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What is the average cost for a synthetic oil change?

surferdudehbsurferdudehb Posts: 42
edited April 2017 in Toyota
Just purchased a 2013 Highlander v6 and it looks like I need a oil change. What's the average cost for a synthetic oil change? This wouldn't be covered by the extended warranty right?
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Comments

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited July 2016
    The Edmunds Car Maintenance Guide says the oil and filter should cost about $55 for a random zip code.

    Our labor guide includes a tire rotation and various inspections to the tune of $50, bringing the total cost of the oil change up to $105.

    We don't specific what kind of oil is required in our guide.

    Typically extended warranties don't cover regular maintenance unless you have a service plan included.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 127,810
    A synthetic oil change is likely to be closer to $80.

    My BMW dealer runs a $79 oil change special on my model. But, it takes 7 quarts, and I doubt they make any money on it. You should see the list of recommended maintenance and repairs that they give me, though!

    Their regular price is about $130.

    I would guess that a Toyota dealer would be between $80-$100 for synthetic, depending on how many quarts. My local independent mechanic charges $100 for a 7 quart Mobil 1 oil change, and their labor rate is only $70/hr.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • Just made a appt. with the local dealer and they have a synthetic special for $55. That sounds about right..
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Sounds like a deal.
  • saratogastevesaratogasteve San Jose, CaPosts: 180
    It's going to run you more at the dealer vs. your local Jiffy Lube. I paid $70 recently for an Audi A4 at a Meineke. The worst part of a dealer oil change is the length of time required to wait. Toyota gives me two free oil changes with my new Highlander and it costs me 3 hours of my day. They just tell you that's how much time they take.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    I would put up with a lot to avoid a Quick Oil Change place!
  • saratogastevesaratogasteve San Jose, CaPosts: 180
    isell - you've been preaching that for how many years now? I'd say in the 15 years you've been saying that I've had close to 100 oil changes among the 4 cars I own and all but 2 or 3 changes were at the quick change place with zero problems and huge savings in time and $$. One truck where I got the first two oil changes, the Ford dealer tried charging me for a new drain plug - said the other one was stripped! I said - you're the only guy who's changed my oil so guess what?!
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,087
    edited July 2016
    When these discussions occur they focus on the word synthetic. The problem is that an oil branded as a synthetic does not necessarily mean correct or better for a given vehicle.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Sounds like most "synthetic" is a blend now anyway.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,087

    isell - One truck where I got the first two oil changes, the Ford dealer tried charging me for a new drain plug - said the other one was stripped! I said - you're the only guy who's changed my oil so guess what?!

    If someone uses a 12 point wrench on those drain plugs it ends up getting rounded off in just a few oil changes. In order to protect the threads in the oil pan they make the plug out of a very soft steel, so a good six point socket is a must. Even then, the drain plug is a wearable item that will only survive a limited number of services.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited July 2016
    Another reason not to change your oil every 3,000 miles "because you've always done it that way" eh? Have yet to wear one out or have a leaky plug or needed a new oil pan or the hole rethreaded.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,087
    stever said:

    Another reason not to change your oil every 3,000 miles "because you've always done it that way" eh?

    Nope, that's just another misassociation.
    stever said:

    Have yet to wear one out or have a leaky plug or needed a new oil pan or the hole rethreaded.

    Which means what exactly, not enough chances?

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited July 2016
    All I know is that I don't change my oil more often than my manual recommends and while I've only had about 9 or 10 cars since 1974, I've never had a oil plug issue.

    My guess is that the oil change hobbyist crowd would experience more wear on their oil plugs than I do but even if it was a frequent occurrence with those guys, it would be worth it for the manufacturers to switch to something like a Fumoto valve and avoid the warranty claims.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225

    isell - you've been preaching that for how many years now? I'd say in the 15 years you've been saying that I've had close to 100 oil changes among the 4 cars I own and all but 2 or 3 changes were at the quick change place with zero problems and huge savings in time and $$. One truck where I got the first two oil changes, the Ford dealer tried charging me for a new drain plug - said the other one was stripped! I said - you're the only guy who's changed my oil so guess what?!

    I've never said that ALL quickie oil change places are bad...they aren't. But they tend to push unnecessary services and they prod their guys to rush cars through. They pay their managers bonuses by how much upsell they can do. Most don't use crush washers under the drain plugs etc. They hire minimum wage people and have extreme turnover. That said, they CAN do a good job and Independent shops and dealerships can make mistakes too so if you've had good luck, stick with them! As far as saving money I doubt you'll save much!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Unfortunately you are describing a lot of dealer shops too Isell. And lots of dealers have quick lanes now and a lot of them try to upsell everyone to "the works" package.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,087
    stever said:

    My guess is that the oil change hobbyist crowd would experience more wear on their oil plugs than I do but even if it was a frequent occurrence with those guys, it would be worth it for the manufacturers to switch to something like a Fumoto valve and avoid the warranty claims.

    "If" the valve really worked and never allowed a single drop of oil to hit an owner's garage floor then the only thing preventing it's adoption would be the cost per vehicle during design and construction. However the previous isn't true as it is far more likely for an owner with one of those installed on their car to experience occasional dripping. From there compared to the cost of a drain plug, it's not even a competition.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    stever said:

    Unfortunately you are describing a lot of dealer shops too Isell. And lots of dealers have quick lanes now and a lot of them try to upsell everyone to "the works" package.

    Yeah, probably so. I still think a more "quality" job can be had by taking the car to a dealer or a Independenshop that had a good reputation. as far as "upselling" I don't mind a shop pointing out needed work but the "flushes" and useless overselling is something else!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited July 2016
    Retail prices, big whoop. Now go compare the manufacturer's cost of a new oil pan vs what the dealer who stripped your plug wants to charge you for a new pan.

