If you're wondering, “is taking your car to a dealership for oil change worth it?” The short answer is no. While dealerships have more experienced mechanics in your vehicle’s brand, oil change itself is not a complicated job and will get more benefits when having it done at an independent shop.
An oil change is one of the most critical scheduled maintenance that you never want to skip. However, the oil change itself is not a complicated job which means that you don't necessarily need a skilled mechanic to perform it, and, in some scenarios, you can't even do it by yourself.
There are still some drivers who wonder, “is taking your car to a dealership for oil change worth it?” Yes, there are some benefits to taking your car to a dealership for oil changes, but there are plenty of disadvantages that you will experience. So, let's take a closer look through this article and get an idea about why you should not take your car to a dealership for an oil change.
What is the difference between repair and maintenance?
It is important before we discuss the details about “is taking your car to the dealership for old change worth it?” It is important to differentiate between two important elements: car maintenance and car repairs.
1. Car maintenance
Car maintenance includes all scheduled maintenance identified in your vehicle's owner’s manual. These maintenances cover some of the common elements that you must do during the lifetime of your vehicle, including oil changes, tire rotations, radiator flushes, etc. What's that car maintenance does not require advanced mechanical skill sets, which means that you don't necessarily have to find the most expert mechanic to perform regular car maintenance for your vehicle unless you choose to.
2. Car repairs
On the other hand, car repairs are those sudden problems that might face your vehicle requiring immediate action to fix the issue. For example, if you had to deal with engine overheating, your mechanic will need immediate attention to resolve the issue. Otherwise, you will sacrifice the engine. In addition, with current repairs, you will most likely need a certain level of mechanical skill sets to resolve the problem and prevent introducing major issues by mistakes.
By understanding the difference between car maintenance and car repair, you will immediately realize that not every car maintenance should be done at a location where labor costs are expensive as the dealership.
What is the oil change, and why is it important?
An oil change is one of the most critical scheduled maintenance that your vehicle should not miss. Your vehicle relies on oil to lubricate the engine's internal moving components and prevent engine overheating due to friction. By maintaining the right oil change frequency, engine overheating problems will be limited unless there is an issue with the cooling system.
Overtime will use, oil gets dirtier, and it collects many debris and contaminants as it runs around the engine. Therefore, your vehicle's owner’s manual will tell you that you have to perform an oil change after a certain time. This way, you maintain the correct characteristics of your oil that can reduce the engine temperature and prevent overheating.
Depending on your vehicle and the type of oil you decided to go with, oil change frequencies differ significantly. For example, if you're using conventional oil, you will need to perform oil changes more frequently than someone else was using synthetic oil.
Is taking your car to a dealership for an oil change worth it?
By now, you should already have an answer to the question of “is taking your car to a dealership for oil change worth it?” Since oil change is one of the scheduled maintenances that does not necessarily need advanced skill sets, you don't have to do it at a dealership. However, there are some other elements to consider when making your final decision.
Let's take a closer look at some of the main pros and cons of getting your vehicles oil change done at a dealership and then our final recommendations on whether you should get your vehicle's oil change done at a dealership or not:
1. Pros of getting the oil changed at a dealership
One of the first benefits of performing an oil change dealership is advanced mechanical skill sets and experience. Your dealership that is specified on a certain brand is not exactly the type of problems your vehicle might suffer from, and performing an oil change is a very simple task to them that will not cause any mistakes by accident.
In other words, the mechanic who was experienced in repairs and maintenance for two other vehicles will know exactly what type of oil your vehicle needs without even looking at the user's manual. Also, when performing the oil change, there is a very limited chance for this mechanic to perform any mistakes. There are plenty of independent shops with limited types of oil that might not work for your vehicle, and it's not rare to deal with situations where inexperienced mechanics used the wrong type of oil that caused damage to the vehicle.
Another important reason for people who visit dealerships for an oil change is keeping and maintaining the warranty. They think that if they perform oil change at a different location, they weren't able to be void. However, that's not the case, and that's not correct. Whether you're changing your vehicle's oil at the dealership or any other location, your warranty should be fine if you keep receipts and paperwork proving that you did the oil change.
