Deciding on what to do when it comes to maintaining and servicing your car can be a tricky choice. Do you shell out for professional service, or save money and do the work yourself? Doing your own oil change can be a great way to save money, but before you dive in, it’s important to understand the pros and cons. While DIY oil changes can provide many benefits, there are some risks that need to be taken into consideration as well. Here are some of the pros and cons of doing a DIY oil change: 

Pros of Doing a DIY Oil Change 

Doing a DIY oil change may sound daunting at first, however there are many benefits that come with servicing your car yourself. Not only is it cheaper than taking your car to a professional mechanic because you’re not paying for labor, but it also helps you to become more familiar with how certain elements of your engine works and allows you to spot any potential problems in the future. 

While there are obvious advantages to taking your vehicle into a qualified mechanic, DIY oil changes have their own upsides. Here are a few: 

  1. Cost Savings: One of the big advantages of doing a DIY oil change is that you will save money compared to having it done professionally. Depending on the type of car you have and how frequently you do the oil changes, you could end up saving hundreds or even thousands over the lifespan of your car.
  2. Convenience: If you’re comfortable with cars and know what you’re doing, changing your own oil can be very convenient since it allows you to do an oil change any time without having to schedule an appointment with a shop or wait in line for service.
  3. Knowledge & Understanding: Doing your own oil changes will also give you an advantage when it comes to understanding your vehicle better since you’ll be able to see what the engine looks like, identify problems or potential issues before they become major problems, and learn about basic maintenance tasks that may come in handy down the road.

Cons of Doing A DIY Oil Change 

As tempting as it may seem to save some money by doing routine maintenance on your own, oil changes can result in costly consequences if not done the right way. Replacing automotive fluids is not as simple as draining and refilling. It also comes with a few risks, including environmental damage and voiding vehicle warranties. Here are a few reasons why it’s best to always leave this task to a professional mechanic: 

  1. Risk of Injury: Doing your own oil change carries a chance that something may go wrong, which could potentially lead to injury or damage to both property and person. Although rare if all safety protocols are followed (wear safety glasses, proper footwear etc.), it can happen and may result in serious injury or even death.
  2. Quality Control: When working with professional mechanics, you can be sure that the correct materials are used.  However, if you haven’t done an oil change before, you may not pick up the right oil, filter, and other supplies.
  3. Time Consumption: Another factor that needs consideration is time.  What’s your time worth? Oil changes can be done quickly, but not if you’ve never done one before. You’ll need to allocate time to research what you need to buy, then go to the store and buy it. Then consider the time needed to actually change the oil. Your first oil-changing experience may take hours, but eventually, it will take less time as you become more experienced. Don’t forget the time it takes to take the oil to a facility to process it. You can’t legally throw oil in the trash. 
  4. Tools: You’ll need the right tools for the job. Be sure you have the correct wrenches, screwdrivers, pans, lifts, and blocks to ensure you can complete the job in a safe manner.
  5. Chemicals: You may choose to store oil in your house or garage. It’s critical to keep oil away from children or pets. Be sure to store them properly. 
  6. Messy: Let’s face it, oil changes are messy. Be sure to wear something you don’t mind throwing away. Do not wear your expensive clothes!

Whether or not you change your oil is a personal choice. Is your time worth the few dollars it costs to have someone else worry about all of the risks? If so, schedule your appointment today.  

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