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oil change price

pt_fixer's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 106

12-27-04, 07:41 AM   #1  
oil change price

My sister is in for the holidays and we got to talking about car care. She mentioned that she pays $40+ per oil change using non-synthetic oil. She's out in California and the car is an '01 VW Jetta w/ v6. This sounds exceptionally high to me. Is this the norm for this vehicle/area or is she getting ripped? I think its time for me to teach her how to do her own oil changes.....

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seancashmere's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 279

12-27-04, 02:42 PM   #2  
Ooh, my friend pays $39.95 for the Volkswagon dealer to change his oil and lube up his 2002 Jetta (the 4 cylinder). That's just crazy. Sometimes a dealer will justify this by offering up new brakes and tires when needed but this is only given every so often and if you bought the car new and if they take care of all your maintainance need. Even then they'll still charge for labor, you only get free brakes and tires. Is she going to the dealer? Maybe she's "protecting" her warranty. At any rate, I've never been to California but can't imagine a quick luber charging that much. Send her to Walmart and I'm sure she'll get the best price around, period (be careful though, I heard sometimes Walmart will skimp and not change the oil filter...very underhanded). If there's no Walmart nearby, some gas stations that have service bays change oil very cheaply too as I'm sure everyone in here knows. I think she's getting ripped but what do I know.

davo's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,417

12-27-04, 03:02 PM   #3  
I would guess that they are in the ballpark.In California pollution regulations are very strict dictating extreme care in waste oil removal.Also the labor rate per hour is in the $100 and up range.Before anyone complains about paying to get rid of waste oil and filters remember it is a cradle to grave responsibility meaning if the waste oil removal company dumps the oil on John Does property the original waste generating facility must pay for cleanup and disposal of all the affected soil and water.Oil changes are a huge liability risk for a very small profit margin.We charge about $32.95(parts and labor) here at my dealer at $60 per hourly rate so how much you figure we make on an oil change?After they pay me to do it and add in oil,filter,seat covers,floor mats,other added lubricants,disposal costs and pay for the electric to run the compessors and hoists they probably make pennies if it's on the plus side.I think $40 is cheap unless you want to do it yourself and dispose of everything properly which doesn't always happen sad to say.

pt_fixer's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 106

12-27-04, 04:14 PM   #4  
The shop I work at only charges about $20-$25 depending on amount of oil used. Our labor rate is also $60/hr. I've seen some places around here advertising $12.50 plus tax for an oil change, parts and labor. (For vehicles that use 4 quarts of oil)
Thats why the $40 seems so high. And I may be wrong, but I am pretty sure that she takes it to get serviced at a local garage, and not the dealer.

jeff67's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 616

12-27-04, 04:42 PM   #5  
The reason some shops will take such a small profit margain on oil changes is to get the customer coming in again and again, counting on repeat business, performing additional maintenance that is more profitable, and (in some cases) hoping they will come back when the big expensive and most profitable repairs are needed. It's a marketing strategy....pretty good one too! How often do people go to a quick lube (the ones that inspect all fluids, filters, etc.) and are not recommended a new set of wipers, coolant or transmission fluid change, new filter or something else? I can't remember what the price they told me was for new wipers or filters, but I think it was about double the price of doing it yourself. They even have ladies day. At Walmart you can get a cheap oil change while you $$shop$$ and they will call you on the intercom when its done. I see coupons all the time for a $14.95 oil change and it even includes a full brake inspection...LOL. It seems like cheap oil changes are a very competitive business......what better way is there to keep people coming in every 3000 miles and building customer loyalty?

skyburner73's Avatar
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12-29-04, 09:01 PM   #6  
consider the price of a filter for this car. We buy from Carquest and some of their filters are only available in the premium grade. that could be where they justify the difference. just a thought

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