deals on gas and stay within your budget, including apps and membership-only retailers.

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


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