The caveat to a quick story of how I saved money on having someone else change my oil for me: while I have all of the tools and know-how necessary to change my own oil, we purchased a very large pickup truck from my Dad at the end of last year, and quite honestly, the thought of crawling underneath it scares the bejeez out of me. Essentially, I’ve got all of the required tools, and none of the guts. Before our garage substituted as a storage facility for our resale business, it was my own personal vocational ed school. I learned quite a bit out there on these two awesome old Volvo wagons we used to own, using little more than a book and an online forum, and those experiences and that knowledge definitely shaped who I am now. However, this guy is not quite ready to get underneath a two-ton truck. Not yet, anyway…
Let’s backtrack several months ago when I first imported said truck from the sunny splendors of South Florida. Luckily for me, my Dad was selling his truck at the same time I was looking to escape the monotony of corporate America for the good life of hauling furniture and other incredibly heavy objects around in a truck, and lo and behold, I needed one! We figured my Dad’s truck would perfectly double as a family car and a work horse, and so far, so good. Upon arriving in Chicago however, the cold weather was too much for it’s tiny little heart to handle, and the battery went fairly quickly. I decided to check the new mechanic shop about a block from my house to see if he could help out, and a friendship was born.
Now my Dad is a great guy, and he had the oil changed for me right before I drove back home, but I knew that sooner or later I would need to get another oil change, as these events tend to happen. I had called the closest dealership (about 20 mins from my house) and they told me that they typically charge around $60+tax for my vehicle. I don’t trust quick-lube-type places because they use sub-par oil and typically know less than I do about cars, which, in case it does not, should scare you. My new mechanic friend told me that he could do it, but warned that it would be expensive (since it takes 7 quarts of oil…) He recommended that I go out on my own and get a good buy on the oil I needed, and if I brought him the oil and filter, he’d do the job for just $10! I went to the nearest auto parts store and found a deal on 5 quarts of the oil I needed with a free filter thrown in for just $20. The extra 2 quarts at full price brought the total with tax to $32. While this isn’t necessarily a HUGE difference (having saved only $18 over the dealership), it was significant enough of a time and money savings to make it worth my while. With two little boys and a business to run, I’ll take that $18 and extra hour of my time all the way to the bank!
Final thought: After watching the mechanic use just his standard floor jack and not the lift I thought would be necessary to power this behemoth off the ground, I think that if I ever get my garage back, I might just attempt to belly up to this challenge myself. But for now, at least I know that I’ve got a guy, and in this day and age, that is not a bad thing to have.