The national cost for oil change is between $35 and $75 with an average of $52

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National average cost of a Oil Change
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What is an oil change and how does it work?

An oil change is a routine maintenance service aimed at replacing the oil and filter in your vehicle’s engine. Engine oil performs an essential role as it lubricates, cleans, and protects the internal parts of your engine. The crankshaft, pistons, camshaft, valves, and more - dozens of components moving many times each second - would quickly grind to a halt without sufficient lubrication that engine oil supplies. Also known as “motor oil”, this lubricant also helps to keep your engine cool and prevents contaminants from building up inside. Over time and with use, engine oil begins to break down from the heat of your engine and the shearing forces leveled against it. Moisture and other contaminants resulting from the combustion process also degrade the oil. Therefore, your engine oil needs to be changed regularly. During an oil change, all of the old oil is drained from your engine, a new oil filter is installed, and fresh oil is added.

How do I know if my car needs an oil change?

Your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation is the first and most important indication that your vehicle needs an oil change. Every manufacturer designates a specific interval between oil changes. That recommendation will vary depending on the make and model. When an oil change should be performed is laid out in your vehicle owner’s manual or maintenance schedule. Most vehicles today feature a maintenance reminder on the digital display to let you know it is time to schedule the service. You can also inquire at a reputable repair shop for the manufacturer’s recommendation. If you fail to follow what the manufacturer suggests, the oil in your engine can exceed its useful service life. When that happens, the oil will tend to lose viscosity (get too thin), become contaminated, and form sludge - all of which are harmful to your engine. You might notice that the oil is bad if the oil is dirty or contains metal particles, if the check engine light or oil change light is on, or if you hear ticking or knocking from your engine.

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How is this service performed

How is a Oil Change done?

An oil change is one of the more straightforward services performed on a vehicle, although it has become more complex in recent years. Special attention must be paid to the grade or viscosity of the oil, the classification of the oil, and whether it is conventional or synthetic oil. A new oil filter, included in an oil change service, must match your engine exactly. Some oil filters require a special service tool for removal. Once these details have been taken care of, a mechanic will take the following general steps to change your oil

  • Remove the oil cap to allow free flow of old oil from your engine
  • Safely lift and support your vehicle off of the ground to access the oil pan beneath the engine
  • Remove the drain plug on the bottom of the oil pan and drain the old oil into a collection pan
  • Remove the oil filter and install a new one
  • Replace the drain plug once the oil has stopped draining
  • Lower the vehicle and pour the correct amount of oil - around 5 quarts for most engines - into the fill spout in the engine compartment
  • Reinstall the oil cap
  • Start your engine and allow it to run for several seconds
  • Stop engine and verify the oil level on the dipstick

OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK

How often do you really need to change your oil?
If you want your engine to last for many miles, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended oil change interval. For most vehicles, that recommendation will fall somewhere between 5K and 7K miles. A few European automakers have intervals as long as 10K or even 15K miles, but that is not common. If you tend to drive in what are considered to be “special” or “severe” conditions, like dusty roads, excessive heat, stop-and-go traffic, or take frequent short trips under five miles, you should change your oil more frequently.
What happens if you go too long without an oil change?
Exceeding the manufacturer’s recommendations by a few hundred or even a thousand miles from time to time will not likely cause a lot of trouble. Frequently exceeding the recommendation, or missing it by a significant amount of miles can cause the oil to break down. When it does that, it no longer helps to cool your engine, and it doesn't lubricate the components sufficiently (allowing metal-to-metal contact). The additives in the oil that help to keep your engine clean and corrosion free also break down and stop working. Premature engine component wear can occur, and, at the extreme end, you could end up with complete engine failure.
Is it okay to change oil once a year?
Automakers recommend changing the oil in an average engine somewhere between 5K and 7.5K miles. Sometimes more frequently depending on driving conditions. If you drive less than the recommended service interval in a year, then you could get away with annual oil changes. Otherwise, you should be changing the oil multiple times in a year. You should also change it at least once a year no matter how many miles you drive.

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