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Oil Changes

Motor oil is essential to lubricating and cooling your car's engine. In addition to replacing any oil that may have leaked from your engine, you need to periodically change the oil and oil filter because the oil will become dirty, and dirty oil can also cause significant engine damage. Check the manufacturer's recommendations for your car. Typically, they recommend an oil change every 3000 miles under normal driving conditions.

Doing it yourself

Changing oil isn't hard, but it is messy. For a regular passenger car, be prepared with a pan that holds at least 6 quarts to catch the oil. Most service stations will accept used oil for recycling, so be kind to the environment and don't pour it down the drain.

Having it done

The easiest way to change your oil is to have it done for you. The most common places are:

  • oil change specialists (e.g., Jiffy Lube)
  • service stations
  • repair shops (e.g., Midas and Meineke)
  • car dealer service centers

Shop around, compare offers, and look for the best price:

  • you'll find that there can be a $10-$15 difference in price between companies for the same oil change service
  • many companies have online coupons that can save you $5 or more, so it pays to look
  • also, be sure to compare the services included.

    Some companies will include a brake check and tire rotation in the fee; others include refilling windshield washer and radiator fluids
  • if you have an SUV or truck, some companies will charge you more, so read the fine print

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