Is It Worth it to Change Your Own Oil?

There are many benefits to doing your own car repairs and maintenance. It can often save you money, and there’s a great feeling of accomplishment when you can repair something on your own. However, it doesn’t always make sense to do the job yourself. 

One job that a lot of people opt to do themselves is changing their oil. Changing your oil is a fairly straightforward process once you learn how to do it, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. Here’s what you need to know to help you decide if changing your car oil is worth it.

Benefits of Changing Your Oil Regularly

First, it’s important to discuss why you need to change your oil in the first place. There are many parts of your car that need regular maintenance, and one of the most important is your engine. If you don’t take proper care of your engine, it will wear down, and eventually, lead to an expensive repair. To run properly, your engine needs clean oil. As time goes by, little particles of dirt and dust can find their way into your engine oil, making it less effective. By replacing your oil regularly, you give your engine the clear oil it needs to operate efficiently for a long time.

Cost Savings

A primary reason people think changing their oil is a good thing to do on their own is that it will save them money. Why pay someone else to change your oil when you can do it yourself? However, when all is said and done, you don’t save that much money. When you get your oil changed, the cost typically includes the price of the new oil. This is something you’ll still have to pay, even if you change it yourself.

On top of that, you need to properly dispose of your old oil once it is out of your car. You can’t simply pour it down a nearby storm drain – this can actually cost you a lot of money in fines. You’ll need to pay a fee to have it properly disposed of, giving you another cost. By the time you’ve paid for both of these things, you’ve likely only saved a few dollars, at best, by doing it on your own.

If you’re worried about costs, you’re better off looking at something like an extended warranty. An extended warranty protects your car beyond the initial warranty and helps you afford repairs after major accidents. In some cases, it can even help to pay for things like oil changes. To learn more about how extended warranties work, you can look at Olive insurance solutions.

Mistakes Can Be Costly

Another reason you should be wary about changing your own oil is that mistakes can be costly. If you don’t have experience working on cars, you could do something wrong and cause even more damage. For example, if you don’t drain the old engine oil correctly, or fill it up with new oil the right way, you may damage your engine. Now, because you tried to do the job yourself, you have an expensive engine repair on your hands. Changing your oil can be a simple job, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can also be a costly one.

Time Commitment

When deciding whether or not to change your oil, you’ll also want to think of the time commitment. In many areas, some places can change the oil on your car in under an hour. Even if one of these quick spots aren’t in your area, your local mechanic can likely do the job in roughly the same amount of time. Changing the oil yourself, however, can often take longer. You have to get everything together, jack the car up, remove the old oil, add in the new oil, lower the car, then clean everything up. With spare time so precious for many of us, find the fastest way to change your oil, which usually means letting a pro handle it.

Is Changing Your Own Oil Worth It?

In summary, it’s probably not worth it to change your oil. Unless you enjoy working on cars and have some extra time on your hands, the cost and time savings just aren’t there. By taking your car to a professional you can ensure the job gets done right, in a short amount of time, without spending that much more. Of course, if you want to change your oil, you can certainly learn how to do so. Just be aware of the pros and cons, so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

Will Hopstetter
Will is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United Kingdom. He holds a diverse background in automotive and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.