The Average Oil Change Cost Is $40-$120 at the Mechanic, versus $25-$60 to DIY.
This price range is based on national averages for all vehicles and does not factor in taxes, fees, or your particular make and model. Related repairs or maintenance may also be needed. For a more accurate estimate based on your make, model, and location, use the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.
Get a more accurate estimate for your oil change using RepairPal’s Fair Price Estimator:
Cost at the Mechanic: $40 to $120
- Labor: $25 – $60
On most vehicles, changing the engine oil is a very easy job, but many drivers put this off, which can eventually lead to serious internal engine damage.
Cost to DIY: $25 to $60
- DIY Difficulty Level: Beginner
- Parts Needed:
A DIY oil change won’t really save you too much money since many shops offer low-cost oil changes in order to upsell other services the car needs. That being said, doing an oil change by yourself is super easy and can be done on your own time… no scheduling a service appointment or sitting in a waiting room.
If you do choose the DIY route for your next oil change, always dispose of the used oil in an environmentally friendly manner – most parts stores will recycle old oil at no charge. In place of those windshield stickers that often fade or fall off, set an automatic reminder for future oil changes using the FIXD App so that you’ll never forget!
Keep in mind: Since there are so many different types (synthetic vs. conventional, blend, etc.) and weights (0W30, 10W40, etc.) of engine oil, be sure you’re using the proper oil that is recommended for your vehicle. When in doubt, refer to your owner’s manual.
What Is Engine Oil?
Engine oil is the fluid used to keep all of the internal parts properly lubricated. The oil is stored in the bottom of the engine in the oil pan and sent up to the engine via an oil pump. Fresh, clean oil should be the color of honey as shown in the image above.
Over time, the oil starts to break down and loses its ability to protect the engine. As this happens, the oil turns darker and loses its viscosity, and this leads to excessive wearing of the engine’s internal components, which if left unaddressed, will result in metal shavings in the oil that can clog the oil filter and/or oil passages. This can lead to a catastrophic engine failure.
What Is an Engine Oil Change?
An oil change is definitely a beginner-level DIY (it’s no. 8 on our list of the 10 easiest DIY auto repair jobs!), but whether you do it yourself or take it to a shop, the most important factor is that the old oil is removed and fresh oil installed. Most shops will drain the oil from underneath using a drain plug in the oil pan, but sometimes it can be sucked out using a specialized machine without having to remove the plug. After the oil has been removed, the oil filter is replaced and new oil is installed. Some shops refer to an oil change as an LOF (lube, oil, filter) since the vehicle’s applicable steering and suspension components are lubed with grease at the same time the oil is changed.
What Happens If You Don’t Change The Engine Oil?
Waiting too long to change your engine oil can lead to gelling of the oil (aka, sludge) or metal shavings in the oil, while the worst case scenario for not changing your oil is severe internal engine damage and even a seized engine.
How Often Should You Change The Engine Oil?
In the past, the general rule was that you needed to change your oil every 3,000 miles, but thanks to advances in modern oil types and oil filters, that is no longer the case. Generally speaking, most automakers now recommend oil changes every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, or sometimes more. The timeline for when to change your motor oil can vary drastically depending on your specific vehicle, so the most efficient way to determine when you should change your oil is by consulting the owner’s manual. It will give you the most accurate timeline for your vehicle.
Having trouble remembering when your last oil change was? FIXD can help! Use the Maintenance Timeline in the free app to get automatic alerts when it’s time for your next oil change, based on your specific make, model, and mileage.
Common Symptoms You Need to Change Your Engine Oil
- Visual inspection shows dark, discolored, or contaminated engine oil
Related Maintenance Services
The following services are commonly performed when you change the engine oil:
Claim Your Custom Maintenance Schedule
Get the FIXD Sensor and free app today for a custom maintenance schedule based on your make, model, and mileage. Never miss important maintenance again with automated maintenance alerts!
Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a ’91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals