Car servicing - when to visit the authorized dealer

I paid 150 bucks for getting my car’s oil changed. The guy at the dealership said that’s what the car manufacturers recommend. I visited after the car display started to show change oil message.

Usually it takes just 20-50 bucks to get the oil changed (jiffy lube etc)… is the additional inspections and checks worth it? People say not going to the authorized dealership affects car’s resale value - is it true?

these 150 bucks are really pinching me!

You shouldn’t pay more than $50. You’re being taken to the cleaners.

Yeah I usually pay about $25 at my local shop to have my oil changed and I haven’t seen a dealer for anything in the 9 years I’ve had my car. If you’re that concerned about resale, as long as you keep the printouts showing you had it done, I think that’s sufficient. I think the only time it would matter is if you were doing a private sale and the buyer was picky.

Oil changes can be handled by a trusted mechanic, no reason to take it to the dealer for anything so simple. Jiffy Lube and other places like that have a much higher chance of doing some serious damage to your car, they aren’t exactly subject matter experts on how your car works. I’d recommend an actual mechanic shop.

About 5 years ago my parents had their Honda Civic serviced for the first time at the dealership. They had almost made it home when thick black smoke started pouring out of the hood. Turns out whoever added the new oil assumed someone else had drained it already. Paying extra doesn’t always get you better service it seems.

This. Much like investment management, find a trusted independent advisor for your car versus a Jiffy Lube/Firestone/Carx who will only try to sell you fluid flushes, tires, and brakes since that is their primary revenue generator.

I suspect that your car requires synthetic oil, so no way anyone is going to do it for $25, they’d lose money on the oil alone. $150 is stupid though. I stopped taking my car to the dealer when the covered maintenance ran out. $75 from a reputable mechanic is reasonable for filter and 6-7 quarts of synthetic.

Some cars have warranties that require you to have it serviced at the dealer. If there’s this requirement, then go with the dealer… otherwise, you’ll probably get your money’s worth at Pep Boys or, even better, a reputable mechanic.

$150 for an oil change? Dude are you that clueless about your car?

Pardon my French but you got fking hosed.

Once I asked my wife to take the car for a scheduled appointment. It happens to be that a rat just chewed on the cable that connected the oil to the engine. I have a free 4 year servicing and maintenance, but that one time they charged $242 and the split was $12 for the cable and the remainder for labor!

I picked up the phone and rebuked the sales servicelady so badly that she probably left the place and was never to be seen. It was her responsibility to tell the customer that the cable is just for a freaking $12 and I could have done it from a local auto body workshop.

One time way back when we had our Ford Explorer, we had changed the oil ourselves on time 1, taken it to the dealer time 2, and then changed the oil ourselves time 3. Guess what we discovered when we took out the oil filter on time 3? It was the same Fram brand oil filter that we had installed on time 1 (dealer uses Ford branded ones). The dealer never changed the oil filter despite being paid to do an oil change! On average I think car dealerships are some of the least honest businesses out there.

Problem is to find an honest mechanic, but yeah, most dealerships are thieves.

I knew this guy who worked at a Nissan dealership, brought his Altima for a scheduled service and the following day he realized that they didn’t do anything. Not even changed its oil, and he worked there! He had to confront the service guy, who at first denied it, but later said “okaaay, let me check again and I’ll get back to you”.


I have always changed my own oil if it was not included in the maintenance package of a new car. I had an Audi recently that maintenance was not included and an independent wanted 100 for an OC. I did it myself instead. But it included synthetic and it was a bitch to get the cover off underneath the car and the oil filter was in a tube that was a b*tch to get at. So I think because the Audi required special tools and the oil/filter were ~ 40 I think ~60 is maybe slightly high for labor but OK. I have a friend whose boss has a Lambourghini out here and I believe he said an OC was 1500.

For a non luxury car that isn’t German I think under 30 is reasonable. I bought a Honda recently and watched the OC video on youtube and it looks simple but I will probably take it somewhere.

Never go to the Dealer or Jiffy Lube. Ask friends and faimly for recommendations or you can change the oil yourself.

I used to change the oil myself when I had a buddy with an autobody shop, but now it’s too much of a PITA to legally dipose of the used oil. Synthetic oil isn’t cheap at the retail level either. Never, ever, ever go to Jiffy Lube though. You’re better off driving around with old oil than letting those idiots touch your car.

I have been a pretty regular customer of Jiffy Lube and the like. Never had a problem with them.

Generally speaking, you don’t need all the “extras” that the Jiffy Lube will try to sell you. As long as you follow the maintenance schedule that comes with your car’s owner’s manual, you shouldn’t have much problem. And I think that they do just as good a job of changing your air filter as anybody else.

I took my car to the dealer to get the timing belt replaced. Idiots forgot to put the coolant cap on when they were putting things back together and if I hadn’t been looking at my temp gauge they would’ve fried my engine. I kind of wish it did fry, just so they’d have to give me a new engine. Anyway, I’ve been taking it to Jiffy Lube for oil changes and no problems as yet. Car has 120k on it and I’ve driven it since 2005 with no issues except for the one time the dealer f’d it up.