You are currently viewing Best Places to Get an Oil Change

Whether you opt for a national chain, a local garage, a dealership, a mobile service, or take on a DIY approach, the paramount goal remains the same: ensuring regular oil changes to sustain your engine’s smooth operation. You not only extend the life of your vehicle but also minimize the likelihood of costly repairs down the road. 

When it comes to maintaining your vehicle’s performance and longevity, regular oil changes are crucial. An oil change not only keeps your engine running smoothly but also helps prevent costly repairs down the road.

However, finding the best place to get an oil change can be a daunting task, given the numerous options available. In this article, we will explore some of the top destinations for getting an oil change, ensuring that you receive professional service and value for your money.

Importance of Regular Oil Change

Regular oil changes are key to ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly and lasts a long time. Over time, oil breaks down and can become contaminated with dust, dirt, and debris from the engine and the environment. When that happens, it can’t do an efficient job lubricating the engine, resulting in increased wear and tear.

How Often Should You Change Your Car’s Oil?

You may be asking, “How often should I get an oil change?” While the general rule of thumb is to change oil every 3,000 miles to 5,000 miles or every 3 to 5 months, advancements in synthetic oil and engine technologies have extended these intervals. Always check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific guidance.

What Does An Oil Change Include?

It includes replacing old engine oil and the filter. Engine oil lubricates and prevents wear, but it degrades over time. The oil filter traps debris to protect the engine. A standard oil change also includes chassis lubrication, draining old oil, adding new oil, and ensuring proper filter replacement. Skipping filter change leads to new oil picking up contaminants. Overall, oil changes promote engine longevity and prevent costly repairs.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Oil Change Service

A top-notch oil change service is more than just swapping old oil with new. The following features define a high-quality oil change service:

  • Expertise and Qualifications: The technical knowledge and skills of the service providers are paramount. A qualified and experienced mechanic can provide you with an efficient and safe oil change.
  • Quality of Oil and Other Products Used: The type of oil and products used can greatly affect your car’s performance. Always opt for a service that uses top-quality, engine-friendly oils and products.
  • Time Efficiency: Time is precious! Hence, choose a place that values your time and provides quick yet efficient service.
  • Fair Pricing: While the price might be a deciding factor, don’t just settle for the cheapest advertised offer. Hidden charges can turn your budget-friendly deal into an expensive ordeal. To avoid surprises, call ahead and get an estimate of the total cost.
  • Customer Service: An excellent customer service experience can make all the difference. Seek a service provider who treats you respectfully and honestly.
  • Reading Reviews: To understand the service quality of a shop, reading customer reviews is invaluable. Remember that the level of service can vary widely even within the same chain store due to different owners and management.

Best Places to Get an Oil Change

There are many places where you can get an oil change, but some stand out for their service quality and customer satisfaction.

1. National Chain Oil Change Services

Chain services can offer consistent quality and accessibility. Let’s take a closer look at some prominent national chain oil change services:

  • Jiffy Lube: Jiffy Lube is one of the largest auto service chains, known for their quick and efficient oil change services. They offer a variety of soil types and additional services.
  • Valvoline Instant Oil Change: Valvoline offers drive-thru oil changes done in about 15 minutes. They use high-quality oil and also provide extra services like tire rotations and fluid top-offs.
  • Midas: Midas is another reputable national chain. Apart from oil changes, they provide a comprehensive range of auto repair services.
  • Walmart Auto Care Centers: Walmart Auto Care Centers offer convenient and affordable oil change services, and you can shop while you wait for your car to be ready.

2. Local Independent Garages

When it comes to getting an oil change, a local independent service center offers a personalized experience, top-notch expertise, and the convenience of a nearby location.

The center’s technicians are well-equipped to perform this routine task efficiently. They typically employ ASE Certified technicians who are experts in their field and can handle a range of vehicle maintenance tasks. This ensures that your oil change and other maintenance tasks are done correctly and efficiently.

Local independent service centers stand out due to their dedication to customer satisfaction and comprehensive vehicle maintenance services.

One of the key advantages of choosing a local independent service center is affordability. These centers have lower overhead costs compared to chain stores, allowing them to pass on the savings to their customers.

Finding the right service center involves considering recommendations from friends and family, browsing community forums, and researching online ratings to make an informed choice.

Pro Tip: While positive reviews are important, it’s essential to delve deeper into online comments and ratings to ensure a consistent positive experience.

3. Dealerships

Dealership technicians possess specialized training and expertise in your specific vehicle make. This means they know the ins and outs of your car better than anyone else.

Beyond simply changing the oil, dealership service often includes a computer diagnostic check. This advanced technology allows technicians to uncover any underlying problems that might not be immediately apparent.

A distinctive feature of dealership oil changes is the post-service test drive. After completing the oil change, technicians take your car for a brief drive. This step serves to evaluate the impact of the oil change on your car’s performance and to identify any potential red flags.

Dealership services often come with extra perks. Some dealerships offer a complimentary car wash following the oil change.  Dealerships provide a comprehensive range of services under one roof. This means you can address multiple maintenance needs in a single visit, saving you time and hassle.

