How Much Does an Oil Change Cost?

On average, a basic oil change using conventional motor oil cost from $25 to $55. The average cost is around $45, while discount oil change shops usually charge between $25 to $30, and some can be as low as $19.99 with a coupon. Synthetic oil is more expensive, increasing the cost to between $45 and $70.

In This Guide

Does that mean maintenance costs are higher on new cars because they need synthetic oil? Not exactly. Improved oil life and filtration have lengthened service intervals, so while an older car may need a change every 3,000 miles or three months, modern engines can go as long as 15,000 miles before they need new oil. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations to see when you need to replace your engine oil and filter on your car: you could be needlessly wasting money on maintenance you don’t need.

Synthetic vs Conventional Oil Change Cost

oil-changeSynthetic oil uses a base oil that is heavily refined and processed so it only contains hydrocarbon chains that provide the best performance. This allows it to last longer and withstand higher temperatures, which is why it’s commonly specified for high performance engines. However, that extra processing means it costs more to produce than regular oil, which is why synthetic changes cost $15 to $20 more than a standard change.

Wrights Car CareAtlanta$45$85 to $100
Caruso's Auto RepairNew York$25.95$79.99
Lefty's AutomotiveChicago$29.98$68.98

Oil Change Prices by Chain

ShopConventionalFull Synthetic
Jiffy Lube$45$80
Grease Monkey$30$70
Big O Tires$30$60
Oil Can Henry's$30$80
Pep Boys$35$75

Oil Change Prices in Canada

Oil ChangersKitchener$40$75
Hyundai DealershipMarkham$50$90
Canadian TireOttawa$40$65

Dealership Oil Change Cost by Make

KiaOklahoma City, OK$40$65
VolvoOak Park, IL$50$125
MazdaDenton, TX$50$70
NissanDuluth, GA$35$70
HondaDayton, OH$48$75
FordColumbus, OH$40$75
HyundaiStockton, CA$40$70
AudiVienna, VA-$130
LexusAppleton, WI$57$77
BMWMemphis, TN-$80/$130
Mercedes-BenzPlano, TX-$285

Bugatti Veyron – $20,000

bugatti-veyronOil changes for exotic cars usually aren’t more than a couple hundred dollars, so why would it cost $20,000 to service the Bugatti Veyron? The engine is built to such high tolerances that the engine internals have to be inspected to ensure the oil channels are clear and all wear surfaces are being thoroughly lubricated. That means taking the massive W12 motor apart, removing its heads to look around inside.

Cost to Do it Yourself

A DIY change only costs as much as the parts involved. Oil can cost anywhere from $3 to $10 per quart, and it’s readily available at parts stores and large discount retailers like Wal-Mart and Target. Oil filters typically cost between $4 and $10. Here’s how to change your own oil.

Keep in Mind

  • The oil filter should always be replaced when changing the oil.
  • The new oil should meet the manufacturer’s specifications including weight and service qualifications.
  • The oil filter should also meet manufacturer’s specifications. Some engines require special filters that will last through long service intervals.
    Before putting your car back on the road, the engine should be run for a few minutes to ensure there aren’t any leaks.

Factors that Affect the Cost

The total cost of a change depends on three main factors:

  • Where the work is being performed: Independent shops and “quick lube” shops that specialize in oil changes tend to be cheaper than dealerships.
  • The more refined it is, the higher the total cost will be: conventional oil is cheapest, synthetic is the most expensive, and synthetic blends are in the middle.
  • The amount of oil needed: some engines that have extremely long service intervals hold a lot more oil to help spread wear over more fluid. It’s not uncommon for these motors to require 10 quarts of oil, so a change may cost double what it does for a standard engine.

If you’re looking to save some money, do some comparison shopping and look for coupons.

Additional Costs

It’s rare for there to be extra costs when getting a change. However, most independent shops and dealerships will inspect the car while it’s there. Fluid levels, lights, tire pressure and brakes are usually part of these inspections, and the service technician may look at the maintenance history and recommend services that have not yet been performed. If issues are found, it’s up to the owner to decide if a repair should be made.

Some manufacturers recommend rotating the tires at the same time to even out tread wear. Some places charge anywhere from $15 to $35 for this service, while others will include this in the price.

What Should be Included

There’s more to it than the oil itself. The cost covers labor, oil, shop supplies, the oil filter, any gaskets needed for the filter or drain plug and the cost of having the used oil recycled.

At most shops, labor is charged as two or three tenths of an hour, which works out to a total of around $10 to $15, while the rest goes to parts, equipment and sales tax.

As mentioned before, service intervals vary depending on the manufacturer and engine. Most new cars can go at least 5,000 miles between oil changes, and some as long as 15,000 miles, while older vehicles may require a fluid and filter change every 3,000 miles. This information is listed in the owner’s manual, or you can find it on Consumer Guide Automotive’s website.

Discounts & Coupons

Repair shops and dealerships frequently offer coupons for oil changes to help bring in new customers. For example, Firestone Complete Auto Care frequently offers a 30% coupon for oil and filter changes for most vehicles.

Note: Watch out for “free oil changes”

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