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  • Oil change pricing

    Posted by Joseph Van syoc on October 20, 2022 at 3:36 pm

    I have always tried to price change services so that they produce at least a small profit, rather than using them for a loss leader and trying to make it up on the upsell. Right now, however I am in sticker shock, my cost on oil and filters has doubled over the last several months, and that puts some LOF services over $80, and that is NOT for full synthetic oil. I am starting to see my customers go into sticker shock as well. So how are others dealing with this? How do you price these when oil cost is approaching $5+qt?

    J. Larry Bloodworth replied 1 year, 7 months ago 6 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Tom

    October 20, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    Oil changes are something we really focus on. Our goal is to have at least 50% of all ROs include an oil change. We price them according to the market in the area. Since oil changes are the number one most effective service in marketing, we use them to get new customers. Currently, our standard oil change is $49, and synthetic $69. The oil is ServicePro. We do a LOT of oil changes. Used oil heats our shop, also.

  • Sherman Bird

    October 26, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    As an artisanal rather than a production shop, I cater to a different mindset of clientele. Although dollar cost value is a factor in my pricing structure, my customer know that the pinnacle if my mission is accurate repairs performed well the first time. I manage expectations as much as possible. Inasmuch as the high cost of automotive repair in recent times, they reflect the overall economy. My customers are made aware of this upfront, and this practice reduces angst and sticker shock!

  • J. Larry Bloodworth

    October 28, 2022 at 4:37 pm

    We are a transmission repair-only shop. While we don’t have the same issues as you, we still have problems with pricing some transmission fluid and filter jobs. For the simple, straightforward transmission service we charge $149. However, there are some vehicles the transmission pan and filter are one unit. Additionally, there are some Euro units where we have to drop a cross member, exhaust, and shift linkage just to get the transmission pan off. One Range Rover ran over $700 to service and we made no more profit than we do on the $149 service job.

    Very few people decide to service their transmission out of the clear blue. 95% of the time, they suspect something is up with their transmission. We can usually duplicate the malfunction on the road test if there is one. Of all the transmissions we would service, 50% turn into major work so the price of the service is irrelevant on those.

    The worst scenario is that we service a failing transmission. After the service job, at some point in time, the transmission either starts to seriously malfunction or fail altogether. Of course, we get the blame. This is why we thoroughly road-test all service jobs and verify proper operation. Often, the debris in the pan will either confirm a problem or not.

  • Elizabeth

    November 3, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    Our customers are having issues with oil change service prices as well. Our goal is to make a small profit/break even for our oil changes. We try to explain the difference between our oil change and a 3,000 mile oil change – Sometimes it helps. We refuse to use lower grade filters and oil to make our prices more competitive.

    Do you have a “lube tech” for this service or are you using your regular mechanics?

    A friend who works at a local dealership told me they were reimbursed $100 per oil change. It is hard to compete with their prices.

  • Rick White

    November 7, 2022 at 2:19 pm


    Without more information from you, the first thing I suggest you do is to stop calling what you do an oil change. When you call your service the same as everyone else, you’re more likely to get compared to others, because they’re perceived to be the same. (NOT!)

    If you agree with me, change the name to something else, and then talk about, and document, all the things you do above and beyond just changing one fluid in a vehicle. When what you do is different, and perceived to have more value, you won’t have people comparing you to others like you are now. You may have some people who do not want to do all that work because they just want the oil changed, but they’re not your target market in my honest opinion.

    I hope this helps!


  • J. Larry Bloodworth

    November 7, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    Speaking of high prices, my wife brought it to my attention today that 1 lb of butter sticks at Walmart is $4.91. Its stuff like that made me vote a straight Republican ticket. FJB

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