I hate getting my oil changed, and I really hate changing the oil myself.
Changing oil is relatively simple, so the difference between one oil change and the next revolves around price. That’s why finding the cheapest places to get an oil change has become a priority.
I have been visiting various oil change services, and any prices I quote are from my local area. These cheap place to get an oil change tend to pan out in the following order.
Cheapest Oil Change Places
Walmart is the discount leader for a reason, and this also goes for their car care centers. Every type of oil change was consistently $10 less than anywhere else I could go.
My van takes an extra quart more than most vehicles, and they didn’t charge me more for the extra quart.
If you do not have a coupon, there is no way you will beat the Walmart price from any of the large chains and, if you also buy your tires there, you get free tire rotation.
Speaking of coupons, Jiffy Lube is an oil change coupon monster.
Most of the time, they still do not beat Walmart, but they are faster, and the specials they run can get the price in the same ballpark as the everyday low prices at Wally World.
Pep Boys is right there with Jiffy Lube when it comes to running specials and offering coupons.
They also have a rewards program that will build up cashback toward Pep Boys gift cards. Pep Boys also has tires, a full-service shop, and is one of the larger auto parts stores.
All this variety gives you more options for using their specials and earning additional rewards.
Mechanics will not make a ton of money doing oil changes, but some offer low-cost oil change services so they can get under your car and look for other potential car problems.
You never have to accept the services a local mechanic recommends, but it can be good preventative advice and an inexpensive way to get your oil changed.
When buying a used or new car from a local car dealership you can always negotiate to get the deal done.
Asking auto dealers to include unlimited oil changes is a win for you and for them. You get free oil changes and they get you back in to check for needed service and try to sell you another vehicle in the future.
The Valvoline instant oil change service is very quick and convenient with over 1,400 locations but it typically comes in at a higher price than other options.
Where you can get a low price with Valvoline is by signing up for email updates and to receive their advertisements in the mail. They run coupons and discounts on a regular basis.
You can also find Valvoine deals on Groupon.
Firestone Complete Auto Care
Firestone complete auto care centers are always running coupons for discounts on your car’s regular maintenance.
I just checked their website and they have coupons for:
- $29.99 regular oil changes
- $10 off high mileage or synthetic blend oil change
- $40 off per axle brake service
- Deals on tires and additional services
I don’t currently have a Firestone near me, but when I lived in a larger city it was one my standard oil change options.
Other Oil Change Options
Changing your own oil is the cheapest way to get an oil change.
When I researched the price of oil and oil filters, I was saved anywhere from 25% to 50% off the prices at the various oil change stations and particular cheaper for high-mileage oil.
You will need to dispose of the old oil properly, which is free at AutoZone and almost any other local auto parts store.
I am a big fan of Groupon for discounted rates on services, restaurants, and activities in for local businesses.
Deals for cheaper oil changes are on the site frequently. In my area, a discounted quick oil change on Groupon all the time.
Take a Test Drive
Most car dealerships have a repair shop attached to them. As an incentive to get people in to shop for new cars, some of these dealerships will offer an oil change on your existing vehicle.
How to Tell When You Need an Oil Change
Most newer cars need to have their oil changed every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Older cars will need routine oil changes more frequently.
Check your car’s user manual to see when you need to make your regular oil change and the maintenance schedule. Some other reason to get your oil changed and checked include.
Oil is what lubricates the main part of your eninge. If you have old, thin, or dirty oil it can cause odd engine noises and needs to be replaced.
These noises can be knocking or ticking noises. If you hear these get your car oil checked immediately.
Today’s cars emit mostly invisible exhaust. If your vehicle exhaust is visible under normal conditions, it could mean problems with the oil or other component.
Irregular Oil Texture
You can check the oil from the dipstick. Oil that is dark, thick, or gritty could mean it’s time for it to be replaced.
Don’t ever leave gritty oil in your engine too long. It will wear out your engine.
Long driving trips are harder on the oil. This is because you are running the engine for longer periods of time.
It’s a good idea to change your oil before a long trip and to consider getting it changed around the 3,000 mile mark when you get back. It may also be wise to change the car’s oil more frequently under server driving conditions that stress the engine.
