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Discussion Starter #1
So I've had my 2016 Versa S for about 2 1/2 years now, and I finally used up my 4 free oil changes. I am usually one to do this myself, so it felt odd having a dealership do it.... but it was free ... and they wash it too... so why not? So this spring I do my first one on the car, using mobil-1 and a wix oil filter. The crush gasket on the drain plug caught me by surprise, I'm not used to those. It looked fine, so I re-used it. A buddy of mine used to work for nissan and gave me a bunch of them, so I'm set if I need to replace them in the future. I was happy to see that the dealer didn't over-tighten the drain plug or filter when I took them off, so that was nice, and now, onto my point/question:

My dealer charges $40 for an oil change and multi-point inspection. That's pretty close to the cost of the oil and filter at the parts store. Yes I realize, that the dealer is using the cheapest oil they can buy, but does the car really care? I know that's sounds odd but, it's meant as an honest question. The car this replaced was a 2005 dodge neon. It gave us a good 10 years, so I'm not dogging it. That one got mobil-1 and wix filters all it's life and no oil related issue's at all (head gasket was what got me), which does beg the question, of if it was good money spent? or overkill?

So yeah, I feel stupid even asking, but it's been bugging me. I'll be doing oil changes every 5K, regardless of oil-type. Manual says change it every 5K, so I'm assuming that's with what the dealer uses, not comfortable going longer than that... mobil-1 or otherwise.

Sitting at 29K currently and will be doing the next one (myself) soon, but the one after that will be done in the cold, so yeah, as I get older I like crawling under cars less and less. That said I do always at least look under there from time to time, as It's good to keep tabs on things.

Oh and one of the other big reasons I asked this odd question, was because I thought I'd see at least a small gas mileage increase switching to Mobil-1... but nope... nada..

Thanks for reading my little novel. :)
 

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I usually change my own oil, usually use synthetic....I decided to let the dealer change the oil on the Versa because:

He can't claim I did anything wrong if there is a warranty issue
He does keep up with any recalls while doing the oil change.
Cost is so close that It really isn't worth it.
I will not be keeping this car one mile past the warranty.
 

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My car came with free oil changes and I pay them 25 bucks to rotate the tires while they are at it.

Otherwise I buy oil on sale and multipack of filters and do it myself. I usually buy 6 packs of honda filters when I had one and shop around for oil sales and chk the auto dept of walmart. Then I need 0w20 and that was hard to find the green eco oil.
 

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My dealer charges $40 for an oil change and multi-point inspection. That's pretty close to the cost of the oil and filter at the parts store.
Well, it is not close to the cost of the oil and filter at the parts store - if you plan ahead.

My 1.6 Versa takes 3 qt of oil to fill to the "Full" mark. I buy full synthetic oil on sale for about $3/qt. It is usually a generic oil like Super Tech, Napa, etc. Sometimes a brand name. I buy oil filters also on sale, it costs about $3 - 3.50. If oil is changed every 5k miles, you can use the cheapest filter.

So the total cost with tax is under $15.

Most sales are around Thanksgiving, but sometimes it is during the year. You have to watch.

Another point is that in my experience dealerships overfill engine oil, because they follow the listed oil capacity (which is for a reference only, and mostly overstated), and not the dipstick. This is not good for the engine. So if you want to have it done right, do it yourself.

The Versa is probably the easiest car to change engine oil, basically a piece of cake. Just run it on the ramps. Most auto parts stores will take your used oil.
 

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As another member stated, if your still within the warranty period, I would always have the dealership do the oil changes. My 2009 versa sedan was still under the powertrain warranty when the engine developed a piston slap. All my work was done by the dealership, and the engine was replaced with no questions asked. They could pull up all the records on their computer and there was no way they could say that the proper maintenance wasn't done. When you take it to an independent licensed shop, keep all your records. If you do the oil changes yourself or you use a shade tree mechanic, the dealer can always say that you screwed something up, or you didn't use the proper oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. I do indeed keep records, so I have the oil+filter receipts with the mileage written on them. I do appreciate the input on catching sales and such, but I have this thing about buying quality filters and oil, I just can't do a cheap filter (the nissan one seemed good BTW), oils I know are often made by only a few places and relabeled but I guess it felt better at the time buying mobil-1. My dealer also does sales on their service so I suppose I can watch for those. I can say that I've checked the oil levels right along, and they have yet to over-fill it so that's pretty good I think. Only thing I ever questioned them on was the time they said I should consider a new belt as they saw 3 cracks on the current one. They did not offer to warranty it though (20K) so I passed, as I thought it looked fine. That was what kinda' led to me doing my own maintenance, as it kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I do know however, that from a liability standpoint, they had to ask me if I wanted to change it, so I guess I will cut them a little slack. I might just have them do the next oil change and be done with it. I do like the satisfaction of doing it myself, and convenience of not having to make an appointment, then sit and wait.... but it is nice having a car wash included and all the stuff under there checked on a lift.
 

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I dont know about you guys, but Im finding the nissan dealer is expensive vs the honda and toyota I owned. Ive let the honda dealer do stuff I could as it wasnt that expensive and free me up to do other things.

The warranty thing may seem nice, but trust me. As soon as a problem pops up they will worm and wiggle out of that and try to pin it on you for the failure of the engine. I knew a guy who was anal like that and had engine problems. They claimed since it was a stick shift he missed a shift, over rev and that caused engine damage.

Under the moss act they have to prove your mod, maintenance, etc caused the failure.

