Of all the routine maintenance your vehicle needs, none is more important than having its engine oil changed. Many view this as a simple “do it yourself” (DIY) auto maintenance task. From a cost-analysis perspective, there are some benefits of doing it yourself, but one of those benefits may actually not be cost. Here’s why:
The cost of buying the parts and installing them yourself may be less than the cost of parts plus the labor costs at the auto mechanic’s shop, but if you include labor, recycling, time, and cleanliness costs for yourself, costs become almost identical. The choice between DIY oil changes and bringing it into a shop becomes a matter of personal preference.
If you are in Denver, Lakewood, or Littleton and would like to get a professional oil change, call Urban Autocare for an appointment. We’ll get you in and out fast and point out any problems we see along the way. Urban Autocare is committed to go above and beyond when it comes to providing quality service, and part of that includes our environmentally-conscious auto shop practices.
Learn more about our oil change services here. Contact us online if you have any questions or special needs!
Changing Oil at Home Versus at an Auto Repair Shop
Unless you’re an avid DIYer, you most likely would prefer to not do the work of sliding under your car with a pan, removing the plug to have the oil drain out, waiting, and then putting the plug back in place, opening the top, and adding oil in until it is full. Not too difficult, but sometimes other problems become apparent during this task, which you may miss if you don’t have experience diagnosing vehicles. In general, the process is going to be simple and straightforward. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of changing your car’s oil at home.
#1: The Time Factor
When changing your vehicle’s oil at home, you will usually have to drive to the auto parts store to get the oil and filter you need, if not also the tools for the job, and then drive back home, jack up your vehicle, and then go through the oil change process. Conversely, taking your vehicle to the auto shop can take as little as 15 minutes — getting you in and out of there fast. Not all auto shops are super fast though, which is why you should choose to get your oil changed — if you decide to have it done in-shop — in a shop such as Urban Autocare, where you can get one of the fastest turn-around times for oil changes in the state.
#2: The Recycling Factor
When you change your oil at home, you can’t just place it in the trash. It is very flammable and hazardous, and requires proper handling. Instead of driving around with this material in your car for a while before you reach a place to dispose of it, an oil change facility such as ours is capable of recycling the oil properly on-site. Urban Autocare strives to uphold eco-friendly automotive repair practices in everything we do. From recycling parts and waste to recycling used oil and doing business 100% digitally (no paper), we do our best to minimize the environmental impact of all vehicles, parts, etc. that come through our shop. We can help keep your vehicle’s environmental impact low. Read more about our environmentally friendly practices.
#3: The Cleanliness Factor
We’re not just talking about your hands and face here — we’re also talking about your vehicle itself. It is not uncommon for DIYers to get their hands, clothes, faces, and vehicles stained with oil or dirt in the process of conducting an oil change. One of the nice things about having professional mechanics conduct your oil change for you is that it means you and your vehicle (and them, most likely, due to their professional experience) stay clean.
#4: The Convenience Factor
When you get your oil changed by a professional mechanic, you can feel confident that the process will go smoothly with no hiccups. They know what kind of oil to use in different makes and models and have available all the tools they need to get the job done optimally and efficiently. DIYers are more likely to make mistakes, such as replacing the old oil with an incorrect type of new oil. Of course, most people avoid these kinds of issues, but they also spend plenty of time researching online or in manuals what the right type of oil is for their vehicle, so it still can be quite the time-sink. Save yourself the time and hassle and get an oil change from someone who knows the task inside and out.
#5: The Cost Factor
One of the main reasons people say they prefer doing oil changes for themselves is that it can help them save a few bucks. In an abstract sense this may be true, but when you concretize the norm, costs more or less even out. There are hidden costs for the DIYer such as having to buy a drain pan, car ramps, and a filter wrench. Other intangible costs may include extra oil and oil filters as well as the value of your time and labor. Even more, how many DIYers do you know who have permanent oil stains in their garage from the process? Avoiding unseemly stains in the garage is just one more reason to get one’s oil changed by a professional mechanic.
Visit Urban Autocare in Denver for an Oil Change Twice a Year
Being able to change one’s vehicle’s oil is a nice skill to have, and it may come in handy in some very specific types of emergencies. However, 99% of the time it’s easier, more efficient, and cleaner to get your oil changed by a mechanic. What is more, even without calculating time and labor costs, the costs are practically identical between doing it on your own and taking it in to the shop.
At Urban Autocare in the Greater Denver area, we pride ourselves on providing the fastest, high-quality oil changes in the entire region. Our full-service oil changes are comparably priced to doing it yourself, and you can rest-assured that we’ll get the job done right the first time, with minimal mess.
An oil change should be conducted regularly to prevent mechanical issues from developing. Contact Urban Autocare to set up an appointment when your vehicle is due for an oil change.