Where Can I Legally Change My Oil?

You may want to change your oil yourself without paying someone else. Where can you legally change your oil?

Could I change my oil on the street?

Short answer, it is illegal in most cities to change the oil on the street.

Just imagine, you remove the old motor oil from your engine and then put new motor oil into your engine. You can do this by draining it out of your engine or taking off your oil cap and pouring it in. However, many cities do not allow people to do this on the street. What’s the problem?

Why can’t I change the motor oil on the street?

The street is a public asset, so you should use it without causing damage or harm to the street or other people. When you change your oil, there is a chance that the old motor oil will leak onto the street. It may create a hazard for others.

Spilled oil on the street can also cause danger for cars that pass by hard to brake and lose control. Imagine how slick the road would be if everyone changed their oil on it. It would be impossible to drive on!

This creates a safety issue, so many cities do not allow people to change their oil on the street.

You may hate it if your neighbors change oil near your apartment, the odors can be uncomfortable, and you don’t like it when your street gets oily. And, people with allergies or sensitive noses usually cannot tolerate these smells and find them more uncomfortable than others who are used to them.

Changing motor oil on the street is potentially dangerous for you too. You are exposed to the danger of getting crushed by a vehicle by doing this on the street.

You can change your oil by yourself, but you should choose a suitable place for this activity. Unfortunately, the street is not a suitable place.

Really? I change my oil on the street all the time and never get in any trouble.

You can change your motor oil on the street in some cities. But if you never get in trouble, that does not mean it’s legal. It’s just something that you cannot legally do because most cities prohibit it.

If you’re doing this activity near an apartment, maybe the neighbors will complain about the smell and safety issues. So you should choose a suitable place instead of doing it on the street.

The best thing you can do is check with your local authorities before changing your oil yourself. They may let you know which places are appropriate for this activity, like your driveway or garage.

If you get caught changing oil on the street, you may have to pay a fine of $25-100+, depending on the city.

For example, in New York City, “a fine of not less than one hundred dollars, or imprisonment for not more than one year.” [New York City Administrative Code 16–122 g]

Yes, seriously, you could even go to jail if you change the oil on an NYC street!

According to the LAMC 85.01, “(a)   No person shall dismantle, repair, or make any repairs, or add or install any part or accessory, to or on any vehicle, machine, motor, appliance or other device, while the same is upon any public or private highway, street, alley way or similar place.”

You may save money by changing your motor oil, but you will have to pay more if you get caught. So it’s better to check with your local authorities.

Don’t change the oil on the street. It could be dangerous, bad for the environment, and the city might fine you for doing that.

Can I change my oil at Autozone?

No, Autozone does not provide oil change services. However, you may get DIY oil change advice by talking to an Autozone employee at a store.

Autozone sells oil and oil filters, and Autozone employees may answer questions about changing oil, but they cannot change your oil for you.

The Autozone people are nice and friendly, and they may want to help you as much as they can. They can recommend a place to go if you call their service hotline at (800) 288-6966. But their job is not to provide oil change services for people.

Can I change my oil in a Walmart or other malls’ parking lot?

People changed their oil in a Walmart parking lot before, and nothing terrible happened! Can I legally change my oil in their parking space?

No, Walmart or other malls’ parking lot is private property to serve their customers’ parking purpose. Changing oil is not a parking purpose. Therefore, you cannot change your oil on their parking space even if you saw someone else do it before.

It’s hazardous to work under a car in a busy parking space, and many things could go wrong! So it’s better not to do this activity in an unsafe place or illegal place like on the street or Walmart parking space.

Their security guards can stop you from working under your car if they see you doing the activity in their parking lot.

Where can I legally change my oil?

You can legally change your oil in your driveway or garage. If you have a large yard, maybe that’s enough for you to change your oil safely.

If you stay in an apartment, you must ensure your apartment agreement allows this activity. If not, you cannot do it in your apartment.

If you rent a room from someone, make sure the landlord allows you to change your oil on the property beforehand. The landlord has the absolute right to decide what tenants can do on their property.

Should I change my oil?

Oil changing services are not expensive. Changing your oil is a cheaper option, but it doesn’t really save you a lot of money. The least-expensive conventional oil and oil filter cost could be around $20, and you may hire a mechanic to change your oil for a bit more, probably around $30.

If you change your oil every 7500 miles, saving $10 is not a lot of money. So it’s not really worth the trouble to do this activity if you’re only looking for money savings.

So who should change your oil? Depending on how much effort you put into doing the job, changing your oil may not save you money or time, and it could even cause accidents.

If you don’t want to go through all this trouble, pay a mechanic to change your oil for $10 more instead of changing the oil yourself. It’s more efficient and safer that way!

Where to bring used oil?

Please do NOT dump your waste oil into the drain if you change your oil. Instead, be a conscious citizen and recycle your old oil. Bring the used motor oil to a recycling center near you.

Many places can recycle it for you, including AdvanceAuto ZoneNapa, and O’Reilly — collect the used oil. These collection sites are the only legal places to get rid of used motor oil.

How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

No, you do not need to change oil every 3000 miles or less. It was an old suggestion.

The new standard recommends changing your oil every 5000 miles or 7500 kilometers. It depends on the car manufacturers; some even recommend as far as 15,000 miles!

This is an average rule of thumb for car manufacturers. However, car mechanics advise changing your oil more frequently if you often drive in short drives, such as stop-and-go city driving.

If you drive long distances with fewer stops and starts, you should change your oil less frequently.

Changing your oil frequently may not help your car work better. Instead, it is only a waste of money and time and harmful to the environment.

Can I Change My Oil in the Street in California?

No, it is not legal to change your oil in the street. You can only change your oil in a driveway or garage. If you do not have a driveway or garage, you must check with your landlord to see if changing your oil on the property is legal. If it is not legal, you cannot change your oil on the property.

How to Change Your Oil?

Wrapping up

Changing your oil is a more expensive, time-consuming process than it may seem. There are many things that can go wrong and prevent you from completing the task successfully if you decide to do it yourself on private property like in Walmart’s parking lot or outside of an apartment building.

Instead of taking these risks for minimal savings, let one of our experts help design a marketing plan that drives sales by considering how your customers think!


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