Every 3,000–5,000 miles, it's important to change your vehicle's oil in order to keep it running smoothly. Although there are plenty of options for an inexpensive oil change, that is not necessarily the best idea. As with anything related to your car, what you put into your vehicle affects its performance and lifespan.
What is the Difference in Oil Changes?
Whether you are buying supplies and doing it yourself or paying someone at an oil change shop, there are a few basic things that can make a difference in an oil change. One main factor is the quality of the product used. If you are paying for a cheap oil change, then you are not going to get the highest quality oil or oil filter. Conversely, if you are buying your own supplies and changing your own oil, then you can pick and choose the exact type and brand of oil and oil filter. If you have a newer vehicle, then it is likely that you will want to use higher-quality products. These products can reduce wear and can ultimately help keep an engine running longer.
Another problem with an inexpensive oil change is the potential of poor-quality labor. If you are paying pocket change for an oil change, then you cannot expect the service technician to care very much about doing the job right. As is the case with any service industry, there is a fine line between paying a reasonable price for a service and paying too little to expect a quality job. This is another potential benefit of changing your own oil—you are the only one who can affect the quality of the oil change.
Regardless of what you're doing to your car, one thing remains vital: it needs to be done right. The last thing you need if for your car to break down because you were too cheap to spend an extra $20 to get your oil changed properly.