How much does an oil change cost?

Jeanna | Babcock Auto Care

How much does an oil change cost

You get what you put in…

You are what you eat. Do you find this phrase to be true for you? As I age and as my diet changes for different reasons, I see the truth of this statement. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease which began my journey of gluten-free eating. Back then, many of the products made with gluten-free flour tasted terrible and had the texture of sand. As the disease has become more prevalent and well known, products have evolved and options have increased tremendously. I’ve done much research and experimented on my own. Now I can make just about anything gluten-free taste as good as gluten-filled food.

Two years ago I eliminated soda from my daily habits. Recently I decided to cut back the amount of sugar I am consuming as it has caused weight gain and out of control cravings. I’ve gone back to the basics, omitting most processed food and have discovered a big difference in how I feel, including having more energy (mentally and physically) and more self-control. I eat healthy foods at the right intervals throughout the day, in the right portions and with a balance of carbs, fats, and proteins. I discovered healthier ways to cook and developed new and delicious recipes.

We are what we eat! If we put food in our bodies with no nutritional value, the wrong balance of nutrients, or even too many or too few calories, we will likely have less energy and a higher number on the bathroom scale.

The same concept holds true for the engine of your vehicle. What you put in (quality oil), at the right intervals (time/mileage), with the right portions (amount and viscosity of the oil) and with all the right components (based on where you live and how you drive) will determine how the vehicle works. Just like with food, cost is a factor; the better quality, the more it will cost.

Let’s dig into something that is not very fun to talk about: the price of an oil change.

Oil Brand

When we opened our shop, one decision we had to make was which brand of oil we were going to use. There are various companies that make oil and supply it to shops. Some do extensive testing and research, others do not—they only making sure the oil meets minimum required legal specs. After much consideration, we chose to carry an oil known for quality and performance—from a company that not only does continual testing but has a long track record for their quality—Mobil oil. In doing this, there would see significantly less profit on an oil change since the cost of oil is considerably higher than other brands. For us, quality and assurance of excellent protection outweighs the cost.

When you ask the question “How much does an oil change cost?” you must understand that brand and quality is a big component of the answer. High-quality brand oil changes generally cost between $30 and $60, depending on which oil grade you choose and what grade your vehicle requires. If an auto repair facility were to use a less expensive oil or they offer a coupon discount, the cost may be less. Ask yourself: What brand/quality oil is being used? Will it protect my vehicle properly? Is peace of mind with quality more important than a cheaper oil change?

Vehicle Type

The make and model of your vehicle will affect the cost of an oil change. What type of vehicle do you own? Do you know the oil change requirements? Does it require more than five quarts of oil? If it requires full-synthetic oil, an upgraded oil, would it also be wise to use a better filter?

Oil changes are generally priced with the average five-quart system in mind and a standard filter. If your system is larger, it will require more oil per quart and the price will vary depending on how many extra quarts are needed and which type of oil you choose. Does your vehicle require full-synthetic? In this case, it is also wise to consider using a better, upgraded filter for the best engine protection.

Oil Type

What grade and viscosity of oil does your vehicle require? You must always use the specified viscosity (ex. 5W-30) oil no matter what grade of oil you use. The viscosity typically does not make an oil change cost more but the grade of oil you prefer will. Though your vehicle may not require a high mileage, semi-synthetic or full-synthetic oil, you can choose to upgrade your oil for better engine protection, especially when you live in a climate with temperature extremes like Rochester.

If you do all your driving in town in stop and go traffic, you might also consider the upgrade for better protection. Any of the upgraded oil changes will cost more money but in the long run, they may cost you less. These oils will allow you to go longer in between oil changes, saving you valuable time. Cha-ching! They will also provide better protection for your engine, which could save you money at the gas pump since it will run more efficiently and money in potentially expensive engine repairs. Cha-ching, cha-ching!

All the rest

The cost of your oil change will always be higher than the base price given. Period. Uncle Sam wants his portion—8.125% for us here in Rochester. All oil filters must be disposed of properly, which is an additional cost. Finally, shops use extra products while performing your oil change (cleaners, rags, etc.). There is an added cost for this on your bill as well.

There is much to think about and consider when you are choosing oil for your car, and your oil change cost will vary depending on all of these factors. But remember, your vehicle’s engine, just like your body, will perform at it’s best when you take good care of it.

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