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How Much Does an Oil Change Cost?

Oil change service costs vary significantly, starting at $30 and going up to $260.

Here’s how much you’d have to pay depending on the oil and vehicle type:

  • Conventional oil: $30 to $75
  • Synthetic (full-synthetic oil): $65 to $120
  • Synthetic blend (semi-synthetic oil): $40 to $100
  • High-mileage oil: $50
  • Diesel oil: $55
  • Oil change for luxury vehicles: $260

What Does a Full-Service Oil Change Include?

If you get a complete oil change service at an auto service center, it may include fluid top-up, brake service, battery service, tire repair, etc.

Here’s a breakdown of the services included:

1. Oil drain and replacement: The mechanic will use a dipstick to check the fluid level. Then, they’ll remove the oil drain plug to flush the oil (if needed). Next, they’ll fill the reservoir with new fluid and seal it with the oil drain plug. Here, they may use conventional, synthetic, or synthetic blend high-mileage oil based on the oil specifications of your vehicle.

2. Replace oil filter: Along with adding new oil, they’ll check if your oil filter is worn or clogged. If required, they’ll replace the old unit with a new oil filter to prevent engine wear due to impurities and contaminants.

3. Fluid checks and top-ups: The mechanic will top off essential fluids like brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, differential fluid, windshield washer fluid, etc. Then, they’ll apply lubes on different bearings to prevent friction.

4. Tire repair service: They’ll adjust the tire pressure and perform a tire rotation service as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you have a tire warranty, check if it covers additional tire services, like tread wear inspection or puncture repair. This way, you can save money and protect your tires from damage.

5. Battery service: The mechanic will check the battery’s condition and connections. They’ll also inspect the terminals for corrosion and clean them.

6. Brake service: They’ll readjust the brakes and inspect the pads for wear.    

7. Air filter replacement: They’ll check whether the air filter is dirty or clogged and replace it if necessary.

8. Wiper blade inspection: The mechanic will check the condition of your wiper blades and replace them if they’re worn.

9. Visual examination: They’ll inspect the oil pan, belts, hoses, lights, and exhaust system for any potential leaks or other issues.

Note: The services provided by each auto service center can vary. So, it’s always a good idea to consult with service centers to know which additional checks and replacements they offer as part of their full-service oil change package.

What Type of Motor Oil Do You Need?

All vehicles require a specific motor oil as per the automaker or owner’s manual guidelines. The manual helps you identify the oil grades (viscosities) and types best suited for your engine

But if you want an expert opinion, ask a mechanic to recommend the right oil based on your engine make, local weather, and road conditions. 

Here are the different variants of oil that a mechanic may recommend:

  • Conventional oil: This is a low-cost common oil that many car owners use because it’s affordable and easily available. Conventional car oil is suitable if the driving and weather conditions aren’t extreme. Otherwise, you may require frequent conventional oil change services.
  • High-mileage oil: This oil is ideal for cars with over 75,000 miles clocked. It is enhanced with unique additives to reduce oil consumption and leaks. Some common types of high-mileage oils include full-synthetic and synthetic blend high-mileage oils.
  • Synthetic blend oil (semi-synthetic): A synthetic blend oil is a mixture of conventional and synthetic motor oil. It delays engine wear and boosts your car’s performance, especially in severe driving conditions.
  • Synthetic oil (full-synthetic): This is the best quality motor oil specially formulated for the highest levels of protection and performance. Synthetic motor oil improves fuel efficiency and offers good low-temperature performance. You won’t require a synthetic oil change often as it has a longer lifespan and is a great option if you have a hybrid car.

How Urgent Is An Oil Change?

Very urgent. 

Getting a regular oil change is part of preventative maintenance services that you shouldn’t put off for long. Your car’s oil lubricates and protects your engine’s parts. But eventually, it’ll get old or contaminated, affecting its performance. 

So, you should schedule an oil change appointment to avoid performance issues. 

And don’t worry, scheduling a service isn’t difficult. You can contact an auto service shop and provide the necessary personal information to book an appointment conveniently. 

How Often Should You Change the Engine Oil?

The owner’s manual may recommend an oil change service every 3,000 miles or as per your car’s service schedule. However, you may need a service earlier based on your local weather, driving style, usage, distance covered, and if you cover more miles than usual. 

However, based on the oil type, here’s when you’ll typically have to change the oil:

  • Conventional oil change: every 3,000 miles
  • High-mileage oil change: 5,000 to 7,000 miles
  • Diesel oil change: 5,000 to 7,000 miles
  • Synthetic blend oil change (semi-synthetic): 7,000 to 10,000 miles
  • Synthetic oil change (full synthetic): up to 15,000 miles.

Note: Fluids with different oil grades (oil specifications) have different lifespans. For example, the 0W-20 multigrade oil will last longer than SAE 5W single-grade oil.  

That said, if you’re due for an oil change, you’ll notice a few signs: 

1. Illuminated oil light on the dashboard: Your vehicle knows its fluids just as well as it knows its tires. It’ll flash the oil lightwhen it detects a low oil pressure or fluid level.

2. Reduced engine performance: Without regular oil changes, the oil may fail to lubricate and cool the engine parts consistently. This, in turn, will reduce the oil’s efficiency and lead to potential engine damage. Eventually, you may have to pay an additional charge to get other parts fixed.  

3. Burning smells: When the oil leaks, it drips over other engine parts. As the car runs and the engine temperature rises, the oil may combust, giving off a burning smell. 

4. Low oil level: Oil can start leaking due to a cracked oil pan or a broken filter, reducing the oil level. Eventually, the lack of oil will result in low oil pressure.

5. Dark, gritty oil: If the oil is dark, gritty, and doesn’t feel smooth to the touch, you should get an oil change.

6. Increased engine noise: Motor oil acts as a lubricant for your engine, enabling all the parts to function together and smoothly. When the oil becomes thin, old, and dirty, your engine will make a knocking sound every time you drive.

What Are the Benefits of an Oil Change?

A regular oil change as part of a car care service will: 

  • Improve fuel economy and efficiency
  • Protect engine parts from premature wear and tear
  • Help reduce carbon emissions
  • Lubricate and keep the engine temperature in control

Note: Besides improving engine performance, an oil change that sometimes also covers tire services like wheel balance and tire rotation can offer you a stable car to drive.

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