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Whether you just purchased a new car or are currently driving one that’s more than 15 years old, you might be wondering whether or not you should get its oil changed at a dealership. It’s a fair question, considering you want only the best for your pride and joy and would like to keep it running for many years to come. So why not go to a dealership that knows the car better than anyone else? However, is it really worth it to do so?

Disadvantages of going to the dealership

Man with bill for engine work
(Photo By Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

There are a couple of reasons why you wouldn’t want to take your car to the dealership for an oil change: Cost and convenience. As you are probably well aware, the dealership will most likely charge more for a simple oil change than most independent shops around you. And while they typically do remain competitive in their pricing, especially for a simple oil change, a dealership will generally tend to charge you more since they use OEM parts and the labor rates are pricier as well.

The other disadvantage of getting your car’s oil changed at a dealership is the convenience factor. Your local dealership might be located farther than the independent shop down the street and you will most likely need an appointment to even get in the door. In contrast, an independent shop will not only be closer to home, but they can usually start working on your car when you arrive.

Advantages of getting an oil change at the dealership

A man pours a new bottle of oil into a car
A worker at an auto shop completes an oil change | David McNew/Getty Images

On the other end of the coin, there are a few advantages to getting your car’s oil changed at the dealership. The dealership is less likely to mess anything up since they know your car better than an independent shop would and you can ensure that the dealer will also warranty their work. Although an oil change is a simple procedure, you would be surprised how many independent shops mess up things like using the correct oil filter for your car.

Additionally, if you’re worried that getting an oil change at an independent shop will void your car’s warranty, then you can rest assured that it won’t be since you had the service done at an actual dealer. Although, according to Autotrader, an automaker can’t void your warranty for going anywhere other than a dealer for service.

Keep your receipts

Car recalls are often performed in a dealership shop like this one, with pristine white floors
Dealership maintenance | Brownie Harris via Getty Images

What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Oil?

Whether or not you decide to take your car to a dealership for a simple service like an oil change, or even a more major service, be sure to keep your receipts. While your car’s warranty can’t be voided, it’s still a good measure to keep track of the service that your received should any issues arise down the road.

Also, keeping receipts can help you keep track of when your last service was done and if you ever plan to sell the car, later on, having a record of the services will help you sell it, as most buyers appreciate knowing what has been done to the car as well as when and where.

Going to the dealership for an oil change could cost more time and money

Ultimately, taking your car to the dealership to have its oil changed could end up costing you more time and money than you would expect for such a simple procedure. However, it can be an advantage if you want to ensure that it’s done correctly and for maintenance record purposes. Otherwise, we would suggest doing the oil change yourself or having it done at an independent shop if you want to save some money.