I'm not a car person!

United States
August 13, 2007 10:41pm CST
I'm not a car person, so I have a big question, that I am hoping someone can answer. Do you know how often you're supposed to change your oil for your car or truck. Ordinarily it's something that my spouse would take care of, but lately, I've been trying to be more involved. And, now that we have a truck, I think the time between oil changes might actually be different than it was for our other car. Do you think that it's better to change your own oil for your automobile or let a professional do it? Does it save money if you do the job yourself? Could you please recommend a good place to take a truck to have oil changed? Thanks for the suggestions.
1 person likes this
8 responses
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
14 Aug 07
My husband is a mechanic, so he of course does just about all the maintenance on our car and truck. The only things he doesn't do are things that have to be done at a shop because of the warranty, or things that require tools he doesn't have. Our car has a display that tells us when we need to change the oil, but he usually changes it before it gets down really low. He changes the truck's oil every 3500 miles or so. As far as somewhere to go, I'm not really sure. I've never taken a car anywhere to get it done. My dad did most minor things on all the cars and trucks that I drove when I was younger. He taught my sister how to change oil and a few other things, too, so now that he has a hard time getting up from the ground, she does all the oil changes at their house. She changed my oil the last couple of times before I got married.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Aug 07
Wow! I didn't know us gals could actually change the oil. Sorry to sound so behind the times. I grew up during the 1970's and they were always trying to tell us that we could do anything the guys could do.
• United States
15 Aug 07
beautygueen, my daughters only 13 and she has been changing the oil and working on cars for many years now. but, I wouldnt know how to do it!!!
@DanaMark (807)
• United States
16 Aug 07
The usual recommendation is to change oil every 3,000 miles or every three months. I personally don't think that is necessary. I change mine every 5,000 miles, including the oil filter. I used to change it myself, but some of the oil filters are so hard to get to that I quit. Now I go to Jiffy Lube. It is fast, and they check all the fluids so I know everything is good. And I don't get so dirty. I usually have oil all over my hands by the time I get done when I do it myself. Sometimes I go to my car dealer, but they take about 3 times a long to get it done.
@KrisNY (7591)
• United States
15 Aug 07
Every 3000 miles – they say- But there is a certain oil you can buy that goes longer- But regular oil is 3000 miles- My sig. other is in charge of car care and truck care- He changes the oil in all the vehicles. Also does the maintenance.
@mkirby624 (1599)
• United States
15 Aug 07
Every 3,000 miles. It is the same for cars and trucks. It's cheaper to do it yourself, but when you take it somewhere to have it done, most places check everything else...all your fluid levels and everything too....antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, etc.
• United States
14 Aug 07
I am very familiar with changing the oil in vehicles! I learned from my ex how to do this and why to do it. Basically, it is very simple - every 3,000 miles change the oil. Keeping the engine clean means it runs smoother, saves gas money, longer engine life and fewer breakdowns. These are the reasons to change your oils in each vehicle you own. the same goes for trucks as well as cars. linda allmaras
@pendragon (3352)
• United States
14 Aug 07
If there's a local shop that you know and trust,perhaps have gone there for years, then it's great to let them do it, I don't trust big chain places that specialize in oil changes because they know just how to screw you over.If you can do it yourself, i think that's a better route to go.I think it should be change every three months or 3,000 miles.Good luck to ya!
• Philippines
14 Aug 07
it would be better if you take it to a gas station where they do change oil for your car, they have the knowledge doing it... just aks them then when it is good to rplace oil? for i only know the car should run about a thousand miles to add or definitly change oil... i guess it will cost you less instead of you do it yourself if you have no idea, maybe they can teach you how next time. :)
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
14 Aug 07
An engine's an engine when it comes to how often to change the oil whether it's in a car or truck...it all depends on certain factors and the specifics of each particular vehicle. For an average vehicle under normal driving conditions 3000-4000 miles is usually adequate. But if the vehicle does a lot of "hard driving" (pulling or carrying loads, hills, stop and go traffic or repeated short trips of just a few miles) the oil may need to be changed more often. If a vehicle has been overheated for an extended amount of time, it's best to change it as soon as possible. High temperatures cause the oil to break down even faster than normal. Also if the vehicle ISN'T driven often the oil should be changed based on length of time rather than mileage, every 6 months at least even if the 3000-4000 miles hasn't been reached since oil not being circulated will thicken. IF you know what you are doing, I think it is better to do it yourself. If nothing else for the fact that then you know the job was done right...sometimes even reputable garages can cause trouble and make mistakes. It is also cheaper since you only have to pay for the oil and filter and not the labor. But if you don't know what you're doing it's definitely better to take it to a professional. Adding too much or too little oil is bad for the engine, the filter needs to be put on right and the oil pan plug needs to be tight or else all the oil will just leak out and cause damage to the engine. We do ours ourselves so I can't even think of any national chains to recommend. I've always preferred little privately owned garages for the other things we can't do. For us we have a certain few that we use depending on what we need. We know them and they know us, that way there is trust in both directions. (Oh and I haven't ever done it myself...because he always does it...but it is really easy and can be done in under 1/2 hour)