Should You Change Your Own Oil?
People have been changing their own oil and performing work on their own cars for decades. Between self-satisfaction and getting your hands dirty, it’s easy to see why. But taking your vehicle to have a professional oil change is convenient and worry-free.
Which way is best for you? And is one more cost-efficient than the other? We’re here with everything you need to know about the personal preference of oil changes, the cost, and benefits.
Changing your own oil: Does it save you money?
One of the main reasons you may consider changing your own oil is cost. If you change your own oil, you’re not paying someone else to do it so it should save you money. But does doing your own oil change really save money? Doing it yourself takes equipment, time, clean-up, and more.
Research shows that over time, the cost of changing your own oil vs. hiring someone else to do it is just about the same. Though you would be paying a specified expense every time you take your vehicle to get the oil changed, the long-term costs of doing it yourself include equipment, disposal, and your time. Today’s innovative and busy automotive world means there’s a garage on every corner, making oil changes more accessible and less expensive than in generations before.
If it costs virtually the same to change your own oil or hire a professional, the choice may just come down to personal preference.
Hire someone or do your own oil change: Which is better?
The costs associated with oil changes are about the same, regardless of if you’re changing your own oil or not. But the cost isn’t the only consideration to take since both options come with a variety of advantages.
The benefits of hiring someone to change your oil
When you take your vehicle to someone to get an oil change, you’re placing the responsibility in someone else’s hands. It can be more convenient and quicker, depending on your own knowledge of vehicles. It also takes the guesswork out of getting an oil change, since you won’t have to keep track of when your next oil change is due.
Professionals typically keep you and your vehicle on a schedule, which means less you have to worry about and a certainty that your oil is getting changed when it needs to be. You also don’t need to stock up on equipment, do research, or buy materials when someone else changes your oil.
For people who aren’t vehicle pros, taking your vehicle to get its oil changed can eliminate risk. Letting a professional handle it not only allows them to inspect your vehicle and check for problems you didn’t know about but also removes the risk of you damaging your vehicle when you change the oil yourself. If you make a mistake when changing your oil, it’s your responsibility. When a professional makes a mistake with your vehicle, it is his or hers.
Other benefits of a professional oil change include the convenience of not cleaning up your mess and disposing of the oil. Professional oil changes are also beneficial for creating a service paper trail for warranties, insurance, and more.
The benefits of doing an oil change yourself
Some garages and service departments can get extremely busy. When it’s hard to schedule an oil change or you work odd hours, doing your own oil change may be more convenient. Especially for people who know their way around a vehicle, changing your own oil can be completed on your own schedule and quickly.
Many people also enjoy the self-satisfaction that comes with doing the work yourself. Finding the tools, parts, and instructions, as well as performing the specific task can be fun for some car enthusiasts. In addition to the satisfaction you feel from accomplishing an oil change yourself, the task can also become a time of quality bonding between friends or loved ones.
If you love your vehicle, it can be hard to give control to another professional. Changing your own oil allows for you to perform some quality control, ensuring the proper oil, equipment, and tools are used on your big investment. Many people also find the confidence to start performing more repairs and changes to their vehicles after mastering an oil change.
Professional or DIY: what’s the verdict?
Regular oil changes are one of the simplest and cheapest ways to extend the life of your car. No matter what your financial situation is, making the decision to change your own oil is a personal one.
Whether it’s the convenience of having someone else do it or the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself, it’s up to you to make the best decision for your vehicle!