Does this make me a cheapskate? A tightwad? You decide

DirtyHippieBrian wrote:
I’ve heard once you go synthetic, you can’t go back to conventional. Is that true? I’d love to switch back to conventional to save money, but I don’t want to damage my engine.

That’s not true at all. You can use conventional oil again anytime.

Old wives tale, you can go back with no problem. If you want to really become a cheapskate/tightwad, I can give you lessons. I have tracked my expenses on my 02 Saturn that I bought new and I have gotten my TOC (total owner cost) down to less than $0.15/mile. Bet you aren’t even close to that.

This whole thread reminds me of a discussion in my barber shop between a customer in the chair and the barber. The customer was going bald and told the barber that the barber shouldn’t charge him as much because he, the customer, had less hair. The barber replied that he should charge the customer more because the customer’s hairs were harder to find.

As a bald guy who has heard all those tales, and a cheap guy who has considered all sorts of money saving schemes, I feel qualified to say that this conversation is just plain silly. If you change your own oil, who cares what it costs somewhere else? If you change it as often as the factory recommends, that’s enough. If you put synthetic oil in a car that uses it up at a quart every 1000 miles, and you throw away the whole crankcase full every 3000 miles, you are wasting so much money already, I don’t see why you should waste any more time with this problem.

Changing your own oil saves a few bucks no doubt about it but if the oil change facility has been doing it correctly then it would seem to me for a measly 20 bucks it’s worth it to let someone else get dirty and have to deal with the disposal of used oil; assuming that getting the oil changed does not involve a 2 hour wait or what have you.

@wentwest Right on! A dose of common sense will go a long way here! OP needs only 4 oil changes of regular mineral oil per year which comes to about $80 plus taxes, using advertised specials. Synthetic oil changes normally cost about $50 and 12 per year come to $600, or 10 times as much. Even doing 4 synthetic changes per year comes to $200.

Topping up every 1000 miles with regular oil costs about $3 per month (2 quarts) or $36 per year. Doing this with synthetic will cost at least $10 per month or $120 per year.

Total cost per year for oil using regular mineral oil will come to $80+$36=$116, while doing the same with synthetic comes to $120+$200=$320.

Doing this with a car that leaks oil and does not require synthetic makes no sense, as you point out.

Another advantage of DIY oil change is you can choose a high quality oil filter vs the cheap, generic white can filter shops often use for those low price specials.

I’ve been watching re-runs of the old “Honeymooners” tv show lately. I think Ralph Kramden might ask for his 1 1/2 quarts unused oil back. Better yet, he and Ed Norton might come up w/a scheme to bribe the employees, get them to hand over the unused oil from all the customers, and Ed and Ralph would sell it themselves from Ralph’s apartment. It would make for a funny episode … lol …

IMO, you can deplete the entire Monterey Shale with your oil usage.

I have never been able to access my Civ oil filter from above, and getting to the filter from below is takes some manuveuring.

Heres my take on it, the 20 dollar oil change is a loss leader, and while they might agree to give you the extra 1.5 quarts, you might come off as being petty. If you bring the car in for brakes lets say… They might say, oh its that cheap guy, lets stick it to him. Just a scenario, I hope it wouldn’t happen. I would just be happy with what you are getting.

You don’t take extra napkins at a restaurant or condiments you don’t use do you? Kinda the same thing.

Btw, When I changed the oil in a civic of that vintage I remember putting in 4 qts with filter, but it wasnt an ex it was an lx.

You don't take extra napkins at a restaurant or condiments you don't use do you? Kinda the same thing.

I’ve been known to take a couple extra napkins with me from a fast food place; nice to have if you spill something in the car. My mom and step dad take extra paper plates and plastic forks home with them