HOUSTON – Getting your car’s oil changed is one of the most important maintenance items you have to do to keep your car running. Whether you’re going 3,000 or 10,000 miles between changes, you don’t want to pay more for the service than you have to.
Consumer expert Amy Davis shopped around to show you where to get the lowest priced oil change in our area.
We compared prices at six Houston-area auto shops. We discovered it’s not just where you go, but what kind of oil you put in your vehicle that determines the price. The technician may ask you if you want conventional oil, a synthetic blend (which is a mixture of conventional and synthetic oil) or straight-up pure synthetic. You should check the owner’s manual for your vehicle to find out which type the manufacturer recommends. If it doesn’t specify, or if it says you can use conventional, you can use any of the three types of oil.
“A lot of it is personal preference,” explained Ali Bekdely, owners of Redline Auto Sports in southwest Houston. “What you want to put in your car, how often you want to change the oil... how much you want to spend.”
Three types of motor oil:
- Conventional - the lowest priced oil. This is a lubricant made directly from crude oil.
- Synthetic Blend - This oil is a mixture of conventional and synthetic oils. This oil is not as cheap as conventional oil, but not as expensive as full synthetic oil.
- Synthetic - This is the most expensive oil. It is made of a number of sources and petroleum-based products. This oil is better for the environment. The compounds in this oil don’t break down as quickly as those in conventional oil, allowing you to change your oil less frequently.
Now for the price comparison:
|Take 5 Oil Change ($5 coupon online)||$42.99||$62.99||$79.99|
|Redline Auto Sports (Independent Shop)||Not offered||$41.00||$59.00|
|Sterling McCall Toyota||Not priced||Not priced||$75.69|
|Jiffy Lube ($10 coupon online)||$46.99||$76.99||$99.99|
What other services are included?
No matter where you go, the technician should also check your vehicle’s fluids and top them off, check belts and hoses to make sure they are in good shape. These checks should be included in the price of your oil change. If the technician recommends other work, ask them to show you the problem.
“If they’re telling you you have, for example, a coolant leak, I would walk around there and ask him to show me,” said Bekdely.
Once you find a shop and technician you trust, stick with them so they can become familiar with your vehicle and they’ll have the record of maintenance and repairs for your vehicle.