Do you change your car’s oil every 3,000 miles? If so, you’re likely throwing money away each year. Do yourself a huge favor and quit relying on your windshield sticker to tell you when it’s time to get your next oil change.
Both engines and oil technology have come a long way over the years making the 3,000 mile oil change a thing of the past. So why are some places still putting 3,000 miles on that windshield sticker? Well, why wouldn’t they? They stand to lose a ton of money in sales each year. It’s that simple.
4 Tips for Saving on Oil Changes: Crushing the 3,000 Mile Myth
1. How long should you go? Each vehicle is different. Do some research. Most newer vehicles can go at least 5,000 miles and even up to 10,000 (or more) between oil changes. According to edmunds.com the majority of automakers (in their 2013 models) called for oil changes at either 7,500 or 10,000 miles based on a normal service schedule. Wow, that’s more than double the traditional 3,000 mile interval.
2. Take the few minutes to flip through your vehicles owners manual and look up your specific vehicle’s recommended oil change interval. Think about it. Who do you trust to know more about your vehicle and it’s needs, the quickie lube or the actual manufacturer of your vehicle?
Keep in mind, even though it’s probably OK to go even longer than what your owners manual says by following the manufacturer’s suggested service/oil change schedule it helps to ensure that you’re not voiding out any sort of warranty that the vehicle might have.
3. Consider switching to a synthetic oil (if you haven’t already), especially if you plan on keeping the vehicle around for a long period of time. This may cost you quite a bit more up front, but it’s better on your vehicle’s engine and you can go quite a bit longer between changes, saving you both time and money in the long run.
4. When it’s finally time to get it done, your cheapest option is to change it yourself, but if you’re going to take it somewhere look for a deal. There are three different places that I generally use for oil changes. I call each of them and compare prices and ask about current specials. These places will often run specials and there’s a good chance that one will have a much better deal than the others.
If you use the bigger quick lube chains be sure to look for coupons, but don’t necessarily stop at the first one you find. For example, I found this $19 off coupon at retailmenot.com which appears to be quite a bit better than this $5 off coupon I found at jiffylube.com for the exact same service at the exact same place.
Also, take advantage of things like discounted gift card offers like this one which (for a limited time) gets you a $25 Jiffy Lube giftcard for just $20 and ships to you for FREE. Hey, $5 is $5. It all adds up!
Of course we’ve all heard the horror stories about the Jiffy Lubes and really ALL of these quick lube places in general so be mindful. You may want to keep a short list of the places that you’ve used in the past without issue or that seem to be the most reputable. Sometimes if the price seems too good to be true, well it likely is.