In the spirit of never doing anything easy, I've managed to make changing the oil in our cars a completely neurotic experience. Then again, what else is new? I can't seem to ever do things the easy way. The biggest reason for this is frugality, which I just can't seem to ignore, though doing things the hard way does make it more interesting and definitely helps to feed this blog.
I don't know how commonplace this is, but I put full synthetic oil in both of our cars, and if you've ever bought oil, synthetic is expensive. It runs about $10/quart, so if you use 4 quarts and a decent quality filter, it's about $55 out the door. The beautiful thing is when you take it to your mechanic, you're looking at $80-90, easy. Plus, a lot of mechanics use a blend. For whatever reason I've decided to use full synthetic, though I couldn't tell you why. Now you can get deals on bulk oil (5 quart jugs), but they generally come as specials that include the filter. Then you're looking at about $35, but you don't get to choose the filter. I don't know much about filters but needless to say, with these deals you tend to get the low-end in quality. At least that's what they tell me at the parts store.
Interestingly enough, when I was over at Gerrish Honda, I inquired about Honda filters on a whim and it turned out that they were very reasonably priced. I was shocked, or should I say excited? So much so that I bought two. As a nice touch, Gerrish includes a new washer, which saves me a whopping 75 cents, but it's the principal of the matter. I've been told to replace the washer with every oil change, though I have no clue why.
Now that I have a source for a quality oil filter (I trust Honda quality), I don't really need the low-budget filter I get with the bulk oil, even if I still want the low price of the bulk oil. With this in mind, I kept my eyes open for good deals on the bulk oil, and guess where I found it? Our favorite store, of course: Walmart. I go to Walmart about once every 6 months, mainly because it's really inconvenient to get there, and it's so darn big that I don't like searching for things. Plus, it's a little depressing going in there. They did, however, have the best price on the oil I need, so now I'm heading over there to get my oil. If I can find a similar price elsewhere I'll take it, but I haven't yet.
What I should do is buy several jugs and just keep them in the basement, but it pains me to spend over $50 on anything, except of course hockey and ski equipment. For now my new plan works, and my job as poster boy takes me over to Walmart so I don't need to make a special trip just to get there. I do, however, have to actually go inside, but sometimes you just have to deal with these things to save the big bucks.
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to alvaro cabrera for the pic.