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What’s Included in a Full-Service Oil Change?

POR: Larry Witherspoon Jr.
Close up of a mechanic filling oil at a service shop

Routine maintenance is an important part of car ownership. Regular oil changes are a common way to maintain your vehicle and keep it in top condition, but did you know different makes and models require specific types of motor oil to keep your engine healthy (and not void your factory warranty)? Oil changes are vital to your car’s recommended maintenance schedule. In many cases, oil changes may be included as an additional bonus in an original factory warranty for a car dealership.

A full-service oil change by a professional mechanic can help maintain your vehicle. In addition to replacing dirty oil, this service includes checks on different parts of the car to ensure it’s in great shape and to look for any signs of premature damage. When an ASE Certified automotive technician changes your car’s oil, you can be confident that they will perform these additional checks to keep your vehicle in good condition.

We’ll help you determine the best oil change for your car, find a full-service oil change near you, and show you how to save money on your next oil change:

Why Are Oil Changes Important?

Engines have many moving parts that require adequate lubrication to prevent damage. Engine oil serves this essential function.

Over time, the oil deteriorates and becomes contaminated with dust, dirt, and debris from the engine and the surrounding environment. When this occurs, the oil is unable to perform its vital role. Proactively changing a vehicle’s oil and filter will enable the engine to continue running smoothly and avoid costly repairs for drivers in the future.

How to Change Engine Oil

With rising costs, car owners everywhere are looking for ways to save money on car maintenance and repairs. One way to save money on necessary oil changes is to do it yourself at home.

To change the engine oil in a car:

  1. Drain the Oil: Start by locating the oil drain plug under the car and placing an oil drain pan underneath. Unscrew the plug and allow the old oil to drain completely.
  2. Replace the Oil Filter: Remove the old filter using an oil filter wrench. Before installing the new filter, make sure to lubricate the gasket with fresh oil. Then, screw on the new filter by hand.
  3. Add New Oil: Refer to your owner’s manual to determine your vehicle’s correct oil type and amount. Pour in the new oil through the oil filler cap under the hood.
  4. Check Oil Level: After adding the new oil, use the dipstick to check the oil level. Make sure it falls within the recommended range.
  5. Dispose of Old Oil: Properly dispose of the old oil at a recycling center or an auto parts store that accepts used oil.

Always follow safety precautions and refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions tailored to your car model.

Can Changing Your Oil Void a Factory Warranty?

Changing your engine oil at home typically does not void a Garantía de Fábrica if you use the manufacturer-recommended oil and follow the proper procedures outlined in the owner’s manual. It’s important to keep records and receipts of the oil and filter used and the date of the oil change to maintain warranty coverage.

If you damage your vehicle while changing your oil, you will likely have to pay for the cost of repairs. Having a professional change your oil offers many benefits, including the peace of mind that the work is covered if anything goes wrong. Find a qualified professional to help you with a full-service oil change near you through our partners at RepairPal.

What Is Checked during a Full-Service Oil Change?

When you choose a full-service oil change at a car dealership, repair shop, or by an Mecánico certificado ASE, you’re not just getting new oil and a filter—you’re giving your vehicle the care it deserves. With up to five (5) quarts of your preferred oil, a new filter, and extra steps to ensure your vehicle’s peak performance, a full-service oil change is the best choice for your car’s well-being.

To better understand what involves a full-service oil change, most will include the following steps:

Step 1: Changing the Oil

Engine oil is essential for keeping the moving parts in your engine lubricated, as well as for cleaning it and keeping it cool. During a car oil change, the mechanic first drains the old oil and replaces the oil filter. Then, once a new filter is installed, they refill the oil according to your manufacturer’s recommendations.

Different types of engine oils with varying viscosities can be added to your vehicle, including:

  • Conventional Oil: A standard oil change uses conventional motor oil derived from crude oil pulled from the ground and refined in a factory.
  • Full-Synthetic Motor Oil: Fully synthetic oil changes use oil made entirely in a factory but is more refined and known to be better for your engine.
  • Synthetic Blend Oil: This oil blends synthetic and conventional oil to capture the benefits of both while reducing the drawbacks of each.
  • High-Mileage Oil: This is a more recent type of oil that improves overall performance in high-mileage vehicles.

Always refer to your owner’s manual when choosing the best engine oil for your vehicle. You might be tempted to spend extra money on new oil with additives, but it will only improve performance if the manufacturer requires it.

Step 2: Inspecting Your Air Filter

Aside from changing your oil, repair shops will also identify air filters that need replacing and give you the option to install a new one. Driving with a dirty or damaged engine air filter affects your engine’s performance by obstructing clean airflow and preventing proper fuel combustion.

Over time, the air filter becomes less effective at filtering clean air into the engine, impacting your car’s overall performance and potentially causing severe damage. Plus, if the check engine light recently came on, but no significant issues are the cause, a clogged-up air filter may have triggered the signal.

Step 3: Checking Your Coolant/Antifreeze Levels

Maintaining proper fluid levels is vital. As you drive, radiator fluid (refrigerante or antifreeze) is pumped around your vehicle to help it maintain its temperature so it never gets too hot or cold to function. As an added bonus, radiator fluids also help prevent corrosion. A certified mechanic usually checks how much coolant or antifreeze is in your system and tops it up if needed.

There may be different variations of coolants, but you should always refer to your owner’s manual before choosing. Using the wrong kind can void your warranty.

