How to Get the Cheapest Oil Change Possible

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image: Jason Torchinsky (legend)

When we’re all driving EVs, oil change Will be a thing of the past, but until then, they are a minor annoyance that we have to deal with very often, especially if we have older cars. So here’s how to save cash by getting the cheapest possible oil change.

If you don’t mind timing, the cheapest oil change may be the one you get from a lubricating store that can buy oil in bulk. But I would never advocate handing over the life-blood responsibility of your car to someone else, so this article is about how. You can change your own oil Dirt cheap. This is just my personal take, but I thought I’d share it.

For the past few years I am going to get oil from Tractor Supply Company. Oh yes, that’s right – I’ve found that the least expensive way to buy motor oil locally is to go to a store known to sell chickens. , tractor parts, cowboy hats and trailer axles. Just look at how cheap this engine lube is:

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Photo: David Tracy

$10.99 for five quarts! That’s $2.20 per quart! even Walmart’s “Super Tech” The brand can’t touch that deal. Of course, to do an oil change, you also need to take out an oil filter. i am myself consent When it comes to oil filters; I’ve watched videos of oil filters bursting for hours, and I believe there is a considerable disparity in quality between different brands.

at the present time, based on tears i’ve seen lately, my favorite cheap filters are O’Reilly’s “Microg”Ard” filter and Walmart’s “Supertech” Filters. i used to buy purlator And Wix Filters, but since my fleet has grown, I have to save a buck or two to prevent myself from ending up in a poor-house.

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Photo: David Tracy

If I do an oil change on my 4.0-liter inline-six-equipped jeep cherokee Or grand cherokee, I will need six quarts of oil. Tractor Supply Company’s “Traveller” brand of oil costs $2.49 for a quart; Add to that the $10.99 I’d spend on a five quart jug, and I’m in $13.48 before tax. I’ll go to Walmart then, snag a $2.97. Supertech Oil Filter for plus tax, and everything, I would have spent About $17.50. That shit.

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Photo: walmart

If I did my. oil changed on 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle — a vehicle that only needs five quarts — I’ll withhold my oil for $10.99 plus tax, a microgard filter for $5.49 plus tax (Walmart doesn’t offer the Super Tech filter for the AMC 360 V8), and again, I’d spend about $17.50.

Great deal!

It’s possible that you can find oil cheaper online, but waiting for shipping is no fun. Also, it’s worth noting that, if you need synthetic, Costco’s Affordable Kirkland Brand seems popular. Since I’m adding the warning, I should have mentioned You’ll need a few tools and a little bit of knowledge In addition to $17.50.

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Photo: O’Reilly Auto Parts

Okay, let’s talk about quality. You may be concerned that these fluids/filters are going to compromise the longevity of your engine, and they may be – it depends on what car you are dealing with. But I’m not worried; The filters are of high quality, as shown in the tear-down, and you can take solace in the fact that they are made by established oil filter manufacturers.

As for oil? Many people say that Traveler Oil is the same stuff you can find in a brand name bottle. If that’s not enough to put you at ease, just realize that both Traveler and name-brand luggage are API certified, and US Petroleum Quality Institute conducts Virgin Oil Analysis Couldn’t find anything more dangerous on the Traveller. In addition, there are used oil analysis There it is, showing that cheap Traveler Oil can do its job well. Certainly on my older vehicles whose oil I change 4,000 miles anytime, this Tractor Supply Company oil is adequate, and a significant improvement over the lube available three decades ago.

Back in 2017, I wrote an article about Blackstone Labs – a company that analyzes oil to understand engine wear – found that even cheap modern oils protect engines well. I was never a fan of the title of that story – “Why Expensive Oil is a Waste of Money” – because it’s too simple and not strictly accurate, but throw in the word “sometimes” after “are” and I think it works. Sometimes a cheap oil is all you need. Sometimes it doesn’t happen; You have to make this decision yourself.

i definitely want to go with Shell Rotella Oil for my really old vehicles (oil change brings the total closer to $30), because I like to have the high-zinc content on older motors without cam rollers. But I’ve been running cheap conventional oil in my 4.0-liter fuel injected Jeep engine for over a decade, and it’s working well. I plan to continue to do so, and thank my preferred supplier of tractor parts.

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