To some getting an oil change can be on par with heading to the dentist for a root canal. Or worse, having to listen to an entire Justin Bieber album while sitting uncomfortably in an overly hot and stuffy vehicle, on a 10 hour road trip… with your family. But alas! Knowledge is your best weapon. We’ve compiled a list of tips and pointers to help make this seemly dreadful but necessary situation feel like rainbows and unicorns:
A. During an oil change, the oil and filter are replaced. You don’t have to change anything other than that.
B.When should you get your oil changed? The best thing you can do is to check and double check your owner’s manual. If you’ve lost your owner’s manual or worse the dealership didn’t provide you one here’s a good rule of thumb. Vehicles <2003-04 = 3000 miles; Vehicles > 2005 = 5000 miles, Vehicles > 2009 = 7500 miles. Most servicing stations will put a little window sticker on the top right corner of your windshield as a friendly reminder.
C. During an oil change your servicing station will more than likely check the following: fluids, battery, coolant, tire pressure, air filter and fill your washer fluid if needed. These items are standard procedure at most places. You shouldn’t be charged extra for having your fluids checked and refilled. If you are being billed extra items like washer fluid, I’d suggest perhaps finding a different location to service your vehicle. One last thing, when they check your air filter and it looks like a chain smoker’s lungs, for the love of all that is good and holy think about getting it replaced! This is something you can most certainly do yourself. But like you and I our vehicles need to breath.
D. Shop around. Make sure you’re not getting over charged for an oil change. But also find out what other services come with it: Do they preform a free multi-point inspection? Do they check fluids and tire pressure for free? These are all services you should be receiving from your servicing station while getting your oil replaced.
This last bit is important and it has to deal with warranty. If you purchased a vehicle with a warranty from the manufacturer or dealership, make sure to read the fine print in the agreement. Your warranty agreement might state when you HAVE to receive an oil change. It’s best to follow this to the T or risk voiding your warranty. If purchased from a dealer it also might state you must service your vehicle at their particular servicing station or you’ll void it as well. Just make sure you thoroughly read the document before you put your name of the dotted line.
If you’ve got any other tips, advice or commentary add them in the comment section below.