The average cost of an oil change varies depending on where you live. The type of oil used is another factor, with varieties including conventional, synthetic, and semi-synthetic. For basic service with conventional oil and no extra quarts, you can count on paying about $32.
We’ll discuss the ins and outs of oil changes, including how often you should get it done, the benefits to your vehicle and the environment, and how to save money on your next oil change.
How Much Does an Oil Change Cost on Average?
The cost of an oil change depends on several things:
• Vehicle’s year, make, and model
• DIY vs. service station
• Geographic location
• Service provider
• Type of oil: conventional, synthetic, or synthetic blend
• Add-on services like filter changes and tire rotation
You’ll pay about $32 for basic service with no extra quarts. Top service with extra quarts will run about $75. This is likely to be with conventional oil.
With semi-synthetic oil, the average cost will be higher: $40-$100. And with fully synthetic oil, the price inches up to $65-$120. Some luxury vehicles require special filters, which can cost $260 or more.
The average cost of an oil change at a dealership is generally $100; this typically includes a filter change. Another popular add-on is tire rotation, which can tack on $20-$50. It’s possible that a dealership or auto repair shop will offer a small discount for more than one service.
In case you were wondering, oil changes are not covered by car insurance because they’re considered a regular part of car maintenance. Learn more in our Insurance Tips for First-time Drivers.
Average Cost of Oil Change by Provider
The table below lists the price of the cheapest oil change option at a number of national service providers. Differences in price are often due to the quality of oil used, and the speed and scope of the service.
|Lowest-Price Oil-Change Service
Data courtesy of CarServiceCosts.com
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The Difference Between Synthetic and Conventional Oil
Conventional oil is crude oil that’s been refined, while synthetic is made from chemical compounds. Synthetic oil has fewer impurities and is designed to protect car engines.
Conventional oil needs changing more often and can have problems flowing in extreme temperatures. Synthetic oil can be used for longer periods and flows in a wider range of temperatures. Although there are clear advantages to synthetic oil, there’s one disadvantage: It costs more.
Check your owner’s manual to see what type and grade are recommended for your vehicle’s engine. How much your car is worth may factor into your choice of which oil to use.
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How Often Should You Get an Oil Change?
Your owner’s manual should also list how often to change the oil in your specific vehicle. In general, conventional motor oil needs to be changed after about 5,000 miles of driving. Synthetic oil can go as long as 10,000 miles. If you use semi-synthetic motor oil (a blend of the two), you may get 8,000 miles of usage before it needs to be changed.
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Benefits of Getting Your Oil Changed
The benefits of regular oil changes are significant. They include:
• Cleaner engine. When you change the oil, you’re also getting rid of the dirt, debris, and contaminants in the old oil.
• More efficient engine. When the engine is clean and the oil is new, the engine has better lubrication and works more efficiently. This helps boost performance and maximizes the life of the engine.
• Better gas mileage. A more efficient engine will help your car get better gas mileage and save you money on fuel.
• Environmental benefits. When oil stays in your vehicle for too long, it starts to degrade. At this point, it releases potentially toxic hydrocarbons.
• Prevents overheating. Engine components generate heat, especially when you’re driving at faster speeds. When the engine is freshly and appropriately lubricated with motor oil, this lowers friction and reduces the risk of overheating.
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How To Lower the Cost of Oil Changes
As noted above, timely oil changes can reduce fuel costs. To save money on oil changes, you can shop around for the best prices in auto shops or do it yourself.
Before your first DIY oil change, you may need to invest in a few supplies. These include a wrench to remove the drain plug (your owner’s manual should list what size and type), an oil filter wrench, an oil pan, latex gloves, and perhaps a jack.
You can save $25 to $75 per oil change on average, depending on the oil and filter you use. So, once you’ve saved enough to “pay back” what you invested in the right tools, you can enjoy savings each time you change your own oil. Check out more tips for saving on car maintenance costs.
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The average cost of a basic oil change with conventional oil is $32, but you can find low-cost oil changes for as little as $19. Higher prices may indicate a better quality of oil, add-ons like filter replacement, or faster service. Your vehicle’s owner manual will recommend a type and grade of oil. Conventional oil is typically cheapest, followed by semi-synthetic, and then fully synthetic. Synthetic oils allow you to go longer between oil changes — 10,000 miles compared to 5,000 with conventional. To save the most money on your oil change, don’t be afraid to DIY.
The right auto insurance can help you care for your car and your finances. SoFi teamed up with Experian so that you can get multiple quotes from top insurers in a matter of just minutes. You’ll receive real apples-to-apples comparisons against your existing policy, using a blend of technology and human interaction.
Is $100 a lot for an oil change?
It depends on where you live, the type of oil used, your vehicle, and add-ons such as filter changes and tire rotation. The average cost of a basic oil change is $32, with prices as low as $19. Ask your service provider for a breakdown of what goes into that $100 oil change.
Should I get my tires rotated when I get an oil change?
Consumer Reports recommends rotating your tires every 5,000-8,000 miles. Tires protect you on the road, so this maintenance task shouldn’t be overlooked. Depending on the kind of oil you use and your owner manual’s recommendation, you may want to have your oil changed every 5,000-10,000 miles. If you can combine your oil change schedule with your tire rotation schedule, you might save a bit of money.
How much do oil changes cost in 2022?
The overall average with conventional oil and no other services provided is somewhere about $32. No-frills service with conventional oil starts at $19. You’ll pay for more synthetic oil and add-ons like filter replacement.
Photo credit: iStock/Phynart Studio
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