I Spent An Hour To Find The Best Oil Change Pricing in Billings
I'm honestly exhausted, mentally, after realizing I needed to get the oil changed in my car. Since moving to Billings, I haven't had this issue... as my last car came with free oil changes for 5 years from the dealer. After trading that vehicle in last year, my new ride (from Kia) didn't come with that luxury. So, I set off on the adventure to find the most reasonable pricing for an oil change.
I've got a 2021 Kia, which takes 4.8L of 0W-20 Full Synthetic Oil (Which is around 5.1 Quarts).
If I price it out from AutoZone, 5 Quarts + 1 is $36.50. Add the filter for an extra $20, and that totals out to be $56.50. Now, obviously, that is doing it yourself, with the tools and more in the mix. And you'd have 9/10ths of a quart remaining.
Pricing across Billings
My biggest beef with changing the oil in a car is having to call around and price-check. Why do that? Well... maybe you just go to your regular mechanic and pay, but I don't think nearly double the price of the goods is a fair charge. I totally get labor costs, however, the average time for an oil change (according to Jiffy Lube) is 20-45 minutes.
I know many people pull into a quick lube, pay what they are told, and go about their day. But I'm not one to just turn a blind eye, without a little bit of investigation.
After calling over 15 different shops in town, including VW Kia where I got the car, here are the pricing quotes I got to just change the oil, from highest to lowest
- VW Kia - $104
- 1 Stop Automotive - $100
- Wave Car Care Center - $100 (Plus a free Car Wash)
- Midas Downtown - $95
- Masterlube Downtown & King Ave - $92
- Jiffy Lube on Henesta & Shiloh - $92
- LP Anderson Montana Ave - $90
- Edam's Tire & Automotive Downtown - $80
- JB Automotive - $75
- The Brake Shop - $70
- Diamond Automotive Care - $60
- Walmart Heights - $55 ( This seems inaccurate, and they told me they cannot do a quote over the phone accurately )
- Walmart King - No Answer
- Heights Car Care - No Answer
Quite a range! $60 (Which is barely covering the cost of the Oil and Filter) to $104, which is quite high for a small little 4-cylinder car.
KBB Oil Change Prices
According to the Kelly Blue Book Oil Change Prices Guide, for my vehicle, I could expect pricing to be $72 to $88 including all parts and labor. Which seems to be fair.
Who did I choose?
Although I bought my car from VW Kia I did not choose them. $104 for an oil change just isn't in the cards when the cost of goods is under $60.
As I bought my tires for my last vehicle, a 2018 Grand Cherokee, from Edam's in Downtown Billings (and my prior experience was a great one) I chose them. Especially since they got me scheduled before the holidays, without having to "squeeze me in" as many others would have had to do. $80 seems fair, and I know Edam's is a great choice. #notsponsored
What are your thoughts?
Am I crazy for shopping around? Do you just take your vehicle to Walmart and call it good? Let us know your thoughts on the App and Facebook. I'm just glad I shopped around and saved $25 bucks by doing so.
(Full disclosure, I bought my Kia prior to working with TSM Billings. Or even knowing about Freddie Fowler. Mainly because VW Kia did not advertise with the company I was at before... so I never heard his advertisements. I just bought my Kia because a friend in Georgia showed it to me, and I loved it. And yes, shockingly, I had not heard of "Get Excited!" until working here.)