How Much Does An Oil Change Cost?


The cost for a standard oil change depends on several factors. Compare prices from quick lube shops, full-service shops, and dealerships. Plus, how you can DIY and save!

man pouring oil in engine

Wondering how much it is to get an oil change? You’ve come to the right place. Here at FIXD, we’re on a mission to protect drivers and their vehicles with the most up to date and accurate information, including accurate price estimates for repairs and maintenance.

In order to do this, we consult with real mechanics to get honest answers about what a specific car repair might cost. We report not only the cost of the repair, but also any additional add-ons. These add-ons include any service that our mechanics feel would most likely accompany the original repair.

Importance of Oil Changes

Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. Your car needs oil and proper oil pressure for lubrication and performance adjustments made while you’re driving. In other words, it keeps things running smoothly.

By following your factory recommended maintenance intervals and getting regular oil changes, you can extend the life of your vehicle and save hundreds if not thousands in preventable engine damage.

How Often To Change Oil

Most mechanics say you can wait until you’ve reached around 7,500 miles before you have to change your oil. The timeline for when you should change your oil can vary dramatically depending on your specific vehicle, so the most efficient way to determine when you should change your oil is by consulting your handy owner’s manual or the FIXD Sensor and free app, which automatically sends maintenance alerts to your phone based on your specific vehicle make, model, and mileage.

Maintenance: Engine Oil Change

Estimated Price at the Mechanic: $49.99-$119.99

Many sites will tell you that an oil change can cost you as little as $20, but after talking to mechanics, we found out that the price of oil changes have been steadily increasing over the last decade. This increase in price is mostly due to improvements in oil quality, along with the newer trend of mechanics including a new oil filter with every oil change. While the difference between $49.99 and $119.99 seems quite large, the average cost of an oil change is toward the lower end of that spectrum unless you drive a higher-end vehicle that requires very special oil.

Estimated Price at the Dealer: $39.99-$129.99

Most people tend to think it will cost more to have their oil changed at the dealer, but we’ve found the cost for a basic oil change at a dealership is comparable to a regular repair shop, and sometimes even costs less.

Some of the factors that influence this wide cost range are vehicle make and model, what type of oil is recommended, and the number of quarts required for your vehicle. The cost of an oil change for a BMW or other luxury vehicle, for example, will likely cost more than another vehicle.

While a dealer may charge more than your local repair shop or quick lube, there are several benefits to choosing the dealership for your oil change. Benefits include highly trained mechanics who specialize in your specific vehicle make and may already be familiar with you and your vehicle (which means fewer mistakes and savings in the long run).

In addition, if your vehicle is under warranty, you may feel more comfortable with the relationship with your dealer’s service department, although as long as you keep your receipts to prove your oil was changed at recommended intervals, it shouldn’t be a problem to have this basic service performed elsewhere.

Estimated Price at the Quick Lube: $19.99-$92.99

The price of a basic oil change at a major chain shop can range from $20-$90+, depending on your vehicle, location, and whether you go with conventional oil, full synthetic oil, a synthetic blend or high mileage oil. For example, the cost of an oil change at Wal-Mart ranges from $19-$49, a Jiffy Lube oil change is $44.99-74.99, and a Valvoline oil change is anywhere from $41.99-$92.99 according to their online listings. Keep in mind these prices are before any special coupons are applied. Always check their website for special deals and discounts.

Benefits of going to a quick lube include convenience, time savings, and sometimes money savings. You typically won’t have to make an appointment and can get in and out within 15 to 20 minutes. However, technicians at these shops tend to lack specialized training in any specific make or model, which can mean more mistakes are made during your oil change.

Ultimately, where you go is a personal choice and all pros and cons should be weighed.

Breakdown of Price:

$25-$60 for Oil and Filter ; $25-$60 for Labor

The price of oil can vary greatly depending on the type of oil your vehicle needs. Synthetic oils are engineered to have superior qualities compared to conventional oils, and therefore they are more expensive. Not sure which one to choose? Check out our article explaining the difference between synthetic vs. conventional oil

There is also the cost of the filter. Oil filters are not typically that expensive, normally $5-$15. But as was mentioned above, mechanics have recently started to almost always include them when changing a vehicle’s oil.

