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well i'm at about 3400 miles with 50% oil life and have gone from the idea that every 3000-4000 miles change the oil. i made an appointment today with the dealer to get the oil changed, but it is a little bit pricey, compared to the quick lube that i have always used and never had any problems, they just do what i tell them to do.

looking for some opinions on where i should get my oil changed at. my last xterra i changed from factory oil to quaker state after the first oil change and at 50k switched to synthetic and never had any problems. so my question is should i keep this same practice and just monitor my driving habits and oil life indication and just get the oil changed when it feels right?
 

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Just my opinion, but changing oil is all relative to how much you care about the car, how much you want to pay, and who you trust with the labor.

True, the dealer is more expensive, but you get the OEM oil and filter recommended for the car. Although, it's arguable whether or not the oil is any different that oil you can pick up for half the price at WalMart.

Labor - same thing. You would think a dealer employee would be more knowledgeable on servicing Honda's, but changing oil is no different in any other car out there.

Personally, I go by the motto "if you want it done right do it yourself." I complete as much car maintenance as I possibly can without bringing the car anywhere unless if it's something that requires tools or time that I just don't have.

Synthetic Oil is more expensive but has been proven to last longer and prevent excessive wear on internal parts. If you like the idea of the better garuntee then pay more for synthetic. If you don't believe it or don't care to take care of the car, then just buy regular conventional oil.
 

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My first vote is to do it yourself. You can get the best synthetic oil and best filter for about the same price to have someone else do it with the cheapest dyno oil and cheapest filter. If you want convenience, go to the quick lube, if you want quality, do it yourself. If you want a mixture of both, go to the dealership.

I prefer to wait around at my house drinking a beer and playing with the dog, rather than waiting for around somewhere with nothing to do.
 

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Oil changes are only as good as your oil and your filter. DIY, quick lube, indie shop, or dealership, the procedure is going to be the same. I've never had a problem with a quick lube place, although I've been doing it myself for years. Take it to a Wal-Mart. They use API certified oils (SM rated) and FRAM filter and they'll vacuum, check and fill your fluids and filter, change your crush washer, and torque the plug to spec all to the tune of about 30 bucks for conventional oils. I think this is a great compromise between service and price.
 

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I had to explain this to my whole family. Here, when you go to a quick lube, EZ Lube, Jiffy Lube, whatever, you usually get an oil change every 3000 miles and you do not get genuine Honda parts. When you go to a dealer, you get the genuine parts and an additional inspection of your vehicle. Further, it is every 5000 miles. The cost in my area is $35 for a quick lube location without a receipt and $20 with a coupon. The dealer is $35 regardless. If you wage your odds, the dealer, which seems more pricey is actually not. You get more out of it. And, I believe that oil changes are reported in the car fax these days so that is good if you want to sell in the future...God forbid you must sell the Element or your soul.
 

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The ONLY thing that Carfax is good for is detecting deliberate fraud. Basically, it can detect salvage titles, cars that have been used in fleets and odometer rollbacks and that's pretty much it. :rolleyes:

If you're worried about having a genuine Honda oil filter installed, I bet you can buy a 6 pack from somewhere. This is what I do with my Subaru filters. Quick lubes will usually give a credit discount when you supply your own parts. Quick lubes also allow you to choose from a multitude of oils that they have on hand. Again, you could bring your own for the ultimate in customization.
 

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My first vote is to do it yourself. You can get the best synthetic oil and best filter for about the same price to have someone else do it with the cheapest dyno oil and cheapest filter. If you want convenience, go to the quick lube, if you want quality, do it yourself. If you want a mixture of both, go to the dealership.

I prefer to wait around at my house drinking a beer and playing with the dog, rather than waiting for around somewhere with nothing to do.
Agreed....Perfectly said. Very easy to do and you can use much better oil than those fast change places........

FYI - The Honda dealer by me has $9.99 dino oil changes. I had them do it twice. Once in 98 and once about 4 months ago. Both times they overfilled it by 1/2 quart. Never again!
 

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Personally, I go by the motto "if you want it done right do it yourself." I complete as much car maintenance as I possibly can without bringing the car anywhere unless if it's something that requires tools or time that I just don't have.[/QUOTE]

You cannot always live by that motto. Just because you do it yourself...does not mean it is right. You could be forgetting something very critical that they would teach you when you attend UTI or a Honda Training School. Yeah ok it's an oil change and as long as you purchase a reputable oil filter (I prefer OEM) and good oil (Castrol or OEM Honda) and replace the washer on the drain plug with a new one you should be fine.

