A technician adding oil into a vehicle.

What impacts oil change prices?

In Oil Change by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

As the due date for their next oil change draws closer, a lot of drivers wonder how much it will cost them.

A few factors can have an impact on the bill.

Oil change prices can depend on how many quarts a vehicle has and the type of oil it needs.

The make and model of a car also play a role.

For example, oil change prices may be more for BMWs, Mercedes, or other luxury vehicles because they require special scan tools to reset the maintenance lights.

Mercedes and BMWs have several lights that can be triggered, so it’s important for technicians to take their time and check them off.

When and why to change your oil

The manufacturers of some cars, like the Mercedes-Benz built after 2010, suggest changing the oil and oil filter every 10,000 miles or after one year.

If you’re driving an older Mercedes-Benz, you may be better off changing your oil at the 5,000 mile mark.

TECHNICIAN TIP: One of our technicians wants to make sure he’s taking care of his Mercedes. He likes to change his oil at 5,000 miles and top off the fluid to keep everything clean in the engine. He also does that because the stop and go traffic in Northern Virginia can be pretty hard on a car.

Because there are so many different types of oil out there, it’s hard to stock every single one. At HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire, we use synthetic oil so every car gets the best oil. Read about our switch to full synthetic.

Therefore, with all of the commuting, we recommend a 5,000 mile interval with our oil, as that’s also a good time to rotate the tires.

Our technicians rotate the tires and perform a courtesy check during every oil change.

If you don’t change your oil or if you go too long without an oil change, it can cause damage to the engine. Running on too little oil prevents the oil from getting to components it needs to.

Regular oil changes keeps your engine working properly. They also help prevent sludge buildup.

Read more about what happens during an oil change and why they are important.

Checking your oil

We recommend checking your oil every other time to fill up on gas. 

If you notice you’re low on oil, it’s OK to add oil between oil changes as long as it’s the right type, viscosity and amount.

However, it’s important to keep an eye on it, because a vehicle shouldn’t use or lose oil. If you’re losing more than a quart or two between oil changes, it could mean that there’s a leak or the oil is being consumed internally.

Depending on the type of engine you have, the valve can go bad on the intake manifold. That can lead to an oil consumption problem.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.