In terms of labor, the variation in cost lies in the location of the mechanic shop you are going to. The price of labor at shops that are in urban areas is most likely going to be higher than shops outside of the city.

Professional vs. DIY:

Mechanic $49.99-$119.99 vs. DIY $25-$60

We at FIXD are always supportive of car owners trying to learn more about their vehicles and taking a shot at the DIY lifestyle, but in the case of changing your oil, we recommend that you let the professionals do the work. Although the DIY price estimate seems significantly lower, it doesn’t factor in the price of your time and labor, and oil changes, if done incorrectly, can be quite tedious.

If you do decide that changing your own oil is right for you, check out our complete guide here to get step-by-step instructions on how to change your car’s oil!

Projected Add-On Costs:

Oil Filter: $5-$15

Shop Supplies (rags, lubricants, transmission fluid, disposing of old oil, etc.): $10-$30

Potential Upsells to Avoid:

Some shops use the oil change as an opportunity to upsell you extra “work.” Since we’re passionate about protecting people from mechanic scams, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common oil change upsell tactics, along with their added cost and schedule guidelines to ensure you only pay for what you really need. 

Click each upsell below to find out the potential added cost and when you might need it.

Potential Added Cost:

$51 – $75

When You Should Get It:

Every 15k-60k miles, depending on your make/model/how you drive.

Potential Added Cost:

$15 – $30

When You Should Get It:

Coolant needs to be changed around 100k miles. They cost ~$10-20 at any auto parts store and they will help you put it in for free.

Potential Added Cost:

$159 – $203

When You Should Get It:

Every 100k miles, depending on your make/model/how you drive.

Potential Added Cost:

$88 – $113

When You Should Get It:

Every 3 years, depending on your make/model/how you drive.

Potential Added Cost:

$64 – $73

When You Should Get It:

Every 1-2 years, regardless of rainfall. Or when they start leaving streaks on your windshield.

Potential Added Cost:

$450 – $1200

When You Should Get It:

Most tires are good until you have 3-4/32nds of an inch left on the tread. Watch this video to see how to do the “Penny Test” on your tires.

Potential Added Cost:

$300 – $400

When You Should Get It:

Look up the “minimum brake pad thickness” and “minimum brake rotor thickness” recommended for your specific vehicle. Ask the mechanic to tell you the thickness in millimeters and see if it matches up.

*These scheduled maintenance intervals are based on averages from the mechanics we’ve consulted for this article. Always check your owner’s manual for specific maintenance recommendations.

Looking for an easy way to keep up with oil changes and other important vehicle maintenance? FIXD can help with that! 

a retail box for the fixd scanner

The FIXD Sensor and free app for Android and iOS tracks routine maintenance for you so you always know what needs to be done when and don’t end up paying for “work” you don’t need. You can use the app to track anything from when to get an oil change, the exact date you should change your wiper blades, when it’s time for new tires or a tire rotation, car battery life, and much, much more! Plus, it works with all gas-powered vehicles made in 1996 or newer and all diesel vehicles 2008 or newer. Click here to learn more.

Was this post helpful?

Comments 7

Myra sandoval

February 3, 2020

Very helpful. Thanks! Great website.

Mary Ellen Cochrane

July 28, 2020

I have a 2016 Mercedes CL300 but do not have a port for this sensor. Am I missing something here or did you sell me this knowing it wouldn’t work???

Luis

August 24, 2020

Did you find it?

Al Bouchard

April 8, 2020

How much would it cost to flush and change the fluid,How often should l have this service done?

Neal

August 4, 2020

When the oil is changed the system is drained of oil and replaced with new oil as well as a new oil filter. I change the oil on my Mini about every 3500 miles per a mini mechanic. I do it myself for $25-35 parts (Royal Purple 5w-0/BeckArnley filter) and 1/2 hour time.

DFried

April 17, 2020

I was looking for: oil type and filter number.

P.Moss

September 18, 2020

Thank you for this article. I have been using synthetic oil since the mid 90’s. My car
is a 97 Crown Vic, it has 164,100, and runs as good and quiet as any new vehicle. I always use the Dealership for oil changes and maintainence. Again thanks for the info.

FIXD

September 22, 2020

You are so welcome, P.Moss! Happy and safe driving 🙂

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