What you are forgetting when you go to the dealer or a Certified Honda Repair Shop is that they also check the following: Front and Rear Brakes, the shims, calipers,and pistons for excessive wear. Tire Pressure, all fluids, Air Filter, Wiper Blades, and a free Car Wash. All this for $28.95...at least here in Las Vegas.

How many of you on here do that with your oil change?
 

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What you are forgetting when you go to the dealer or a Certified Honda Repair Shop is that they also check the following: Front and Rear Brakes, the shims, calipers,and pistons for excessive wear. Tire Pressure, all fluids, Air Filter, Wiper Blades, and a free Car Wash. All this for $28.95...at least here in Las Vegas.

How many of you on here do that with your oil change?
I like to rotate my tires every oil change, so I check the brakes during that process.

All of the other items (except air filters), I do way more frequently than at oil change time. Plus, no one washes my car but me. They can wash and/or dry someone else's car with dirty towels and a general lack of caring.

Generally speaking, quick lubes and dealers won't care about my car nearly as much as I do. Thus, I do all the work I can myself, which is most everything.
 

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I took the middle road on this one. I went to Jiffy Lube last sunday ($15 off) and had them put in Penzoil Premium (full synth). And yes they vacuumed and washed the windows and tried to sell me a new air filter and other non maintenance stuff, but I also gave them a OEM (A-1) filter to use (and watched to make sure they used it). Interestingly, I asked the guy if they could adjust when the next change was due - since I was using a Honda filter, and full synth, I am going to change every 10k. His response? Nope, can't change the interval, because that is all the distance that our filters are rated for.

So I'm thinkin that if you are using one of those places, you should either take them a filter, or make sure you abide by that 3k interval since the filters are confirmed crap by the employees themselves.

CoolE'sRule
 

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What you are forgetting when you go to the dealer or a Certified Honda Repair Shop is that they also check the following: Front and Rear Brakes, the shims, calipers,and pistons for excessive wear. Tire Pressure, all fluids, Air Filter, Wiper Blades, and a free Car Wash. All this for $28.95...at least here in Las Vegas.

How many of you on here do that with your oil change?


I check the brakes visually all the time. For your dealer to check the shims and calipers, they need to remove the wheels. To check the piston, they need to remove the two bolts holding the caliper and remove it from holding the pads. I doubt they do that in that $29 oil change. I bet it is a visual check.
 

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I've heard nothing but horror stories of these fast lub places, from people I have met.

Stories from putting the wrong oil filter on, to not tightening the drain plugs.

These places hire off the street kids, who now-a-days don't know much about cars, except for turning the key to start them up.

I use only the dealer, though I do bring my own oil and filter, since they generally don't use, and carry synthetic oil. With the oil filter, I use the Mobil 1's, because the Honda's are made by Fram, which are pure junk. The Mobil 1's have been tested to be one of the best, filtration and manufacting, wise.

I generally like to talk and get a feel of the mechanics who work on my vehicles, to see if they know their stuff, and before I leave, go and thank them.


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If you check around, many independent garages offer oil changes at near "fast-lube" prices. We get our oil and service inspections done by an indy garage we have used for years for our vehicle repairs. Owned and managed by a former Dealer factory trained mechanic. Charges us $76 for an oil change (Mobile-1 Synthetic) and the B-1 belts-hoses-brakes inspection.
 

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Quick lube filters: (jiffy and such)
50% first pass
60+% second pass efficient to 40-60 micron

Dealership filters:
96% first
97% second efficient to 15-20 micron

Purolator Gold (aka napa gold)
98% first
99.4% (I believe on the .**) second and is good to 10 micron

Dealership filters are not always the best but they are what works with the car to ensure it runs "longer". Never use quick lube oil filters as they are typically douglas/junk and sell to shops for under $2 a pop. They are **** to say the least.
 

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If you check around, many independent garages offer oil changes at near "fast-lube" prices. We get our oil and service inspections done by an indy garage we have used for years for our vehicle repairs. Owned and managed by a former Dealer factory trained mechanic. Charges us $76 for an oil change (Mobile-1 Synthetic) and the B-1 belts-hoses-brakes inspection.
If you are going to have the dealer do it I suggest bringing your own oil and filter. You can get the Mobil-1 just at Wally World for $22 on sale (maybe $26 regular price) and get a top notch filter for $10-15. The labor for me was $17 and that included 20 something point inspection. (my main reason for going was for the inspection)
 
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