DIY Oil Change in 10 min without tools and banking $250K to do it

A good buddy of mine Kyle commented the other day on how he would prefer to just pay someone to do his oil changes. He said something like “it’s just not worth it to change my oil and it’s easier to pay someone else to do it”. Despite doubting his manliness, I call BS on “not worth it” (sorry bud) and let me explain why.

In a perfect world, everyone would be driving a tesla, walking, running, riding bikes, taking ubers or transit – to wherever they needed to go. No more pipelines! Save the whales! This would all be great but it’s not a realistic option at this point for most people. So for the rest of us plebs who still drive those carbon spewing, dinosaur burning, clown car monstrosities – an oil change is still a necessary part of life.

Good news is that changing your oil is easy and cost-effective. All you need is a few shop basics, a set of ramps, a Fumoto drain valve and 10 minutes of your time and you’re set. No tools, specialized gear or advanced mechanical training needed.

But before I get into the how, let’s talk about something called opportunity cost.

Opportunity cost is about efficiencies, it’s about taking a look at how to maximize the current productivity of your money. If you were to spend all your cash on a big fancy house, fast food and a new pair of choos. You would be losing the opportunity to invest this money in something productive. Therefore losing all potential future gains – it’s a lost opportunity for your savings to earn more and provide income for you in the future.

Back to Oil changes – With tons of assumptions – The average family owns 2.2 gas guzzling smoke spewers – an oil change will run you about $100 and the average person drives 20-25K miles, which will require around four tar sand changes per year.

Check the pixels.

At the end of the year, the oil changes for your toaster vehicle is going to set you back $418.00 and that’s before the government takes their share and the local lube shop upsells you on new wiper blades.

Back to opportunity cost.

Now that we know that it’s gonna cost four Sir Robert Bordens to get your oil changed by the pros (see pic below). Let’s take a look at what it will cost us in time ($$$) and $$$ to do an Oil change on your own:

The expenses – $30*4 – 5L Jugs O’ Oil + 15*2 Oil Filter = $150.00. $418 minus 150, leaves us with $268. That’s a $268 savings per year for a DIY oil change VS the shop.

Now let’s multiply that over say 50 years of oil changes (geriatric oil changes anyone?), add in historical market returns and this could add up to $130,000.00 spent on oil changes in a lifetime.

And it doesn’t end there – remember you own 2.28 cars! That’s an all in opportunity cost of $259,743.24‬ lost on oil changes alone. A quarter million dollars – Let me put that in numerals – $250,000.00. That’s the cost of a house in Saskatchewan or a garden shed off the back of a crack shack in Vancouver!

It may sound like overkill to think about opportunity costs on an oil change but I assure you unless you’re Bezos or Buffett you should be paying close attention. Here’s another way to look at it: What if I told you that you could make $3,903 per hour to change your own oil? Sounds like a get rich quick scheme? Right? Well, it’s not. It’s a get rich slow scheme and the Math doesn’t lie.

Four ten minute oil changes per year = 40 minutes per year. 40 minutes per year x 50 years = 33.33 Hours. $130,000/33.33 = $3,903 per hour! Honestly, I was amazed to see this number as well.

Still reading? Holy shit! Time to get back to Fumoto the ramps and how to get rich do an oil change in 10 minutes.

Change the oil in your car in less than 10 min without tools and banking $250K to do it.

What you will need:

  1. Pro ramps (Optional – Clearance)
  2. Wheel Chalks (Required – if using ramp)
  3. Fumoto Drain Valve (Optional)
  4. Oil & Filter – (Required) Reference your vehicles manual
  5. Pair of Nitrile gloves (Optional)
  6. Oil Filter Removal Tool (Optional)
  7. Oil Drain Pan – (Required)
  8. Funnel – (Required)

All of these items can be purchased at your local auto store. The Fumoto valve can be purchased online on the Fumoto website. The Fumoto is optional but it’s worth it.

  • Position your vehicle and place the ramps in position. – 30 Seconds
  • Drive your vehicle slowly up the ramps until you feel the stopper – place your vehicle in park and turn it off. Safety first. Engage your emergency brake and place wheel chalks at the back wheels. – 30 Seconds
  • Ensuring that your chalks are in position, emergency brake is engaged and the vehicle is off and in park. Slide under and find the Fomoto. 30 Seconds
  • Attach the hose. – 5 Seconds
  • Place the drain pan in position and engage the Fumoto lever. – 5 Seconds
  • Go for a run, have a beer, read a bit of your favorite website and come back in 30 minutes.
  • Locate your Oil Filter. If you’re frugal you can replace a good synthetic oil filter every second oil change. – 10 Seconds
  • Remove the plastic tube and close the Fumoto valve. Re-position the oil drain pan underneath the oil filter. Slowly release the oil filter by hand. Once Oil starts to drip, let drain for 60 seconds and then remove. 2 Minutes
  • Open your new filter and coat the ring lightly with new oil. RTFM. Clean any excess oil from the oil filter opening on your engine. Screw the new filter in position hand tighten and then add an additional 1 full & 1/4 turn. Do not over tighten. – 1 Minute
  • Fill your engine with the required amount of oil as per your manufacturers’ recommendation. 1 Minute
  • Check your oil level and add any additional oil if necessary. Notice the two dots indicating the desired low and high range. If you accidentally overfill, a bonus with Fumoto is you can always drain, not so easy with a traditional plug. – 1 Minute

6 Minutes and 49 Seconds – Use the additional 3 minutes & 10 Seconds to high five yourself, start your engine and check your oil levels once your car is warm. Top up your oil if needed. Clean up your work area and stand in awe of one of the highest paid moments of your life.

*Don’t be an asshole and dump your oil & filter in the trash. In all major cities, there are plenty of free options to recycle this waste. Google what’s available in your area. Read your vehicle’s manual, follow all recommendations. Stay frugal my friends.

Author: The Money Runner

Husband, father, runner, personal finance enthusiast and computer geek. Thanks for visiting. Please check out my other posts and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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6 Comments

  1. Don’t you think that you are a little off on the 4 oil changes per year? Seems a bit much. Enjoyed the post otherwise.

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    • You’re right John. Assumptions. Some it might be one and others it might be four. Either way the math stays the same just adjust for your situation.

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  2. Opportunity costs one of my favourite things. LOL. Nothing is too small to take a look at. WIth the oil change it also gives you an oppotunity to learn a bit more about your car. Check the other fluids while you’re in there.

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    • I once read somewhere that if you buy shredded cheese that it’s like paying someone $70 per hour VS doing it yourself. There is an opportunity cost in everything big and small.

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  3. I’ve been reading some of your other stuff and it been helpful and entertaining. Not a lot of internet people say thanks. So thank-you. I’m going to give this a shot.

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