Step 4: Filling Your Power Steering Fluid

ASE-certified technicians also check your power steering fluid to see if it needs topping off. Power steering fluid transfers power to the hydraulic systems your vehicle uses to make turning the steering wheel a cinch—without it, you’d need to hit the gym every day to turn a corner. As with your antifreeze/coolant, technicians check your levels and add more as needed.

Step 5: Checking Your Brake Fluid

Your vehicle needs brake fluid for the braking system to work. When you press the brake pedal, a vacuum booster helps increase the force from your foot. This force activates the master cylinder, which sends brake fluid into the brake lines. The harder you press the pedal, the more pressure the fluid has, making the brakes stop the car more effectively.

If your brake fluid is low, you’ll have to apply much more pressure than usual to slow down, which can be dangerous. The mechanic will check your brakes’ sensitivity during your oil change and add more fluid if required to ensure you’re driving safely.

Step 6: Inspecting Your Chassis Lubrication

Some modern vehicles use ‘lifetime lubricated’ parts, but it’s worth checking that they’re all in good shape. Chassis lube services involve inspecting all the suspension bushings and joints, steering bars, sway joints, and U-joints. If necessary, components will be lubricated wherever required.

Step 7: Reviewing Your Wiper Blade Health

Navigating tough driving conditions can be challenging, especially with worn windshield wipers. A skilled mechanic will inspect the condition of your wipers to assess if it’s time for a replacement. During this assessment, they carefully examine the rubber for any imperfections that could potentially harm your windshield in the long run.

Step 8: Topping Washer Fluid Levels

Your windshield washer fluid is an equally important visibility aid throughout the year. When you’re driving down the highway and hit a swarm of bugs, you’ll need to get them cleaned off quickly to prevent impaired vision. Auto technicians will check whether your washer fluid is full and top off when necessary.

Step 9: Checking the Battery

If you’ve recently experienced a few times when your vehicle didn’t start on the first try, you may need to check the health of your battery. Luckily, technicians do this for you during an oil change. Avoid dealing with a dead battery on the road by looking at the warning signs as early as possible.

Step 10: Inspecting Your Tire Pressure

Properly inflated tires evenly distribute tire pressure across the rubber, so they wear down slower, maintain proper traction, and need replacing less frequently.

Tires inflated to the correct pressure also have less drag, improving your vehicle’s overall fuel economy. The mechanic then checks your tires’ pressure and adds some air to bring them back up to your manufacturer’s recommended PSI.

Step 11: Checking for Other Faults

The last step is a quick courtesy check for hidden faults or repairs-in-waiting so they don’t take you by surprise further down the line. Some repair shops may also perform a tire rotation or vehicle inspection to ensure your vehicle is in top shape before driving off.

Benefits of a Full-Service Oil Change

Engine oil changes improve your car’s functionality by adequately lubricating the engine components, reducing friction and wear on moving parts. Fresh oil helps maintain engine cleanliness, regulates engine temperature, and improves overall performance and fuel efficiency. Regular oil changes also help prevent costly repairs and extend the lifespan of your vehicle.

However, the additional perks of a full-service oil change have their advantages. It may seem unnecessary to have a professional inspect your air filters and your fluids, but considering that engine replacements can cost $5,000 or more, having this included in a full-service oil change can help you feel confident while on the road. If you’re on a tight budget, having the support of an extended car warranty o contrato de servicio de vehiculo can provide even more peace of mind by covering you from expensive and unexpected repair bills.

How to Save Money on an Oil Change

Unfortunately, because of the financial burden, many drivers procrastinate on vehicle-saving maintenance like oil changes. However, there are several ways to save money on oil changes, including:

1. Look for Coupons and Discounts

Many auto repair shops and dealerships offer coupons or discounts on oil changes. Keep an eye out for these promotions to save some money.

2. Choose the Right Oil

Opt for conventional oil instead of fully synthetic oil if your vehicle does not require the latter. Conventional oil is usually cheaper and can help you save on oil change costs.

3. DIY Oil Changes

If you’re comfortable working on your car, consider changing the oil yourself. This can save you labor costs associated with professional oil changes. However, be sure changing the oil yourself won’t void any factory warranties or extended warranties on your vehicle.

4. Regular Maintenance

By following your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, including regular oil changes, you can prevent costly repairs in the future. This proactive approach can save you money in the long run.

5. Consider Vehicle Maintenance Plans

Some extended warranty contracts, like Endurance’s plan de ventajas, offer maintenance benefits, including oil changes. These plans can help you save money on routine maintenance services.

Save on Your Next Oil Change Endurance Warranty

The best way to reduce the chances of a mechanical breakdown is to get regular oil changes and other services recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. A full-service oil change done by a professional can help ensure your car is cared for. During the oil change, the technician will closely inspect other parts of your vehicle to help give you peace of mind when it comes to hitting the road.

Still, regardless of how well-maintained your vehicle may be, unexpected breakdowns can happen. If you have an older, used vehicle outside its factory warranty coverage, you’d be on the hook for paying any costly repair bills on your own. An Endurance auto protection plan provides a financial safety net from unexpected breakdowns and expensive car repairs.

Plus, with a plan like Advantage, you can combine your breakdown protection with up to $3,500 in yearly maintenance benefits, including up to three oil and filter changes, along with other services like alignment checks, PSI checks, and more. All you have to do is visit any Taller de reparación certificado por ASE, present them with your Endurance contract, and sit back while Endurance takes care of the rest.

Find the best Endurance Warranty plan for your vehicle today by calling our award-winning customer service team at (800) 253-8203 or request a free, no-obligation quote. Tú también puedes tienda en linea para ver su precio ahora.

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