While dealership oil changes offer numerous advantages, it’s important to consider the cost. Dealership services can be slightly more expensive than other options.

4. Mobile Oil Change Services

Mobile oil change services come to your location to perform the oil change, offering convenience and saving you time.

While mobile oil changes offer convenience and personalized service, they might be more expensive. Also, in case of additional mechanical issues, they might not have all the necessary equipment at hand.

5. DIY Oil Changes

DIY oil changes can save you money and give you a sense of accomplishment. However, they require time, tools, and some level of mechanical knowledge.

The Essential Steps of DIY Oil Changes

DIY oil changes involve draining the old oil, changing the oil filter, and adding new oil. Always dispose of old oil responsibly.

Tools Needed and Safety Tips

You’ll need basic tools like a wrench, oil filter wrench, funnel, oil drain pan, and jack stands. Remember, safety first: Never work under a car supported only by a jack.

Handling Additional Services

When a shop suggests additional services, consider the following:

  • Air Filters: They don’t need to be changed unless visibly dirty.
  • Cabin Filters: They vary in lifespan from 10,000 to 30,000 miles depending on design.
  • Transmission Fluid: Research whether your transmission needs a change and ensure the right fluid is used.
  • Coolant: Coolant often lasts up to 5 years.
  • Windshield Wipers: Replace when they don’t work smoothly, and consider winter blades in snowy regions.
  • Wiper Fluid: Easily refilled yourself.

Eco-Friendly Oil Change Options

  • Green Oil Change Services: Some services offer eco-friendly oil changes using biodegradable oil and green processes. Look for services certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • DIY Eco-Friendly: DIY eco-friendly oil changes involve using eco-friendly oil and recycling the used oil at certified recycling centers.

Conclusion

In the end, the choice of where to get an oil change depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. Whether you choose a national chain, a local auto shop, a dealership, a mobile service, or DIY, what’s most important is maintaining regular oil changes to keep your engine running smoothly.

FAQs

Q. What is the highest price for an oil change?

The highest price for an oil change can vary depending on factors such as the type of oil used, location, and additional services. On average, prices range from $20 to $100.

Q. Where do most people get their oil changed?

Most people get their oil changed at their local car dealership, a quick lube shop, or an independent mechanic. The choice depends on personal preferences and budget.

Q. Is it beneficial to change the oil more often?

Changing your oil more frequently is not necessarily beneficial and can be harmful to your engine. It’s recommended to follow the oil change intervals specified in your car’s owner’s manual, typically every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or every 3 to 6 months.

Q. Can you go 10,000 miles with synthetic oil?

Yes, synthetic oil can often last up to 10,000 miles between oil changes. However, always refer to your car’s owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended oil change intervals.

Q. Does an oil change make your car go faster?

No, an oil change does not make your car go faster. However, regular oil changes help improve fuel economy and maintain engine performance by preventing sludge buildup.

Q. How many kilometers do you need to drive before an oil change?

The recommended interval for an oil change is typically every 3,000 to 5,000 kilometers. However, specific recommendations may vary based on the type of oil, driving conditions, and the vehicle.

Q. What happens if you don’t change your oil?

Failure to change your oil can lead to engine overheating, increased friction, and potential engine damage. It’s crucial to maintain regular oil changes to keep your engine running smoothly.

Q. Which oil change is better for high-mileage vehicles?

Synthetic oil is generally considered the better option for high-mileage vehicles. Synthetic oils offer improved performance and protection for older engines.

Q. How will I know when I need an oil change?

The oil change light on your car’s dashboard will illuminate when it’s time for an oil change. In some cases, the check engine light may also indicate the need for an oil change. Prompt action is recommended upon seeing these lights.

Q. Can I switch between synthetic and regular oil?

Yes, you can switch between synthetic and regular oil. However, synthetic oil often provides better performance and engine protection.

Q. Is it cheaper to get an oil change at a local garage?

It can be more cost-effective to get an oil change at a local garage, but it’s essential to compare prices and services to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Q. Can I use a higher-grade oil than recommended?

Yes, it is possible to use a higher-grade oil than recommended. However, it’s always advised to consult with a professional or refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for optimal engine performance.

Q. Are there any risks to extending the time between oil changes?

Yes, extending the time between oil changes increases the risk of engine damage. Regular oil changes are vital for maintaining engine health and performance.

Author

  • Naveed Ahmed

    Hello there, I'm Naveed Ahmed, an experienced auto industry blogger with over 5 years of experience. My passion for cars and trucks started at a young age, and I've been writing about them ever since. I strive to provide readers with accurate, up-to-date information that can help them make informed decisions when it comes to buying, selling, or transporting their vehicles. As an expert in the auto industry, I'm always keeping an eye on the latest trends, innovations, and changes in the market. When I'm not writing about cars, you can find me tinkering with my own vehicle or exploring new scenic drives. I'm also a big fan of classic cars and enjoy attending car shows and auctions.