. (miss_almost) wrote in thequestionclub,

change your own oil

please help settle this heated discussion.

is it "good advice" to tell someone they should change the oil in their car themselves, as opposed to taking it to a shop and paying someone to do it?

argument details behind cut

pros of DIY approach:
1. (arguably) saves money
2. teaches you new skills/hands on car maintenance experience
3. you control quality of oil (make sure you get correct weight, not cheapest)
4. no getting lied to - you know if oil filter was changed or not, if oil pan screws stripped, leaky seal, etc.
5. get to "know" your car, baseline knowledge, it is normal for it to burn a quart of oil between changes, youll notice if it suddenly starts leaking, if theres a lot of stuff (?) in the oil/how dirty it comes out, youll notice oil spots/specs if its leaking while driving, etc.
6. DIY spirit is important for people, makes them "take pride" in vehicle, empowers them to not be intimidated by machines/cars, takes "mystery" out, build on this skill so they might take on other car repairs, etc.

cons of DIY:
1. (arguably) costs as much, or saves a nominal amount, less than $10.
2. lack of expertise/more chances of (potentially costly) mistakes
3. opportunity costs - professionals take 10 minutes, youre in and out. DIY approach takes minimum of 30 minutes, longer if mistakes are made.
4. no equipment/space - lease says no car maintenance in parking lot, you dont have ramps, no oil drip pan, no wrenches, etc.
5. and 6. still have to recycle used oil, which means going to an oil change place to deposit it. plus more trips out. quoted: "youre going to have to go [to an oil change place] anyway, but instead this is after youve spent the time and money and potentially fucked up your car big time. you may as well just let them do it the first time and save yourself the trip to buy oil, the trip home to actually change the oil, and then the trip back just to give them the used."

*edited to get quote the right.

dk/dc/cars are for people who hate the environment: what are your weekend plans?
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