Oil Change Cost Comparison

There's been an on-going debate among members of the Acura Vigor Club about the cost-effectiveness of Do-It-Yourself oil changes vs. dealership service. So we decided to settle the issue for once and for all. AckVig went to a dealership ("What, get these hands dirty?") while Bob01721 did his own oil change (His hands are always dirty.) We kept track of all the receipts to keep the comparison valid..

Here, then, is the definitive comparison of each method.


Dealership Oil Changes

  1. Pull up to Acura dealership when the mileage reaches 3,000 since the last oil change.
  2. Drink a cup of complimentary coffee and read a magazine in the waiting area.
  3. Minutes later, write a check and leave with a freshly washed, properly maintained Vigor.

Money spent:

  • $19.95 for oil change

TOTAL = $19.95


Do-It-Yourself Oil Changes

  1. Go to auto parts store and write a check for $50.00 for oil, filter, kitty litter, hand cleaner and two scented trees.
  2. Discover that the used oil container is full. Instead of taking it back to O'Reilly's to recycle, dump it in the hole in the back yard.
  3. Open a beer and drink it.
  4. Jack car up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.
  5. Find jack stands under kid's pedal car.
  6. In frustration, open another beer and drink it.
  7. Place drain pan under engine.
  8. Look for 19mm box end wrench.
  9. Give up and use crescent wrench.
  10. Unscrew drain plug.
  11. Drop drain plug in pan of hot oil, getting hot oil all over yourself in the process.
  12. Clean up mess.
  13. Have another beer while watching oil drain.
  14. Look for oil filter wrench.
  15. Give up; poke oil filter with screwdriver and twist off.
  16. Beer.
  17. Buddy shows up; finish case of beer with him. Finish oil change tomorrow.
  18. Next day, drag pan full of old oil out from underneath car.
  19. Throw kitty litter on oil spilled during step 18.
  20. Beer? No, drank it all yesterday.
  21. Walk to 7-11; buy beer.
  22. Install new oil filter making sure to apply a thin coat of oil to gasket surface.
  23. Dump first quart of fresh oil into engine.
  24. Remember drain plug from step 11.
  25. Hurry to find drain plug in drain pan.
  26. Discover that the used oil is buried in the hole in the back yard, along with drain plug.
  27. Drink beer.
  28. Uncover hole and sift for drain plug.
  29. Discover that first quart of fresh oil is now on the floor.
  30. Drink beer.
  31. Slip with wrench tightening drain plug and bang knuckles on frame.
  32. Bang head on suspension cross-member in reaction to step 31.
  33. Begin cussing fit.
  34. Throw wrench.
  35. Cuss for additional 10 minutes because wrench hit Miss December (1992) in the left boob.
  36. Beer.
  37. Clean up hands and forehead and bandage as required to stop blood flow.
  38. Beer.
  39. Beer.
  40. Dump in five fresh quarts of oil.
  41. Beer.
  42. Lower car from jack stands.
  43. Accidentally crush one of the jack stands.
  44. Move car back to apply more kitty litter to fresh oil spilled during step 23.
  45. Beer.
  46. Test drive car.
  47. Get pulled over and arrested for Driving Under the Influence.
  48. Vig gets impounded.
  49. Make bail.
  50. Get Vig from impound yard.


Money spent:

  • $50.00 parts
  • $25.00 beer
  • $75.00 replacement set of jack stands. (Hey, the colors have to match!)
  • $1,000.00 Bail
  • $200.00 Impound and towing fee

TOTAL = $1,350.00


Analysis and Conclusions

We submitted our research results to Dr. Michael S. Cheetham, Senior Partner with Dewey, Cheetham, & Howe (our research auditors). We explained to Mike that we wanted him to analyze and validate our research to establish a quantifiable conclusion.

After analyzing our cost-comparison, Mike wrote back...

"You'll be pleased to know that after calculating the eigenvalues and eigenvectors in N space, I took the inverse of the matrix of 2nd derivatives (called a Hession for you pedants out there), discovered a ridge regression, and thus, an infinite number of conclusions. Well, then I had a beer.

"On second thought, I worked through entropy and chaos theory to develop the fractal associated with your numbers. As I work only in base 2 and hex, and even then only programmed in assembler, I had to print it out to confirm the answer---you probably know by now what it was---turns out the fractal is exactly in the shape of the left boob of Miss December 1992!


"You'll receive our bill shortly."

Uh... thanks, Mike. (I think.)




Home - • - Clubhouse - • - FAQ's - • - Links - • - Timely Topics - • - About Us

- Top -