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Old 02-23-2008, 07:47 PM   #21
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Our local AutoZone will take my used oil. I usually just pour the old oil from the drain pan back into the container the new oil came in.
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:02 PM   #22
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All the oil drain places, the auto parts stores, and the dumps around here take used oil.

I bought a huge oil drain thing. Open the drain, slide it under the car, open the drain plug and voila. Even has a little recess to stick the filter in to let the oil drain out of it overnight. Put the plug back in and slide it back under the bench until the next change. Holds about 15 quarts, so I only have to take it in once a year or so.

Looks very similar to this:

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Old 02-24-2008, 06:33 AM   #23
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WalMart has a deal that they will rotate your tires all year long for $30 or so, I think it was. It was cheap, anyway. And you can watch them work where I go, so I know they are getting done. Good deal. Check into your local WalMart.
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Beware of Jiffy Lube
Old 02-24-2008, 08:32 AM   #24
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Beware of Jiffy Lube

In September of 2006, we took our brand new 2005 Subaru to the Jiffy Lube in Mount Penn, PA, for its first oil change. They drained out all of the transmission fluid and overfilled the crankcase with motor oil. Several weeks later the transmission locked up. The problem was diagnosed by our Subaru dealer, who noticed the scratch marks on the transmission drain plug. Jiffy Lube would not return our telephone calls, so we hired an attorney.

After receiving a letter from lour lawyer, Jiffy Lube sent an adjuster to look at the disassembled transmission and offered to replace a few damaged parts. But that would have voided the remaining 56 months on our transmission warranty, as Subaru required that the entire transmission be replaced. Finally our insurance company paid for a new transmission and then they went after Jiffy Lube for re-payment.

Although Jiffy Lube did eventually pay for some of our rental car expenses, they never acknowledged any error on their part, never apologized, and refused to reimburse us for the $500 lawyer fees.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:36 AM   #25
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WalMart has a deal that they will rotate your tires all year long for $30 or so, I think it was. It was cheap, anyway. And you can watch them work where I go, so I know they are getting done. Good deal. Check into your local WalMart.
A lot of tire shops will give "free" rotation every 5000-6000 miles for the life of the tires when you buy a set of four. I put "free" in quotes since it's obviously built in to the price of the tires. But since you have to pay for that built-in cost anyway, you might as well take advantage of it if that's the case.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:01 AM   #26
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Costco does free repair, balance and rotation for the life of the tire when you buy them there. Nice to drop it off for a rotate/balance while you're in shopping.

I think Sams club does the same thing.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:11 PM   #27
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I collect my drained oil in a plastic cat-litter jug that holds about 2 gallons of the black goo. When it gets close to full every couple of years, I haul it down to the local Wal-Mart and they say it's OK for me to pour it into their huge tank of goo. I'll bet those suckers sell it to a recycling company...
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:56 PM   #28
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............ I'll bet those suckers sell it to a recycling company...
With crude at $100 a barrel, I've gotta believe refined oil is worth at least as much.
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:47 PM   #29
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Here here. I used to change oil myself but gave it up because it just wasn't worth it.
  • You have to have bulky ramps, a good jack, and unused storage space for spare oil, supplies, and used oil. You can get away with $50 worth of equipment but to do it efficiently and safely you'll need about $200 worth of equipment and supplies. The opportunity, storage, and replacement cost of that equipment can easily be $25 or more per year.
  • You have to be able to make a mess on your garage floor every once in a while when you spill some oil.
  • You have to figure that any incidental contact you have with the carcinogenic oil won't cause you any health problems.
  • You have to be willing to risk having the car crush you if you don't set up well.
  • You have to launder the oil out of your work clothes when you're done.
  • You have to accept any pulled muscles from reaching around at odd angles.
  • You have to accept that it'll take about twice as long for you to change into work clothes, gather the supplies, do the work, and clean up afterwards as it would take just to swing by the dealer for the oil change.
  • You have to forgo the benefits of having a dealer trained mechanic eyeballing the underside of your car during the oil change.
This is not to harsh on anyone who does change their oil... some people are cut out for this stuff and more power to you. I'm just saying why I decided I'm not that kinda person.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:16 PM   #30
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Hmm, I have $40 worth of stuff that I bought 15 years ago. Use the same clothes I do yard work in. Dont have any vehicles I have to jack up to do an oil change on.

I'm also pretty sure I could drive into an oil change place with a giant broken part hanging from the undercarriage, painted safety orange...and if the expert trained mechanic did notice it (20% chance), he'd be sure to keep his mouth shut so that he didnt get blamed for doing it.



To be fair though, the hondas and toyotas i'm doing oil changes on are easy. They put everything up front and on the bottom. My Ford required contortions and scraped knuckles to get the filter out, and my Infinity was ridiculous...the filter was on the front of the motor between the serpentine belts. No way to get it out without getting oil on the belts other than wrap a towel around it and sac the towel.

They sure gave BMW a run for their money on ridiculousness of maintenance complexity...
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:16 PM   #31
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If that were true for me, I wouldn't do it myself.

I spent less than $40 on supplies. The $30 ramps I have


are quite safe, and I haven't had to replace any equipment. My detailed checklist makes mistakes unlikely, even for a flake like me.

Plenty of room for the stuff in the shed. I change the oil over gravel, and have sawdust in the case of spills. I can change the oil in less time than it takes me to drive to the repair place, and I just throw my clothes in the laundry. I still take the car in for regular inspections and maintenance.

With this kind of drain pan


There's no transferring of oil. I just close it up and throw it in the back of the truck, and dump it out at the recycling center.

One car gets free tire rotation. The other I do myself. A little tedious, but quicker than you might think: requires five repetitions of removing and replacing a tire. Drill makes the lug nuts go on and off quickly.
Attached Files
File Type: doc OilChangeChecklist.doc (25.0 KB, 2 views)
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:33 PM   #32
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I think the shed is key... if you are in a place where land is plentiful enough to have a shed, you probably are settled enough and have enough space that it makes sense.

I changed oil for a few years when I was living with roomates in a big house with a big garage, but the drain pan I had (like those posted by CFB and Al) would spill or leak whenever it was moved with any haste. Since then I've lived in places where CC&Rs prohibit oil changes in the carports. I found that I barely came out ahead financially after buying and disposing of roughly $100 worth of oil change equipment and supplies for a few year's use. And I had plenty of scraped knuckles from working under the crowded Civic engine compartment.

My dealer offers $20-30 oil changes depending on what specials they are running. It would cost me about $10 for the oil, filter, washer, towels, and cleaning costs. So paying $10-20 for the labor ends up being a good deal.

Al, I love your list. I aspire to be that organized. And your tagline "you can't have everything. Where would you put it?" echoes my sentiment about oil change equipment
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