Do you change your own motor oil

I had a bent control arm that Midas replaced, and they didn’t tighten down all of the bolts! There was an inordinate amount of slop in the steering and I figured they must have missed something and took it to someone I knew. They sent me pics of the part and circled the bolt that wasn’t tight. Drove fine after that… :man_facepalming:

I do. Saves me at least $30+ from having someone else (whos probably not a mechanic…maybe a high schooler with minimal training) at a lube shop do it.

I’ve used Valvoline Maxlife HM and Castrol HM 5w30 for my cars, woth forays into th costless Kendall brand (dont recommend). For my Ford escort zx2 i switched on the last oil change to Supertech (walmarts brand) full synthetic to try it out. It’s same price as the syn blend oil ($22 or $23 for 5 qts). For our Volvo xc90 v8, haven’t done that one yet (just got it in June), shop wanted $200 to do the oil change. Will be doing that one with Mobile 1 full synthetic 5w40 at a roughly $130 cost savings.

Price to oil change my Corolla Hybrid at a Toyota dealer: $120 (I only go to those quick lube business in an emergency)

Price for me to do it: $31

I stick with quality Purolator filters and Mobile1 per Mfg recommendation.

I used Fram for years. I heard bad stuff about them. Switched to Puralators and like them fine for only $2 more!

Fram has both the best and the worst filters on the market.

Every filter is made to a price point and fram covers the entire spectrum. Fram orange cans are junk but fram ultra is one of the best, arguably THE best (note, fram may have changed the ultra and it may not be AS good).

While I realize that the cheapest fram filters have a bad rap, I’ve used them for probably 50 years and never had any engine related issues with the filters. I’ll admit to upgrading to their top-of-the line filters this past year but that wasn’t for any particular reason.

As I understand it some car companies use rebadged fram filters (Subaru comes to mind).

Has anyone had an issue with the cheap fram filters?

Just curious :thinking:


Naw, Project Farm tested 0W10 through 5W30 or so, and there were definite differences in cold flow, the grindy-test, etc.

I was always taught by gearheads about film strength, etc., and how even in those critical first seconds of the engine starting “dry”, just being oiled and leaving a film protects the engine about as long as it’d take the oil to start flowing, and a big function of that was/is film strength. Even a monomolecular film keeps metal from grinding on metal.

So lighter oil flows faster, especially when cold, but doesn’t provide thorough protection when “dry”. So it’s a compromise. Best to stick with the mfr’s recommendation, but your own unique circumstances can let you play with it otherwise.

Eg, whatever was the normal heat range for my car’s spark plugs (vaguely recalling “R42CTS” but might be remembering gibberish), I did mainly short trips almost exclusively, so bumped it up to a slightly hotter plug. Got to temp faster. Few if any extended highway runs at the time put me in no danger of a too-hot plug.

Normal driving is usually a mix, so the mfr specifies the right plug for that. In my case, hotter was better. After I started more mixed trips, I switched back.

It was easy for me, because in my little 4-banger at the time, you just pop the hood and got all 4 plugs staring up at you. Could change the plugs in 5min…

I used to change oil myself, but got lazy. Mobil guy does it fast’n’cheap.

5W30 dino oil. Usually yearly, because I don’t put that many miles the past few years, thank B’harni (pbuh!).

Those were the days. Changing spark plugs, rotors and distributor caps. Also straight-weight 40w oil where you had to punch the top with a spout. I still have my timing light stored with my tools :smiley:

I don’t miss those days but at least I learned a fair amount about cars having to work on them.

Wow, timing light. I forgot I owned one or where it went. I don’t miss points, condensers or distributer caps. Carbs too and chokes either. I do miss being able to have room to work on things and the low cost of parts. I just put a brake master cylinder on a 1970 f250. Got one on Amazon for $33.

Is this the oil can you are talking about? I saved a couple.

Used to be my go to until they had a bad batch back in the day.

'86 Chevy 2.0L, so already had GMs really good HEI and a simple but functional ECM.

Still, there was enough that predated OBD that you actually could do engine mods and not have to reprogram anything.

Yep. First thing I did when I got the car was order the shop manual. Big telephone-book sized manual with all the wiring diagrams, schematics, disassembly instructions and pictures, the works.

Even explained engine operation like the BARO sensor (air pressure to take into account elevation, etc.), how the air-cleaner body (“Thermac”?) has the little vane thingy to keep inlet air at a constant temperature (suck air from across the exhaust header (yeah, actual header and not just a manifold) to heat up quickly then start phasing in cooler outside air), etc. The manuals themselves would teach you quite a lot.

I looked into what I’d need for my 2013. Umm, like 40 separate manuals for everything from the infotainment system to the suspension. Yikes!

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Personally i dont think the orange cans are THAT bad, but they do use the cheapest components possible.

I did have issues with them howver. The cheap anti drainback valve was known to leak. On my old s-10s this would result in a little clatter when smcold start, never had that issue with “better” filters.

Fwiw never seen a picture of an orange can that had broken bits on the inside, i howver HAVE seen (via the internet) ac delco and purolator filters that split the filter medium.

Never changed the oil myself but did brake pads, rotors, a pair of calipers, and most of the brake fluid earlier this year. Never been much of a car guy but I’d like to be one, just hard to find the time.

Wow, if you can do all the brake stuff, changing oil is a piece of cake.

Yeap that’s for sure. The hardest part about oil changes is not making a mess. If you install something like a Fumoto valve with a long stem that you can attach a hose to, the oil can be drained directly into a container eliminating the messiest part of the oil change.

I don’t trust shops to do an oil change, or brake job, correctly. I have friends where the oil plug wasn’t tightened down so the oil eventually leaked out toasting the engine. Plus one of my daughter’s friend had a brake job done where they didn’t tighten down the caliper bolts on one side of the car so it fell off when she was driving it.

Plus call me cynical but who knows what oil the shops are actually putting into your car. When someone is paying for synthetic are they really getting that?

What about all those stories where people go for an oil change and all they do is top it off. Or they dont change the filter, or they use remanufactured oil.

Very true! I knew someone who worked at a gas station back in the 60’s when they were still checking your oil level for free. He used to short-stick the dipstick to show that the oil level was low and then put an empty can with the spout in it to “top off the oil”.

Once I was at a Firestone having my wheels aligned with my lifetime alignment and they showed me my transmission dipstick and said that the oil was dirty and needed to be changed. I said that’s nice, but I just changed it the week before (which I had) :joy:

At another place I overheard a salesman telling a woman that she needed an alignment because her toe-in was -8 and +8. I said why not just center the steering wheel when checking the alignment :thinking:

I can’t get my kids to change their own oil so I tell them to at least mark the filter before they bring the car in. For the Subaru that’s easy since the oil filter is on top of the engine and easily accessible when the hood is open.