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Dealer oil change vs chain oil change

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo XC90s. The XC90 proved to be very popular, and very good for Volvo's sales numbers, since its introduction in model year 2003 (North America).
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Dealer oil change vs chain oil change

Post by Trackmom » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:02 pm

Hi, I have a 2013 XC90 and I was wondering if I should get my oil change only from the dealer. For the last few years my service had been free because it was part of my warranty but now it’s over. Does Volvo use different oil than a Jiffy Lube type place? Dealer is charging about $100 and other chain places are way less. Aside from the price what else is different? Also, when my car was under warranty the service man said I only needed an oil change once a year. Now they are saying every 3,000 miles so why is it different now? Which is correct?

Thanks for your help!

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Re: Dealer oil change vs chain oil change

Post by SuperHerman » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:49 pm

Some smaller shops will charge less and use regular oil and possibly a lesser filter. They will rightly recommend a 3k service interval. Some will offer full synthetic and some will use quality filters. (Some will even let you bring the filter and oil - and charge $30 for the service only, but leave you on the hook for bad oil and/or a bad filter). A solid relationship with a smaller shop is ideal if it is close and fast.

Larger chains will advertise a lesser price and then force you into a synthetic upgrade, and most likely will use a lesser filter. At this point they are not much cheaper if at all.

For your year I believe Volvo recommends full synthetic oil and will use a Volvo quality filter - and that is what the dealer will provide.

When you actually do the numbers the dealer will be within $20 of larger chain oil change shops. I have found that it can go either way over or under $20.00.

Who is correct - you have to compare apples to apples here. Full synthetic and a quality filter are the base points. Regular oil, which can be used - but is not recommended by Volvo, does not go 5, 7.5 or 10k. So you need to compare the oil brands and oil filter brands to see what you are getting. Several oils meet the Volvo specification so brand is not critical - but meeting the specifications is.

On my cars I change regular oil (sometimes I have no choice and change it a small local shop) at 3-4k miles. If I do it myself with full synthetic I do it around 5-7k miles. On my wife's car, serviced only at the dealer, we do it at 7.5k rather than 10k and pay for the extra change every other one (Volvo picks up the other as it is under warranty)(as all the records are in their system it is never an issue). Once we are out of warranty, we will continue the same program. It is an expensive car and an extra $30 a year for the shortened interval is not a big deal.

So, optimal is to have full synthetic and a quality filter done at least per Volvo recommendations, but I usually do it 2.5k before. My issue with the dealer on oil changes is not price, as they are forced by the market to be competitive, but the dealer is a major hassle to get to and to schedule an appointment. You can always use the coupons Volvo sends out and the price will be very competitive.

If this is too much information or a worry, just have it done at the dealer or a local shop which will do what you ask.

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Re: Dealer oil change vs chain oil change

Post by June » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:08 am

I would NEVER allow a Jiffy lube to change my oil. You want someone who specializes in European cars. The dealer or a reputable shop. Stay away from chains as 1st off you cant trust they actually changed the oil, or really put synthetic oil in. Also they will try to sell you things like coolant flush, power steering, or transmission flushes and not necessarily use Volvo spec fluids which can cost you huge repairs shortly later.this is one of many news Reports on Jiffy Lube and other big chains on YouTube. Just search oil change scams. At least with the dealer they actually change the oil. I have alway changed the oil in my cars every 3K. As far as miles or time, it's your car and your money. Do minimally what the maintenance schedule booklet calls for. June

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Re: Dealer oil change vs chain oil change

Post by Trackmom » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:04 am

Thanks for the info and recommendations.
Up to now my car has been under warranty so they took care of everything. I will take it to the dealer and look for a small shop that deals with Volvo’s to compare prices. Thanks again!

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Re: Dealer oil change vs chain oil change

Post by jimmy57 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:47 am

I've been cutting firewood. When I saw this in the list I had to open and read about someone wanting to know whether they should do dealer oil changes or change their oil using chain oil. Why wouldn't anyone put chainsaw chain oil in their car??????

Dealer vs. quick lube. Maybe for cars over 8 years old there is a tougher argument for using the dealer but if something went wrong with vehicle and there was some hope for manufacturer good will for the problem the dealer relationship would get you in the door. The dealer will also do an inspection of the whole car. Quick lube has no extended benefits like dealer and they will usually only care if the air filter, cabin filter, and trans fluid need service since that is what they do. If you have a failing ball joint or coolant leak the quick lube place may not look for it.
3000 mile interval is way better for the quick lube place' bottom line.

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Re: Dealer oil change vs chain oil change

Post by okidiver » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:30 am

I've always taken my Volvos to the dealer for service, but they have marginal techs as well. Don't mean to hijack the thread, but took it in for a slow leak--turned out the tire had a bubble inside, $o replaced it at the dealer$. A week later my TPMS comes on and THE OTHER THREE TIRES were low on air...so much for a cursory check on the other tires. That's Pep Boys service at Volvo of Tampa. Scuffed up my wheel real nice, just like the Firestone guys would...Rant off, sorry...
BL is buyer beware everywhere...

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Re: Dealer oil change vs chain oil change

Post by amblerman » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:20 am

jimmy57 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:47 am
I've been cutting firewood. When I saw this in the list I had to open and read about someone wanting to know whether they should do dealer oil changes or change their oil using chain oil. Why wouldn't anyone put chainsaw chain oil in their car??????
You know someone has tried that... :D
-A

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Re: Dealer oil change vs chain oil change

Post by oragex » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:21 pm

Jiffy lube is more of a scam and can mess a car real quick and forget about backing their job. They also use cheap oil and filters. Plus Volvo has a specific tool to remove the oil filter. But what's not told - perhaps it says it in the video linked - is that those shops are only about pushing other maintenance work not necesarily required and not necesarily done. I don't think that kind of business can survive with only oil changes.

The real way to keep a Volvo with some miles on it is to find a honest independent specialist not far from home.
2003 2.4i S60 automatic 125k miles
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Re: Dealer oil change vs chain oil change

Post by krassigr » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:37 pm

What is wrong with changing it yourself?! Get the oil from Walmart or Amazon (Castrol only!)
Get MAHLE filter from EEuroparts or elsewhere. 30min work and your car do not get overfilled by "mechanics".

By the way, stop recommending 3K oil change please! This is 60's talks.

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Re: Dealer oil change vs chain oil change

Post by Rattnalle » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:22 am

And Castrol only is marketing BS.

Proper spec is important. Brand is not.

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