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Delaney is one of our brand ambassadors for a reason. Not only did she start her career through Build a Dream’s events, she really embodies the values of the organization and learning to change her own oil is just a small part of that.
Learning to change a tire or your oil can be super daunting for some young women who don’t know much about cars, but read on to learn about Delaney’s experience and how it helped her confidence and saved her some money.
In October of 2019, a few months after starting my apprenticeship I bought my truck and when it came time to get my first oil change, I ended up paying around $140.00. After that, I quickly made it a goal of mine to learn more about the basic maintenance of my truck. I figured if I could save a few dollars, why not?!
I read through the owner’s manual, found out what kind of oil my truck needed and how much I would need. I waited until it went on sale, and stocked up. I bought the correct oil filter and once my truck was due for the next oil change, headed out to my grandparents’ house. Luckily, my grandpa had experience changing the oil in his vehicles and he also had a set of ramps to lift the front end up to make it easier to crawl under. He guided me through the steps, and within 30-45 minutes, my oil was changed for less than half the price I had previously paid. I cannot describe the feeling of accomplishment I felt at that moment.
I did the math and figured out just how much I saved by dedicating just under an hour of my time to getting my hands a little dirty and doing it myself. Oil goes on sale frequently at most retailers. I like to buy in bulk when it does, I’ll end up using it eventually. The regular price for one full synthetic 5L jug of oil is between $40-$60 depending on the brand. It goes on sale for anywhere between $20-$30, which is when I like to purchase it. My truck takes between 6L-7L of oil, so I can get 2 oil changes out of 3 jugs. Oil filters range in price from $5-$15 depending on the brand and style of filter. Every time I stock up on 3 jugs of oil, I also pick up 2 filters so I know I’m set for the next 2 changes. The grand total I spent on supplies for two oil changes is no more than $120.00, which is obviously still $20.00 less than I paid for just one. Well worth it in my opinion.
In terms of the actual process itself, I start by driving my truck up onto the ramps and chocking the wheels to ensure my truck won’t roll down while I’m working under it. I like to slide an old piece of cardboard or plywood under the truck where I’m working, just in case oil spills (which it usually does) and this prevents it from staining the driveway. I grab a wrench and place a bucket directly under my oil plug. I take the oil plug out using the wrench and then I move the bucket based on where the oil is coming out. Once the oil drains out, I place the plug back in.
The next step is to change the oil filter. I unscrew the old one, letting the oil still in it drain into the bucket, and I take the new one and screw it on. After that, I get out from under the truck, pop my hood, and pour the new oil in. I start my truck, reset the oil life on my dashboard, and just like that, I’m done! It’s a super simple process, it doesn’t require many tools, and there are tons of tutorials online to help walk you through it if you need help!
The confidence I have gained has been extremely beneficial too. I’ve changed my battery, changed my air filter, and replaced burnt-out brake light bulbs, just to name a few other things I’ve learned how to do to maintain my truck. Life skills like this are transferable and can save you so much money in the long run instead of paying a skilled tradesperson to do it for you!
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