Pros and Cons of Discount Oil Changes

The choice about who you allow under the hood of your car can be a big one. Cars are used to transport loved ones, are expected to get you to and from work everyday, and are often times loved dearly by their owners. Consumers expect a lot of things: quality service, fast completion, accountability, and a cost that isn’t too hard on your wallet, all while easily fitting into your busy life. Unfortunately, like most things in life, it’s hard to find someone who satisfies all of your criteria. It’s important to weigh out the pros and cons that relate to you personally when deciding if a discount oil change company is right for you.

The Good News

Discount oil change companies boast quick service (often advertising 15 minute oil changes), which is very important to the modern day consumer. With the hustle-bustle of work, family, and friends, the less amount of time necessary to service your car and get you back on the road, the better. Discount oil change companies are like the fast food drive-thru for your car. Often times, you pull your car in and are escorted to a small waiting room with coffee, water, and some magazines to enjoy, while your oil is being flushed and changed, and an attendant will come fetch you to pay when the job is complete. You are able to pull out of the garage without feeling as though you have wasted your day and ruined your schedule. The wait is often so short that you never have to worry about having someone pick you up and drop you back off to your car.
While you may have to call your mechanic days in advance and schedule a time to bring your car in for an oil change, the same is not true for a discount oil change company. “No appointment necessary” means that when you have a bit of unforeseen time to spare on a Wednesday afternoon. You are able to pull right up, and have your car serviced. By taking advantage of the no appointment requirement, the consumer is better able to fit an oil change in when it is most convenient for them.
Lastly, and probably the most important factor to consider is the price of discount oil changes. Having your mechanic service your car can add up to a hefty bill. The consumer is charged for both the time (often about $80/hour) and the parts used during the service. Discount oil change companies offer services averaging approximately $30 for a basic change, while a mechanic can cost for over $100. Add your mechanic’s bill to your cost at the pumps and it becomes near impossible to afford driving a car. A year’s worth of oil changes with a discount company will cost you near what one oil change will cost you with your mechanic.

The Bad News

It’s important to remember the fact that although “no appointment necessary” can act as a pro to discount oil change companies, it can also serve as a con. It could be that when you pull up to your local discount oil change company, you are not the only consumer wanting an oil change. If there are four people ahead of you, the endeavor that you hoped would take only 20 minutes, may, in fact, take more than an hour. To add to your dismay, you did not arrange for somebody to pick you up and drop you back off to get your car when the oil change was finished, as you believed you would be in and out in a short time. In this case, an appointment might have proved more efficient, as you know your car would be serviced at a specific time. In addition, should you know that your mechanic doesn’t work quickly, you would have arranged an alternative to sitting and waiting for your oil change to be complete.
Also, important to note is that attendants at discount oil change companies are exclusively trained to change oil. Often times, they do not have the knowledge, skills, or tools to be able to spot or deal with other pertinent issues you might be experiencing with your car. While a day at your mechanic’s garage can act as a “one-stop shop” for your car, the same is not true for discount oil change companies. Often, if you are in need of an oil change in addition to having another minor issue, your mechanic will do both and not charge you for the extra time. Having your car double handled could in turn cost you more than had you just brought it to your mechanic.
A car is often one of the larger purchases that an individual will make in their lives. It is often relied on to drive back and forth to work and transport your children and family, so the fact that it is running well and is safe is very important. Just as most people would not opt for discount healthcare, as the assumption is that it is substandard, the choice to use a discount oil change company could be comparable. Consumers often find a mechanic they like and stick with them forever; they trust them to take good care of their vehicle and they are confident that they will be treated in a fair manner financially. In return, the mechanic has a sense of accountability to the consumer; the same may not be true for the random attendant who will service your car at a discount oil change company.

Ensuring that your car is properly serviced can save you a lot of cash and headaches down the road, and this includes changing the oil that it uses to run. A variety of factors may come into play when you are deciding whether to have you car’s oil changed at a discount oil change company. You might decide that you don’t trust anyone but your mechanic under the hood of your expensive import, or you may decide that the discount price is right for your over-driven car that requires an oil change every month. It’s important to weigh all of the pros and cons to ensure that you are satisfied and comfortable with the service you receive. One thing is for sure, as a consumer you have endless options; cities are littered with mechanic shops (both big and small) and a variety of franchised and privately owned discount oil change companies.