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An Oil Change Myth

12/08/2014

Oil changes are the perfect demonstration of a common misconception about European cars. People have a tendency to think that they cost so much more to maintain.

In a way, this is true. If you go to an auto repair shop with a BMW and ask for an oil change, it be at least double, probably more like triple the cost of of a “standard” oil change. This is because BMW’s and most European vehicles require premium all-synthetic oil.

However, the difference between a European car and another vehicle that requires only standard oil is that most of them need only 1 oil change for every 3-4 that a standard vehicle requires.

In other words, instead of an oil change required every 3 months or every 3-4,000 miles, these vehicles will go 1 year or 10-12,000 miles before it’s time to visit the shop again.

If you do the math, the cost is exactly the same, because you’re coming in so much less frequently. And, well, you’re coming in less frequently. So if you factor in your time to the equation, a European car is actually less expensive.

Its like the difference between buying an oak dresser vs. one made of particleboard. The oak dresser will last a lifetime, but it may cost you a few thousand dollars. A particleboard dresser on the other hand… Well, you get the picture!