Home>Discussions>YARD & GARDEN>Mini Survey: Do you change your car's oil & filter yourself?
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dj1
Re: Mini Survey: Do you change your car's oil & filter yourself?
dj1

Synthetic oil prices are going down a bit.

I just changed the oil on my Rav4. I do it every 7,500 miles. A five quart container of Pennzoil 0-20W was $17 (with rebate).

Considering conventional oil at $12-$15 for a 5 qt container every 3,000 - synthetic is a bargain.

I recently read of a Toyota pick up owner who said he racked 500,000 of his truck with the original engine. His secret? never skip an oil change.

A. Spruce
Re: Mini Survey: Do you change your car's oil & filter yourself?
A. Spruce
dj1 wrote:

I recently read of a Toyota pick up owner who said he racked 500,000 of his truck with the original engine. His secret? never skip an oil change.

I've never owned a vehicle that was over the mid 100K mileage mark, however, I've also never had any major engine failures or problems due to lubrication issues, something I attribute to a regular maintenance schedule.

Something for the less mechanically inclined to keep in mind, if you stay on top of your regular maintenance items, plus regular visits to the shop for other minor issues, you can avert most big ticket repairs because you catch problems before they can escalate. I generally keep a list of little fix its that I don't want to, or can't, deal with so that when the vehicle goes into the shop for something important, all the little details can be looked after too. It's also a good idea to get important things checked "out of season", such as the AC. The last thing you want is to be without AC when the summer temps get ugly.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Mini Survey: Do you change your car's oil & filter yourself?
Mastercarpentry

Maintenance is the key. Older BMW's had an extensive maintenance schedule, right down to intervals for cleaning and repacking wheel bearings, changing belts and hoses, and even changing the differential lube! That's how they got their reputation for reliability. Lots of old Mercedes diesel engines made it past a half-million miles with regular oil changes and natural oils, not synthetics. With older vehicles you could almost always tell when things were becoming worn and needed repairs before they broke and left you stranded on the side on the road. And you could often fix things right there. But today's vehicles tend to die with no warning and without being in a shop you're not going to fix them where they die because you can't quickly tell what gave up the ghost without a full diagnostic test. That part is what I like the least about today's cars, but I've got AAA+ so as long as I'm within 100 miles of home I'm OK; I just have to fix it later, not now. And the old cars and trucks were meant to last as long as you wanted them to while today's stuff becomes too expensive to keep running after about 20 years (if the plastic things haven't fallen apart by then) so even with your best efforts and maintenance you're stuck buying a new vehicle whether you want to or not.

But it is still well worth doing what you can do yourself: fluid changes, belt and hose replacements, filter changes, brake pads and such are a large enough part of the cost of keeping a vehicle going to make DIY'ing them worthwhile. And if you plan ahead you can get the parts on the web for less than you can locally saving even more beer money for beer instead of cars :cool:

Phil

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