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Old 04-28-2011, 10:04 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Dimsumkid View Post
If you really want to make sure you're getting a quality oil, watch them as they do the oil change. Make sure it doesn't get filled from a hose and ask them for the empty oil bottles.
I'll guarantee you that dealers (certainly most of them and definitely the one in this case) are refilling your oil with a hose connected to a pump on a large drum. And you have NO idea what kind of oil is in that drum.

I'm wondering how much they would charge if you brought them 5 quarts of full synthetic oil to have them put in your car. I'll bet they still charge you at least $5 (still a 500% markup for them, even if it's OEM) for a filter. More likely, they'd get closer to $10 for a filter if you bought it separately. You know that even at $24, they are making money.

On the bright side, however, I AM a believer in maintaing a good relationship with your local car dealer's service department. And if you can do that for $24 a couple times a year, that's not a bad thing - even in spite of costing you a few dollars and a few extra hours of your time.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:27 AM   #82
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You may not KNOW what's in the drum, but in any reputable dealership it will meet or exceed the car manufacturer's specifications.

Just because it comes from a drum doesn't mean it's low quality. Back in my youth I ran our family farm. I bought oil for the machinery in 25 gallon drums. It was the same oil I could buy in cans (remember oil in quart cans?), just cost 1/2 as much. When you go through 50+ gallons a year the difference adds up.

The dealer can offer a bit of a bargain on oil changes (vs. DIY) because he can buy oil cheaper in bulk. However, I change my own oil because I like getting dirty and it gives me an opportunity to check the condition of under car parts.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:46 AM   #83
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Camp for MEN? That step-by-step to change your oil is for women!
Nah, my DH KNOWS how to change oil and fix pretty much everything in the POS fleet around here! Those are "boy jobs" in our Spousonomics program!

But what I want him to learn from T-Al is how to organize his life into checklists, chop wood for fuel, buy pants from the thrift store and insert little pieces of plastic to make the fly cover stay down, and innumerable other life skills that T-Al exhibits on a regular basis!

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Old 04-28-2011, 11:26 AM   #84
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Here is why I change my own oil.

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Old 04-28-2011, 11:45 AM   #85
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I prefer to change oil on my vehicles. DW prefers to take her car to the GM dealer. By the way, her Buick has an oil life analysis program in the engine control module.

GM spent big bucks to refine that program. Tailored for dino juice. It calculates starts, miles driven between starts, outside temperature etc.. So short jaunts without full warmup accelerate the process, long drives slow it down.

It took me 3 years to convince her to use the indicated life remaining %, and numbers, instead of the 3000 mile rain or shine interval. I use her car's numbers for oil change intervals on mine except double it. Typically the Buick would indicate a change between 5 and 7 thousand miles. on regular dino juice. I use full synthetic. Only buy NAPA Gold filters. Usually swap filters 1/2 way between change intervals.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:26 PM   #86
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Is99, that is good to know about the computer. I just added a Buick to our POS fleet and it has this gizmo. However, I wasn't sure if I should believe it, as it also is convinced my tire pressure is low despite my assurances to the contrary.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:27 PM   #87
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(remember oil in quart cans?)
You mean the ones they opened with a "church key"? ...
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:11 PM   #88
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Speaking of that, does anyone pour the oil in without using a funnel? Presumably you should be able to do it with the opening on the top as you pour, but I don't want to spill.

A trick I've learned from experience:

Take the cap off the oil container away from the car so that it doesn't fall into the engine compartment and require an hour of searching.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:36 PM   #89
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Now that my car is even older, I just take it to my mechanic - even for oil changes. No drums of oil (all in quart bottles) - might be $25 bucks for an O/C, but he also looks over my vehicle and performs little tweaks as necessary for no charge (tire rotation, etc...)
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:40 PM   #90
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Thanks for resisting, MichaelB.



If you sand them down a bit with fine grit sandpaper or steel wool, they'll be as good as new. Even cleaning them with windex on a paper towel makes a huge difference.

They are just a strip of rubber, after all. Perhaps they deteriorate more in an environment with more heat and sun that ours.

.
I'm trying that.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:56 PM   #91
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One of the advantages of small towns; I can stand in the dealer's shop, watch the oil change being done, and check out the underside of the vehicle myself.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:19 PM   #92
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Is99, that is good to know about the computer. I just added a Buick to our POS fleet and it has this gizmo. However, I wasn't sure if I should believe it, as it also is convinced my tire pressure is low despite my assurances to the contrary.
You need to reset the gizmo on the dash. IIRC in DW's car, have to hold the reset button 5 or 10 seconds, maybe more. I usually have to read the manual, not something I keep in mind.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:32 PM   #93
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One of the advantages of small towns; I can stand in the dealer's shop, watch the oil change being done, and check out the underside of the vehicle myself.
And they have one of those signs:

Oil change: $25
If you watch: $35
If you help: $55
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:25 PM   #94
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I've been using the same trusty funnel since 1964 and it still works great.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:48 PM   #95
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And they have one of those signs:

Oil change: $25
If you watch: $35
If you help: $55
Nope, no fee to watch, they've already gotten enough out of me when I've bought cars.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:36 PM   #96
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I change mine also. The last time I took it in to a jiffy lube type place they overtightened the drain plug and the filter and forgot to put oil in after draining out the old.

