Cheap oil change trick: How I got my oil changed and tires rotated for $22.46

Cheap oil change trick: How I got my oil changed and tires rotated for $22.46

IMG_0263 2My odometer is telling me its that time again.

I’ve made it a full 10,000+ miles since my last oil change and tire rotation, but I don’t want to push it any more.  I’m all about properly maintaining my car to get the maximum life out of it (and the lowest cost per mile), and that means regular oil changes and tire rotations.

For me, that usually meant calling up my local shop and making an appointment.  The mechanic is one that I’ve used several times before (including last month to get a pricey but worth it brake job), so I trust them.  Since they are also close to my house its usually more convenient to use them.

Wanted to get an idea of the costs, I pulled up my last bill from them for an oil change and tire rotation, and was a little put back by the total:


Broken down, they charged me $29.95 for the oil change, $20 for the tire rotation, and the rest in disposal fee’s & sales tax.

I know that the actual changing of the tires or the oil isn’t all that hard per se, and I’ve researched how to do these things at home for ‘free’….yet I can’t really get the math to work.

A quart of oil on Amazon goes for about $4 or so.  My car requires 4 quarts to change the oil, which pushes the total up to $16 just for the oil (not including filters or disposal fee).  When you add in the fact that it would probably take me 30 minutes to do, I’d get crazy dirty, and I’d still have to make a trip somewhere to properly dispose of the dirty oil, it just has always made more sense to outsource this task.

Rotating the tires is also easy enough to do on your own (at least in theory), but given that you have to jack the car up yourself and move the jack multiple times to get each tire off and on, paying the $20 for the pro’s to do it quickly (as well as inspect your tires for problems) has also always made sense.

Thus, the $53.51 I’ve always paid in the past has been money well spent IMO.

However, in an on going effort to lower my cost of living, I decided to challenge myself to see if I could get that bill down.

I checked my local mechanic’s site in the ‘coupon’ section to see if they had any for oil changes.


Then, I remembered seeing something on Groupon a few months back for a discounted oil change.  I didn’t need it at the time, but figured I’d do a quick local search to see what they had to offer.

Ding, ding, ding!  We have a winner!

I found a sweet deal at a mechanic right by my children’s day care offering a $18 oil change and tire rotation.  As you know, companies often advertise huge discounts to Groupon in order to get people to try their business, with the hope that they come back again and pay full price if they have a good expereience.  I can’t imagine this strategy actually works, but hey, maybe it does!

A quick google review search showed the mechanic had a decent enough local reputation, so I made the purchase and booked the appointment.

When I dropped my car off, the mechanic let me know that there would be an additional $4.46 fee for local taxes and disposal fee, which I said was fine.

It turns out Groupon offers all kinds of deals in their automotive section.  Discounted remote car starters, car washes, dent repair, windshield replacement.  Looks like they will now be my go to place whenever I need some work done on my car!

So there you have it, my new trick* moving forward whenever I need an oil change and tire rotation.  Thanks Groupon!






*Of course, I did yet another search this morning and found an even better deal offered by Midas through Groupon.  $12.99 if you redeem the groupon Mon-Thur, which would bring the total cost to under $20!  Gonna check this option out next time I need a change.





  • Ron

    Nice!! I average around $30-$35 an oil change. That doesnt include the tire rotation, so it’s around your price of $50-$55 for both. I gotta look into your Groupon trick to save some money. Sometimes yelp offers some coupons. When you check in, you let the business know and they’ll take $5-$10 off your bill depending on the offer they have.

    Thanks for the tip!

  • Groupon, the savior of budget minded folk everywhere. I’ve mostly gotten Groupons for restaurant deals, but services such as this look promising. Good info! Thanks. recently posted…Friday Faves: Quit Trying to Keep Up With the JonesesMy Profile

  • Jordan Baker

    I think that it is great to examine all of the different ways that you can save money on your car. After all, many people spend far too much on repairs. If you look for good deals and work hard to make everything work out with your vehicle, you won’t see a lot money disappearing from your bank account. That is very important to remember if you are basically living on a budget.

  • Seems like a no-brainer, right? You need to have your oil changed every 3,000 miles.

  • I’ve never thought of looking on Groupon for automotive deals! I’ve used Groupon for other deals, such as entertainment and travel, a number of times. I am going to need quite a few things done on my car this spring. I’ll definitely take a look and see what they have in my area when the time comes!

  • Most people never take advantage of the coupons out there, yet there is always an offer than could save them even hundreds of dollars. Having a car means that you will be spending on repairs and replacing worn out parts and if you are budget minded like me, you should be having coupon sites on your finger tips. Thanks for the share Brian.


  • Looking for coupons is a great idea to save money on your oil change and tire rotation. I’m surprised you went over 10,000 miles without getting a tire rotation and oil change, though. I’ve heard that you should at least get your oil changed every 4,000 miles or so, but I think we’ve all gone over that recommendation. Anyway, thanks for the tip!

  • lal

    i agree with you

  • Wow! You got such a good deal! Here in the UK we don’t really get many deals like that, or if we do I have never found them! Thanks for posting! Really good read!

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