I’ve talked before about how not to get ripped off while getting an oil change, but haven’t yet said where the best place is to get an oil change.
Your home. If you own a garage, carport, or driveway, then get your car’s manual out, get yourself on Youtube, and figure out how to do it yourself. It saves you money in the long-run, but the real reason I do it isn’t for the money. It’s for the quality of work. When it’s your car, you do a great job. You take your time and make sure it’s done right. There’s no other place that you can change your oil that will do it better than you.
Never done it before and scared that you’ll screw it up because it’s complicated and you’ve never opened a car hood before? It’s not complicated. It’s not hard. And with Youtube, you can watch someone do it before your very eyes and then go do it yourself. So buck up, dudes and dudettes, and do it yourself.
Second Best Place?
Not everyone has a garage, carport, or driveway, and so they don’t have a place to do it themselves. Then I suggest any national oil change chain (except Walmart – never go to Walmart for any automotive work). With a national chain, you have recourse if they do something wrong. You got leverage and that’s awesome. With a little local garage, the dude that did your oil change might actually be the owner, and so if you need to complain, you’ve really got no one to go to, because he’s the head honcho.
Whether or not their actual work is good, any oil change place might try to rip you off with services that you don’t need, so be sure to not get ripped off!
Your neighbor’s garage. Maybe you’ve got a buddy or a neighbor that does car stuff or is generally handy, and they say, “Hey, come on by and I’ll change that oil for you.” Don’t do it. If he screws up, there’s 100% nothing that can be done. He might end up expecting a favor in return and now you’re on the hook when you really don’t want to be. Neighbor feuds are started over less than this.
Second Worst Place?
Walmart. Don’t get automotive work done at Walmart. Trust me, they do poor quality work and they cut corners.
Here are some links to articles on changing your own oil:
Art of Manliness tells you how to change your own oil. If you’re a chick, don’t let the website name deter you, chicks can do it too. And they’ll look hotter while they do.
Get Rich Slowly discusses changing your oil every 3,000 miles (SCAM!) and how to do it yourself.
Long Term Mindset lets you in on a little trick to lower your oil change cost if you do decide to go to a national chain.