    Easy fix is just to do away with the drain plug and go to 100k intervals, with filter changes every 15k, plus an additive pack.

    Of course, all the dealers who built fancy lounges, with manicure stations, fresh cookies, full service barista, barber shops, video arcades and massage chairs will wonder why no one bothers to show up any more. If people loved their mechanics and loved going to get their car serviced, the dealers wouldn't bother spending that dough on the waiting areas. It's better than the stale coffee on the hot plate back in the old days, but does anyone really want to hang around while their car gets the oil changed?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,087
    edited July 2016
    stever said:

    Easy fix is just to do away with the drain plug and go to 100k intervals, with filter changes every 15k, plus an additive pack.

    You'll have an easier time getting everyone to walk where ever they need to go than you will making this work.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    You're right - no future in it.

    EVs don't need oil. :D
  • saratogastevesaratogasteve San Jose, CaPosts: 180

    isell - One truck where I got the first two oil changes, the Ford dealer tried charging me for a new drain plug - said the other one was stripped! I said - you're the only guy who's changed my oil so guess what?!

    If someone uses a 12 point wrench on those drain plugs it ends up getting rounded off in just a few oil changes. In order to protect the threads in the oil pan they make the plug out of a very soft steel, so a good six point socket is a must. Even then, the drain plug is a wearable item that will only survive a limited number of services.

    it was the second oil change and Ford wants me to pay $10 for a new plug. It may well be the Jiffy Lube person has had to replace my drain plug, but I've never been charged for one.
  • saratogastevesaratogasteve San Jose, CaPosts: 180

    isell - you've been preaching that for how many years now? I'd say in the 15 years you've been saying that I've had close to 100 oil changes among the 4 cars I own and all but 2 or 3 changes were at the quick change place with zero problems and huge savings in time and $$. One truck where I got the first two oil changes, the Ford dealer tried charging me for a new drain plug - said the other one was stripped! I said - you're the only guy who's changed my oil so guess what?!

    I've never said that ALL quickie oil change places are bad...they aren't. But they tend to push unnecessary services and they prod their guys to rush cars through. They pay their managers bonuses by how much upsell they can do. Most don't use crush washers under the drain plugs etc. They hire minimum wage people and have extreme turnover. That said, they CAN do a good job and Independent shops and dealerships can make mistakes too so if you've had good luck, stick with them! As far as saving money I doubt you'll save much!
    Isell, I've played along with the dealer who tries to sell a $399 oil change at 24,000 miles that includes at 40 point inspection ( a honda dealer no less, for a pilot I once owned ). I mentioned that most of the things they were selling me wasn't in the owners maintenance manual. That's when they break into the sales pitch that the owners manual assumes "normal driving conditions", which is when I counter, "aren't I normal"? or how do you know if my driving habits are normal. Never have I seen a harder sell than the guy with the clip board, white shirt and tie at the car dealer service department. The guy at Jiffy Lube is typically trying to sell me an air filter . FYI ; I never pay attention to the 'return date' sticker they place in the car which is often 3,500 miles.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    It sounds like that Honda Dealer went on a Treasure Hunt! A Toyota Dealer recently did the same thing to me.

    I will say that the manufacturers try hard to keep the Cost of Ownership numbers down and they even argue with some of the engineers about this. In my case I don't go overboard but I do tend to over maintain my cars a bit and this has always paid off for me. I don't try to see how little money I can spend but I don't replace cam and crank seals that are "bone dry"!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490

    stever said:

    Easy fix is just to do away with the drain plug and go to 100k intervals, with filter changes every 15k, plus an additive pack.

    You'll have an easier time getting everyone to walk where ever they need to go than you will making this work.

    Steve has just solved a problem that nobody knew they had. :D
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Car guys enjoy going to the dealer or their mechanic. 99.99% of the rest of the population doesn't. :p
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I won't go to to Nano-Second Lube because my oil filter is a) tricky to install; b) can make a real mess if you do it wrong; c) needs the absolutely correct filter, not a "close" one.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    That's another thing. They tend to use off brand oil filters that may or not be the quality needed. A Quickie Lube place once failed to tighten the oil filter on a Miata I had. Luckily I caught it immediately. I had to reach under the car and tighten it by hand. I drove right back and they tried their best to clean up the mess and they topped off the oil. I think after I got home I spent another filthy hour cleaning things up. Such a pleasant smell too with the oil on the hot engine!
  • saratogastevesaratogasteve San Jose, CaPosts: 180

    I won't go to to Nano-Second Lube because my oil filter is a) tricky to install; b) can make a real mess if you do it wrong; c) needs the absolutely correct filter, not a "close" one.

    what car would that be? If it's gets installed wrong - you can't get out of the parking lot without noticing.
    The last time I ever did my own oil change was on a Honda Accord in the early 90's. The O ring fell off while I was on my back blindly trying to screw the thing in. My wife started the car and 4 quarts of oil shot out from under the car in about 5 seconds. What a mess I made.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited July 2016
    Sure that's one way to know but on my car, if they install the wrong (but looks correct) filter, then it won't leak, and it'll "fit" just fine, but the results will be a disaster for my engine. And this mistake is really easy to make if you don't know the issue.

    I would no more let a Nano-Second Lube change my oil filter than I'd let a dental hygienist do a root canal for me.

    YRMV !

    If anyone's interested, here's a brief description of one "filter pitfall" on a Mini Cooper. Similar pitfalls exist on other makes of cars.

    http://new.minimania.com/MINI__02_04__Oil_Filter_Confusion___Problem___Hints
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