An important part of maintaining a vehicle is changing the oil. The average cost of an oil change--and the costs you'll accumulate per year--depends on a number of factors, including the type of oil used, the service centre you choose, the amount you drive and how often you change the oil.
If you only want to know the average cost of a single oil change, the answer is pretty simple: twenty to thirty dollars, depending on the service centre you choose, and any promotions they might be running. Note that this is for regular oil; synthetic oil will cost about double that amount. Also keep in mind that this is a basic oil change. If you decide to add an air filter, fuel filter or other extras that might be offered, your costs will climb.
Necessity Of Oil Changes
Oil is what keeps your engine running smoothly. Without clean oil, your gas mileage will go up. The lifespan of your engine parts will decrease, and eventually, your engine will seize up completely and need to be replaced. Oil changes usually come with extras that can keep your car running safely, including tire pressure checks, belt and hose inspections and transmission fluid top-offs.
Oil Change Frequency
The average cost of your oil changes per year will also depend on how often you decide to change the oil. This figure will depend on your driving habits, and the oil efficiency of your engine. As a rule of thumb, service stations recommend changing oil every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, be sure to check the owner's manual for your vehicle; you might only need an oil change every 7,500 miles. Some automotive experts even recommend waiting 10,000 miles between an oil change, if using synthetic oil.
Driving in extremely cold temperature, or while hauling a heavy load, requires more gasoline. Some of this excess gas can slip past your piston rings, contaminating your oil. Frequent, short driving trips can also burn oil faster per mile than extended drives. If you drive under any of these conditions regularly, you might need to change your oil more frequently, increasing your average oil change cost per year.
When it comes to changing your oil, it's better to be safe than sorry. Appropriately timed oil changes will keep your car running in peak condition, and ensure that your car will stay on the road.