questionsdo you change your own oil?


I want no part of any sort of oil change. I take it to Honda. They hand me coffee, free wifi, and a cushy chair, and they return my car to me clean and presumably with fresh oil.


I take my car to a place that gives a free car wash with oil change, fills my tires with air and checks on all the filters and belts and stuff. They are dog friendly so I take my dog with me and we hang out in their nice outdoor area when the weather is good or their less nice indoor area when it isn't. It costs about $30, which is well worth it for me not to have to deal with all that messy, smelly stuff..


I changed my own oil up until we bought new cars. One car came with a maintenance package for the first 3 years which includes free oil changes. The other I just take to the $20 oil change places and get it done there. As long as you don't let them charge you $40 to change an air filter, or whatever else they try and rob you with, you end up saving money and lots of time.


I prefer to do it myself but getting rid of the oil has become just too hard. I have to pay 7 bucks at the county recycling center, or try and drop it at an auto parts store and hope their collection drum isn't full.


Surely I can't be the only one that just enjoys working on their own vehicle. No one wants that diy satisfaction or that proud feeling knowing you are the reason your car is in tip top shape? I guess I've just never really seen it as a hasle or bother.

I'm also very independent, I hate having someone else do anything for me, even if I'm paying them.


I do most of my own vehicle maintenance, including oil changes, filters, etc. The thought of handing someone else $20 (the difference between the cost of the supplies and the actual charges) and hoping they get it right... Shudder.

Too many horror stories about places neglecting to put the oil in after draining, or putting in the wrong weight.

That said, I've been known to tell my mechanic to change the oil while he has the car, if the timing is right. If they already have it up on a lift, why not.

As far as disposing of the oil, I keep two-three drain pans, and wait until all are full. I then call the auto parts store to make sure they have room in their collection barrel, and then go dump the stuff. I would say every 2 years sounds about right.

Note: I'm usually doing at least three vehicles, so the savings is significant (to me, anyway).

Note 2: I like to think I'm demonstrating to my kids that car maintenance is something they can do. Even if all they do is pour oil.


@nmchapma: I'm with you. I always* change my own oil, brakes, belts, superchargers, mufflers, etc. I love doing it myself, I know it's done right (no leaving the old filter in or just putting the same oil back in), I hate paying people money to do something I can do myself, and, @eraten, it is cheaper and faster. For $40 I can do 3 oil changes on my honda thanks to Costco boxes of oil and it only takes ~20 minutes.

Also if you don't do your own maintenance how do you justify buying new tools? :D

*Since our new Subaru came with a few free oil changes the dealership will be dealing with it for a while but one of the coolest features to me is that the oil filter sits right on top of the engine. It even has a little catch tray for the trapped oil. I'll hardly have to jack the thing up.


The cost between doing it myself (without a coupon) and having the local lube place do it is 4 bucks. 4 bucks and I don't have to drive the oil down to be disposed, I don't have to get dirty and it takes 20 minutes.


I do all my own maintainence probably because I took multiple tests (and retests) and got an ASE patch I can put somewhere.


@ryanwb: Haha, I would pay $4 more just to be able to get dirty and spend that 20 minutes doing it myself. I wouldn't say I find it fun, just satisfying. Not to mention where I used to live they picked up the oil with the recycling.

I'd also never pay anyone to cut my lawn or paint my house.


I used to do it myself, when I had "enthusiast" autos and more time.
Now with the Japanese utilitarian swagger-wagon, I let someone else do it.
But I do watch them, because I'm like that.

j5 j5

I have never been a car person i dont do my own oil change. although i can make a mean creme brulee


I usually do my own oil changes and most other maintenance. When I had my Civic, I would take it to the Honda dealer for oil changes because they charged only a couple dollars more than it would cost me to buy the (synthetic) oil and filter, plus they washed the car and installed new wiper blades. Also the Civic had a really annoying plastic fairing under the engine that had to be dropped to change the oil.

I can't find a comparable deal for my new Mazda, so I will change its oil myself. I have a nice dry workshop and full complement of tools that I have to justify owing anyway. ;-)


I do all my own maintenance. That way, I know it's done correctly. The only down side is I have to dispose of almost 4 gallons of oil every time I do it.


I used to change my own oil - but then I moved somewhere it's cold. Now I don't want to. Especially since a lot of places get better prices on oil/filters than you can get at your local auto parts store.

But really, taking it to a shop you trust, or even your dealership can be well worth the price. Techs consider oil changes, tire rotations, simple maintenance to be easy money - they are fast, simple, and the bread and butter of their jobs. BUT where a tech will make their money is on high labor cost repairs, so they take the opportunity (most anyway) to look your car over pretty well while it's draining oil. This eyeball inspection is why your oil change is worth the cost most of the time. IMHO. And they have coffee and I'm not freezing my ... off. :)


I just started doing my own winter maintenance, I can change the air in my tires, but I'll need to take it in to get that muffler belt changed, I looked a really long time and can not find it. It is a newer model Ford Taurus, if anyone can help.

I have been changing my oil ever since I did not have time and took it to a shop, < 70 later my engine blew up.


I'm a control freak and a gear head, I'd rather put in the oil brand/grade and filter of my choice in, monitor the miles, and keep an eye on everything under the hood.
Although, after recently totalling my realistic dream car recently and buying a zero mile new car, I tempted to let a shop (or the dealership) do it, but I do watch them, and I'll tell the tech it's nothing personal, but you have my baby on the rack and I want to keep her.
(In my experience, having a hopped up forced induction motor didn't lend to long term oil life, but, a normal good car can pull 6-8K on synthetic, more if you do testing.)
Fiance has a Honda, and our local dealer is quite possibly the most condescending shop I've ever been to in my life. I can't stand them even when I stop by just to pick up a part.

Oh, and I also log everything, from fill ups ( to maintenance and upgrades, it's all documented on my end.


@caffeine_dude: DUH! The muffler belt is right next to the blinker fluid reservoir. As for the OP, I let my wife's BIL change it at his service station 100 yards from where I work. My response sounds like deja vu for some reason.....


@caffeine_dude: Don't listen to @jsimsace! He doesn't know what he's talking about. The muffler belt is easily accessible only after you pour the plug wire cleaner into your battery. BTW - you're using this seasonal tire air, right? Because the stuff in your air compressor won't cut it.


@caffeine_dude: @thumperchick conveniently neglected to tell you about the Engine Oil Bypass Kit that I hold a patent on. Kinda. Well, not actually. But I did think of it first!


I spent 30-45 minutes out in the cold looking where @jsimsace: told me to and did not find it when I was warming up I saw @thumperchick: answer so I put my coat back on, this time I put on gloves, I about froze my fingers off last trip. I got some engine cleaner because they are out of plug wire cleaner, at least that is what they told me as they giggled, I can only assume they had the cleaner but did not want me to have any and were laughing at me because they denied me what I need.

No I did not use special air. I used the ambient air the cold air molecules are closer together in the winter.

I am serious about my engine 'blowing up' I was in high school and did not know enough to try to see if it was a faulty oil change. It was the last time I let anyone change my oil, except when I had a head gasket was replaced, but this goes without saying.


I let the dealership change it when I had it under warranty and it didn't cost me a thing. Now that my car is out of warranty, I do it myself every time.


We had a new Taurus - no more dealer work, or new Fords, for us!
I've always liked buying POS cars, and fixing them up.
We got our first brand new car for the wife, We let her family convince her that I should not work on it, in case I hotrod it or something, and get it out of warranty. So, for like $225 every three months Ford did the maintenance. We were on a trip, I checked the oil- and it was crap dirty in 2k miles. We got back, I checked the dealer to find out why. "Oh yeah, you still had almost 200 miles left, so we decided not to change the oil." WTF ?!?! I checked the invoices- seems this was a very common practice. Yes they rotated the tires, checked for air pressure; and usually "ascertained" that no other work needed doing. After 2 years after the 2 year warranty ran out, I changed the trans fluid, assuming it had been done at least once by Ford. Stinky gloppy bad fish oil! The original change-at once goop!
Look up Triton engine plugs, too.


Part II
A lot of these oil change places have charts for which filters and oil they use. If they advertise decent oil, yet the chart says good ol 30wt is good enough- you're getting what's in that big drum. And the filters look barely the size of a Dixie cup. My PH8A filter looks like 3 or 4 of these- yet their chart says these bitty things are the right ones.
There's an O'Reilly a block or so from me. 5qts and a filter for $12. I'm getting three kits. While I'm changing the oil I'm also checking the belts, the hoses, the other fluids, misc connectors and connections, etc. Brand name oil, decent filter, and they take the old oil. Winner winner chicken dinner.
I haven't had any vehicle (except for that Taurus) made after 1990- and no three cars together had the problems that afflicted the dealer maintained LX POS.
Do it right- do it yourself.