All drivers know that getting regular oil changes is simply one of the costs of maintaining a safe-to-drive car. But with all the auto repair shops out there, how can you figure out which one will give you the best service — and how often should you really be getting this service performed? Here are a few things to consider:
- Time Between Changes:
It used to be that oil needed to be changed every 3,000 miles or so. But newer motor oils are engineered to last 7,500 or even 10,000 miles. Changing your oil more often is unnecessary, and can contribute to the environmental problem surrounding oil disposal. You can also gauge whether a garage is attempting to exploit you for unnecessary business depending on the advice they give you on oil changes. If you’re given the standard answer of 3,000 miles without taking into account the type of car you drive and what kind of oil you’re using, that’s a bad sign.
- Priorities, Priorities:
Since an oil change is a fairly basic service (one that people used to perform themselves, when it was easier to maneuver inside engines and the dangers of dumping oil improperly weren’t well publicized), much of choosing a shop to perform oil changes depends on your priorities. Do you need to get a speedy oil change done on your lunch break? Do you want your oil change combined with another service? These are all things to think about in advance.
- Price Vs. Quality:
Many drivers are just looking for the cheapest oil change. While there’s nothing wrong with getting a discount oil change, especially if you get a deal from your regular shop, you should be wary of online deals and coupons that offer bargain-basement prices. A shop that has to work so hard to drum up business may or may not be offering quality work, so it’s best to check out some online reviews and business ratings before proceeding. Also keep in mind that the better shops will often include a fluid check and general inspection along with the oil change price.
Do you have any tips on getting a speedy oil change? Share your ideas in the comments.