Money Saving Tips: Bring Your Own Oil For An Oil Change

Bring your own oil for an oil changeMost people think the only reason to buy their own engine oil for their vehicle would be if they wanted to change the oil themselves to avoid paying someone else to do it. The truth is most garages and dealerships will allow you to bring your own oil if you simply ask. They will even charge you less for the oil change because they typically remove the cost of the bulk oil they would normally be putting in your car from the bill.

Changing your own oil can be a huge pain because you have to learn how to do it first of all, then buy the oil, filter, and other necessary stuff, then get dirty doing it, and finally find an environmentally responsible way of disposing of the oil. When a standard oil change can be as cheap as $30, it hardly sounds worth all that hassle to me!

Related: Car Parts And Repairs For Up To 90% Off!

However, simply buying your own oil and bringing it with you to the oil change is so dead easy that anyone could do it. But, the real question is: will it save you money?

If you are using standard engine oil and buying it at the regular price at Canadian Tire, then the answer is almost certainly no. If you are using synthetic oil on the other hand and getting it at a good price, then the savings can be huge.

For instance, I stock up on Mobil 1 fully synthetic oil in 5L jugs whenever I cross the border into the USA for a trip or for other reasons. It usually costs somewhere between $20 and $22 each. A similar 4.4L jug (not even 5L) of oil costs $50 at Canadian Tire. Insane! If you wait for a sale at Canadian Tire, it drops to about $35 a piece.

Related: Cross Border Shopping Can Save You A Fortune

Now, just do the math. Most places in Canada will charge you at least $80 and often $100 or more for an oil change using bulk synthetic oil that is of a lesser quality and name brand than Mobil 1. If you bring your own oil then they will charge you whatever the cost of a regular oil change is less approximately $10 for the oil they aren't using.

I go to a local garage and they charge me $15 I think for an oil change if I bring my own oil, including taxes, giving me a total cost of around $38. If you go to a dealership or higher end garage then you're probably looking at $25 to $30 plus the cost of your oil. Being conservative, I would have paid $80+tax = $90.40 somewhere else for the same end result, possibly with cheaper oil in the engine. That's a savings of $51.40 per oil change which is entirely worth it don't you think?

Related: Know How Much Car Repairs Should Cost

MONEY SAVED: $51.40 / 57%

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Sean Jones's picture
Hi Stephen, Do you have any experience with Mr. Lube? I would usually do my oil myself but I took my car there last week I got absolutely scammed. They told me I needed literally everything done to my car. Trans flush, rad flush and so on. Fortunately, I could tell the kid had no clue what he was talking about and told him to stop trying to upsell me and just do the basic oil change that I had asked for. I bet a lot of people fall into this trap though. Total scammers. I then went through the records when I got home and saw that my transmission had been flushed as well as a coolant system overhaul just before I had bought the car.... 8000 km's perviously. This just confirmed that Mr. Lube are just trying to con people.
September 13, 2013 @ 2:03 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
I don't have any direct experience with Mr. Lube because I avoid places like that like the plague. I have an upcoming post next Tuesday about how finding a backyard or independent mechanic can be one of the best things you can do for your car and to save money on auto repairs. I'm not surprised with the up sell at Mr. Lube though, because they surely do hire a bunch of cheap labourers. Changing oil isn't that difficult even though I prefer not to do it myself so pretty much anyone can do it. Not only that, but there isn't much profit in an oil change unless you charge a lot more for it than other places do. Therefore, it makes sense they need to push other superfluous services that you don't really need to make extra money. Educating yourself on what services your car should have at what intervals can really pay off and usually that information comes with your owner's manual so it isn't that hard to find.
September 13, 2013 @ 9:06 am
Sean Jones's picture
All good points. Most people when confronted with a pushy salesteam telling them "your car needs this now" will usually fall victim so as you put it, knowing your car and the service history will help in avoiding these situations. I see it more of a problem with the elderly as a friends mother took her car into Mr. Lube and ended up with a $600 bill when all she had wanted was an oil change. As sad as it sounds, Walmart will set you up with a basic oil change, do the work and not try and convince you your car will explode any minute without said extras.
September 13, 2013 @ 1:40 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Yes, it is truly sad when that happens. However, sometimes the work really is needed and it can be very hard to differentiate when it is and when it isn't. I actually worry a little bit with my current mechanics that they won't be thorough enough in preventative maintenance. It's a balancing act.
September 13, 2013 @ 4:57 pm
Jeev's picture
I was just reading your post about oil change as I try to go to a quick lube places for oil change without receiving harassment for up sells and i find Costco to be fairly priced vs. Mr. Lube as I got got a standard oil change and it came to about $54 vs. at costco you pay close to this for a synthetic oil change. Regards to Mechanic I live outside of the Greater Toronto Area however I bring my car at times tow my car to my mechanic in Scarborough, Ontario as I have found out from past experiences that he is the honest mechanic I've ever come across. Numerous times I have left my car due to issues which other mechanics have advised as risk if not changed etc and he would provide honest service. Canadian Tire advised me my oil pan needed to be changed and I went to him and he just laughed. Left my car in after a self diagnose of a noise coming from the brakes to have the brakes repaired and he called me at work to tell me it just needed cleaning and it's free. I felt bad and did an oil change since he spent his time on my car. I know that if I took my car to a local mechanic where I live I would lose more money. Below is the detail of the mechanic if you are interested. Owner: Sam Auto Express & Muffler Shop Ltd 1529 Warden, Scarborough, ON M1R 4Z8 (416) 293-5518
May 13, 2014 @ 3:07 pm
Refinanciamento's picture
Always I bring my oil. Sometimes the people from the gas station dont like much... but it is a good tip !
November 04, 2014 @ 8:10 am
Joe's picture

I went to Mr oil change on rexdale and asked if they can change my oil and filter but I have the oil and filter. ..the reason I do this is because I use synthetic oil and I saw how many of these oil places use regular oil instead of synthetic and say they used synthetic. ..and guess what the guy said no and waved my away. ..that guy was rude. I know why the place was empty with no customers. ..while jiffy lube right across the street was booming. So I'm here to pass on the message don't go to Mr oil change and protest and report online other scumbag companies that are not customer friendly.

August 11, 2015 @ 7:23 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

They certainly have the right to refuse, but there are a ton of places that won't have a problem with you bringing your own.

August 13, 2015 @ 3:21 pm

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