The 4 quarts of oil plus a filter run me about $10 if I buy them at Shuck's; I stop by one when I'm out doing errands, and I can drop off the old oil and filter from the previous change at the same time.

I just park my car in the street with one set of wheels up on the sidewalk. So no jackstands. I also hand tighten the new oil filters. So no oil filter wrench.

Takes me maybe 15 minutes now that I've got it down pat; I also check all my other fluids and top those off as needed. Cheap, fast, easy, done right. I have a '95 Corolla with ~160K miles and it's running basically like it did the day I bought it, so I figure the oil changes are OK.

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Old 04-29-2011, 06:39 AM   #97
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"The 4 quarts of oil plus a filter run me about $10 if I buy them at Shuck's; I stop by one when I'm out doing errands, and I can drop off the old oil and filter from the previous change at the same time." So this oil is full synthetic and a brand name filter? people here were discussing the quality of oil used for oil changes and I was cusious as to how many were looking at full synthetic and how many miles between oil changes. I change mine every 5000 and think its just ordinary oil from the dealership.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:59 AM   #98
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"The 4 quarts of oil plus a filter run me about $10 if I buy them at Shuck's; I stop by one when I'm out doing errands, and I can drop off the old oil and filter from the previous change at the same time." So this oil is full synthetic and a brand name filter? people here were discussing the quality of oil used for oil changes and I was cusious as to how many were looking at full synthetic and how many miles between oil changes. I change mine every 5000 and think its just ordinary oil from the dealership.
I don't think these are synthetic oil - pretty cheap if that is the case. I just bought 5 quarts of Mobil1 synthetic oil and Mobil1 filter at Pep Boys for $30. Pep Boys will also take the old oil for recycling. I try to change my oil every year. I usually don't go over 12K a year.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:22 AM   #99
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I was cusious as to how many were looking at full synthetic and how many miles between oil changes. I change mine every 5000 and think its just ordinary oil from the dealership.
Unless your dealer is changing the oil in your Vette, Viper, GTR, Porsche, M series BMW or something equally exotic, you're most likely getting plain old (ie cheap) Dino oil - especially at those dealer-special prices designed to get your car into their service dept. At best, you might be getting a synthetic blend. My local Nissan dealer (where my 2 current cars both came from) has now switched from the cheap stuff to a blend. The funny thing is that only 15 years ago, the service department there told me NOT to use synthetic oil, as they didn't recommend it.

A couple decades ago when synthetic lubricants were relatively new, the verdict was still out. Now there is voluminous data to show that it does indeed provide superior lubrication. And though synthetic costs significantly more - $5 (if you shop around) - $7 per quart vs. $1 or less for cheap stuff - oil change intervals can be stretched somewhat by using it. I've had such great engine experiences with synthetic oil, that I even use it now in my mower and snow blower.

I remember 30-40 years ago when automotive oils were so primitive we were strongly advised to change them every 3K miles! Now, even the cheapest stuff will likely be fine even to 5K miles - though I'd certainly never take that chance. Synthetic oil is so good that I've even heard that if you change it at much less than 7K, you're throwing $$ away. Still, with what cars cost these days, spending an extra $20 on oil twice a year is (at least for me) cheap insurance and well worth the extra few bucks. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. I change the oil in my cars faithfully between 5K and 8K - usually closer to 7K.

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:25 AM   #100
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"The 4 quarts of oil plus a filter run me about $10 if I buy them at Shuck's; I stop by one when I'm out doing errands, and I can drop off the old oil and filter from the previous change at the same time." So this oil is full synthetic and a brand name filter? people here were discussing the quality of oil used for oil changes and I was cusious as to how many were looking at full synthetic and how many miles between oil changes. I change mine every 5000 and think its just ordinary oil from the dealership.
I use full synthetic oil because of the winter temps here. Synthetic oil doesn't thicken until about -60. The coldest we see is about -40 and it's a lot easier on the engine when the oil circulates properly right away. If i was sure I could always plug in the block heater I'd go back to regular oil but there are times where I might go 8 hours or more without being able to plug in. I change at 5,000 miles.
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