2. Cons of getting the oil changed at a dealership
While you will benefit from performing oil change at the dealership, the disadvantages and the coins you are dealing with are much more.
One of the first disadvantages that prevent many people from getting the oil change at a dealership is cost. The dealership hires experienced mechanics who have much higher bill rates. They also have a lot of expenses for the physical dealership lot. Therefore, don't be surprised to see a huge difference between the cost of oil change at a dealership versus a small independent shop.
The other thing to keep in mind when deciding to go to a dealership for an oil change is convenience. Since dealerships are much busier and might be in certain areas but not others, it can be challenging to get the oil change done quickly. On the other hand, independent shops almost exist everywhere, which means that you might not need to drive long distances to get to the independent shop. You also don't need to wait for a long time until an appointment time is available.
3. Is taking your car to a dealership for an oil change worth it?
Based on our expert opinion and our long experience in the automotive market, we typically advise getting your oil change done at a small independent shop. Although at the small shop you want not, you might not get the same level of experience you'll find at the dealership; an oil change is not that complicated job, and dealing with mistakes and complications is very rare for oil changes.
Should you always take your car to the dealership for service?
It all depends. For example, if you're looking for simple maintenance like oil changes or tire rotations, you might be fine with a small independent shop because you'll get lower prices and more convenient services.
On the other hand, if you're dealing with major mechanical issues that require mechanical repairs, you might want to consider a dealership, especially if you're driving a luxury car or an expensive car. However, even if you're dealing with major repairs, if your car is not that expensive, dealerships might be a little pricey for you, and they'll cost you close to the value of the vehicle in some scenarios.
Keep in mind that if your record suffers from major mechanical problems, it is important to evaluate whether you want to fix the vehicle in the first place or not. In other words, if your car's problem has to do with major components like the engine or the transmission and repair costs are close to 75% or more from the value of your vehicle, you recommended selling the vehicle instead of wasting your time and money getting it to work because it will be not worth it.
Does changing your oil yourself void the warranty?
One of the main reasons people ask, “he's taking her car to a dealership for oil change worth it?” is related to warranty issues. Many drivers believe that their warranty will be voided if they don't get the oil change at a dealership. And as we indicated earlier, that is not the case.
Some other people are interested in changing their own vehicle's oil, but they're worried that the warranty will be voided. The good news is that it is illegal for any dealership or manufacturer to avoid your warranty because you did the job yourself. So if you can prove that you did the certain scheduled maintenance at the right time and you never skipped an oil change, you should be good to go.
It is recommended that you follow up with your dealership and get an idea about how you can prove that you performed the right oil change at the right time here. This way, you avoid a lot of headaches and hassle down the road.
Is it legal to service your own car?
Of course, yes! Many vehicle owners learned a ton on color pairs, and they're now fixing their vehicles without needing to spend a lot of money on labor costs. However, experts recommend that you do not experience your vehicle, especially if it's valuable.
In other words, you do not want to start experiencing and playing around with some repairs directly on your vehicle because there is a very high chance that you will introduce some major damages. Sometimes there is not that a big of a deal, but making certain sensitive mistakes can result in thousands of dollars on repair costs here at
However, this should not discourage you from learning how to fix things on your own vehicle. We meant here that you should spend the right amount of effort to learn how to service the vehicles correctly, so you don't introduce undesirable outcomes.
Any driver needs to maintain oil change frequencies as specified in the vehicle's owner’s manual. However, a very common question that remains in the head of many drivers is, “is taking your car to a dealership for oil change worth it?”
As mentioned in this article, you don't necessarily need to take your vehicle for an oil change at a dealership because labor costs are very high, and you will not get convenient service. On the other hand, sticking with a small independent shop will give you more benefits, and you'll get the job done in no time. Also, keep in mind that dealerships do not have the top level of mechanical experience in certain brands compared to the dealership. Still, the job itself does not require advanced mechanical skillsets for an oil change.
It is important to note that if your car has major mechanical problems, it is not worth investigating any major repairs at a dealership versus an independent shop. This is because you'd better sold the car and use its value towards a better vehicle that doesn't have any major problems.
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