Ticking on Engine Start
When you start your vehicle the engine begins to ciculate through your engine.
If you hear a ticking noise in the car’s engine upon starting, this is an indication that the oil is to thick, a poor quality, or that your fluid levels are low.
Synthetic vs Conventional Oil Service
Full synthetic motor oil got a bad reputation when it first came out because it would cause the seals in a automobile to shrink, causing oil leaks and more auto repairs.
Fortunately that was almost 50 years ago. The synthetic oil and the seals have been greatly imporoved.
Synthetic oil is better for your engine than conventional oil because it doesn’t break down as easily, has higher heat resistance, and produces less by product to dirty your engine.
If you can afford it, synthetic is the way to go, but many people opt for the middle ground of a synthetic blend where you get cheaper prices and most of the benefits of full synthetic motor oil.
What to Know Before You Go
Not all oil changes are the same. Here is the information you will want to gather before you head to your local service center.
The Type of Oil You Need
Some cars require a synthetic or synthetic blend for their engine oil. Make sure you know exactly what type and grade of oil you car needs so that you don’t get surprised or scammed for another product.
Know Your Oil Filter
I know it sound crazy but certain types of oil filters can cost a premium to have changed.
Instead of the traditional screw on filters you have probably seent, “Eco oil filters” work like a cartridge. They do not have metal and are easier to dispose of.
However, they are harder to change and require special tools and training for the technicians. Some service stations won’t service them while others charge extra.
Knowing your oil filter will allow you to get the right price and shop around for a better deal.
Price for the Service
If you know how much oil your car needs you can call ahead and get an exact price for the service.
Not only will this save you time it will make sure you don’t get talked into upgrading to a more expensive an unnecessary oil change.
Be Aware of Exta Offers
Oil change places make a lot of money by offering you convenience on replacement upgrades. Valvoline checks your air filter and windshield wipers to see if they need to be replaced.
These items are easy to replace and much less expensive if you do it yourself by purchasing them at Walmart or the auto parts stores.
Know the Time
I am going to be honest, Walmart is the best place for price but it is one of the slower oil change places.
If time is a big factor in your choice then you have to be willing to pay slightly more. The places that offer quick oil changes aren’t competing with Walmart on price they are competing on convenience.
I plan to get my oil when I have other shopping to do at Walmart or when I have free time to do some clearance shopping.
On one busy Sunday I spent an hour and a half waiting on my oil change, most of the time it’s 30 minutes or less. Know the time going in so you don’t get stuck in a jam.
Cheap Oil Change FAQs
How Much is the Cheapest Oil Change?
In my local area the cheapest oil change was $25 at Walmart.
This price was for a conventional oil change, meaning a basic oil change with a new oil filter and up to five quarts of oil; no synthetics.
How Much Does a 10 Minute Oil Change Cost?
A 10 Minute oil change is going to cost you at least $40 without a coupon for up to five quarts of conventional oil. I recently got a 10 minute oil change done with 25% off of a synthetic blend, and it still cost me $45.
Is it Cheaper to Get an Oil Change at a Dealership?
It can be cheaper to get your oil changed at the dealership, but it will have to be with some kind of special. On an average day, thoe cost of an oil change at Walmart will be much less expensive.
How Much Does a Full Synthetic Oil Change Cost?
A synthetic oil change will cost you $40 at Walmart and can be as much as $70 at other locations.
Is Synthetic Oil Worth the Cost?
In most cases, synthetic oil is worth the cost. Synthetic oil is engineered to last longer than conventional oils.
According to Scientific American synthetic oil can last more than 10,000 miles or six months. For most owner’s manuals, that is at least two oil changes.
Final Thoughts on the Cheapest Oil Changes
Until we get to all electric vehicles that can go long distances and charge quickly, oil changes are going to be a normal part of car maintenance.
When I began to compare prices, I couldn’t believe how much I was overpaying for a service that is one of the simplest ways to keep your car running.
Finding the cheapest place to get an oil change is going to depend on your location and the options available to you. This guide should get you started but check your local options to make sure you are getting the best deal.
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