Oil change, Art’s Automotive Berkeley
We only schedule a limited number of oil changes per day, so they fill up really quickly. We feel bad that we can’t accommodate folks when they call in at the last minute, but if we did, we wouldn’t make a profit. So, we limit oil changes and 5K services to about 20% of our schedule.
For us, oil changes are break-even at best. We’re trying to match prices with quick lube shops that pay their “techs” minimum wage and buy the cheapest parts available. High quality motor oil is very low margin, and we bill 15 minutes for a job that takes us 30 minutes to complete. Since oil changes occur at a 2:1 ratio to other types of preventative maintenance, the oil change slots fill up fast.
If you’re in Berkeley and need an oil change, 5K, or A1 service, we’d be happy to help. Just please call in advance of when you need the service. Art’s Automotive is near the neighboring cities of Emeryville, Oakland, Albany, and El Cerrito.
Intermediate and major service appointments don’t fill up as quickly
Maintenance services 15K and larger aren’t capped. You will be able to schedule an intermediate or major service appointment sooner. It makes sense to be sure an oil change is all you need, both for scheduling convenience as well as the car’s health. The “maint req” light comes on when it’s time to replace the oil and filter. However, that’s not necessarily all that’s due when the light comes on. It’s very important to check your records against the maintenance guide in your owner’s manual.
Honda has a maintenance minder system that will alert the driver when the oil change is due. What makes it different is that it will also call out any other service that’s due, not just the oil change. Berkeley Honda owners may know that it sets codes like B14 or A12 that include an oil change, but also include other service work. The maintenance reminder system isn’t foolproof though (a subject for another page). Ask us to check your file to make sure no maintenance work has been skipped. It can make a huge difference in the longevity of the car.
Toyota’s “maint req” oil change light comes on 5,000 miles after it was last reset. Unlike the Honda, there is only one version of the light. The maint req light means you’ll need at least an oil change. We recommend changing the oil every 5,000 miles. Please ignore Toyota’s 10K interval on some cars; it’s a terrible idea. Read our “What’s wrong with ToyotaCare?” article for some more information.
The Mazda maintenance wrench is similar to Toyota’s oil change nag. It comes on 5,000 miles after it was last reset.
Subaru didn’t have any sort of maintenance reminder for the longest time but now many of the 2020+ models like the Outback, Crosstrek, and Forester have maintenance reminders built into the center display.
Call early for your oil change appointment
Call us a couple weeks before you need an oil change, and you’ll get the day you want. If you have a consistent commute and mileage accumulates in a predictable pattern, we can set up your next appointment while you’re here for service – just like your dentist.
If you forget to schedule in time, don’t worry. It’s unlikely that the miles you drive in a couple weeks will make much of a difference. However, be sure to check your oil level and top it off if needed! Oil level is more important than condition. No oil is always much worse than degraded oil. Checking and adjusting your oil level and tire pressure are the most important things you can do to maintain your car. Adding oil may prevent accelerated engine wear, or even catastrophic failure. Setting the tire pressure prevents premature tire wear and saves gas.
How often should oil be changed?
The short answer is that oil should be changed at least every 5,000 miles on most cars. It’s VERY important that the other service work be done as well. Oil changes alone aren’t enough to keep a car in good shape. When driving in the Bay Area, motor oil needs to be changed more frequently than it would in Arizona or another area with freely flowing traffic. Stop and go driving is rough on motor oil. I drive from Richmond to Berkeley every day and I change oil every 4,000 to 5,000 miles.
If you’re interested know what other service work your car needs, check the links below:
Toyota service and maintenance
Subaru service and maintenance
If you’d like to know what your car’s manufacturer requires, check the links below:
Honda owner’s manuals and service guides
Toyota owner’s manuals and service guides
Mazda owner’s manuals and maintenance guides