Me, I had a dome light that did not work. Tried an led bulb it did not work either. They claimed they checked it and left it hanging down from the roof. They said they can prove it has power to the connector, but I voided the warranty on the fixture cause I put an led bulb in it. I fooled with it and got another led bulb and it worked.
 

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Nissan bulb connectors are among the sh-ttiest on the planet and barely hold bulbs even new. You can easily rebend the bulb connectors to hold the bulb to work again and in a couple places I've used thin cardboard as a shim to tighten the bulb up-problem gone forever. Not rocket science at all but if people just want to stay dull to not think at all then utterly simple things will stay broken...........it is only expected that different bulb bases will tend to bend the contacts looser.............

I'm using a much bigger than OEM oil filter on my 1.8, the engine now needs right at 5 quarts in it to hit stick level.
 

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Yes I would still change my oil myself. Nissan USA is providing me with free oil changes for 3 years because the dealer lost my hubcap and tried to sell me a new one "at cost", which is what the dealer paid for it, not the retail price, but, still, the dealer should've replaced it for free. Even though the oil changes are "free", there's the hassle of taking the car to the dealer, listening to the dealer's upselling attempts, and the overall shoddy job that the dealer does on these oil changes.

After my most recent oil change at the dealer, I noticed that the cabin air filter cover was not installed correctly, causing the filter to stick out of the compartment. These "multi-point inspections" that the dealers provide for "free" actually do more harm than good since the dealer technicians don't even know how to put the parts back correctly. I've also heard stories about the dealer changing only the oil and not the oil filter. That's pretty messed up. I guess it's my fault for trusting the dealer.
 

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If i didnt have a lifetime warranty on both my car and my wifes car, I would be changing the oil myself. However, those lifetime warranty's are very specific and I figure the dealer can't fight me if the bottom end of the motor goes bad (which seems to be a common occurrence) because they have all the records. The multi-point inspection is nice, but you have to remember that sometimes the techs doing the oil changes are hourly, not flat rate. Meaning they are new to the field or dealership and get the easy stuff like oil changes, rotates, etc. With this being said, it is also SUPER easy for a tech to miss what type of oil you are requesting. I bought a giant silver decal that I put next to the oil cap that says, "FULL SYNTHETIC OIL ONLY". Having worked in a shop, this happened more often than you would think.

I use full synthetic and now the oil changes have gone up to $60 but I get this done every 6 months or 5,000 miles. They continue to put 3,000 miles on the sticker but I ignore that. Additionally, that inspection can be BS. I got my oil changed last Friday and they said I needed new rotors and pads bc they were at 3mm (they also said this last time). FUNNY, because I just changed the rotors and pads on my car myself less than 2 months ago with premium Akebono pads and Carquest platinum rotors. Stuff like that irritates that hell at me.....after I called them out, the service advisor just mumbled and didn't know what to say.

I do enjoy getting under my Honda and doing the oil change and other work on it....except for the brake lines which have been a nightmare. It allows me to check up on everything that i wouldnt normally see and continue to monitor any changes. Example, ive put 33 miles on it in the past year and the CV boot is slinging grease everywhere.....so i gotta find the receipt and get that swapped for the lifetime warranty from Advanced Auto.
 

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However, those lifetime warranty's are very specific and I figure the dealer can't fight me if the bottom end of the motor goes bad (which seems to be a common occurrence) because they have all the records.
Can you be more specific about "the bottom end of the motor" and how it "goes bad"? Thank you.
 

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I've done my own oil changes since the third one after I bought the car (it gets done every 5K). I found out I could get Harvest King synthetic fairly cheap at Rural King, and the whole thing costs less than $12 every change. Can't beat that.
 

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Earlier Versas had issue with crap quality engine block bore plating that had thousands of engines wear piston skirts and cylinder walls way early to have to replace the engines for piston slapping rattle. Around '07-'09ish? The engines have plated aluminum blocks, not iron linered like better quality engines have.
 

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And, to those that think the so-called 'lifetime warranty' on OTC parts has great worth, think again. The warranty actually means they will give you new parts as long as you still have that receipt, but they are often of LESSER quality rather than better, the idea being to give them to you until you go through enough of them you eventually give up asking for them. There being almost ZERO better quality there like you would tend to think. You are actually paying for more total number of parts given to you rather than for the better parts you think you are getting there that only change once. What the Chinese manufacturing juggernaut brought us, they make them so cheap they can easily afford multiple parts going out to the same person, it's even figured into the end cost.

A HUGE scam, and I saw it first hand on hundreds of occasions when I was in parts. They figure the average number of parts a person will likely get as they go bad again and again and you actually pay on that figured average number rather than just for one better quality part. Of course all those multiple part changes have nothing in there as far as cost of replacing them at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well I guess the other part of my question that I'm still a little bit curious about is:
Does the 1.6L versa engine "need" synthetic? or is it just a nice touch?

My owners manual just says 5W-30 and change it every 5k miles. No mention of synthetic. I intend to change the oil every 5K, regardless of oil-type.
So is the 1.6L okay with regular oil every 5K over it's life? (other than this last oil change... that's what it has had so far)

Right now it has Mobil-1 in it, and I made a dealer appointment, so it would be getting conventional oil put back in it next week if I follow through and have them change it.
 

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It works fine. MY 1.8 gets non-syn and I go no lower than 10W here, currently using 10-40, in Texas.

Syn oil becomes much more important at 5 weight and lower, and real extremes in temperature, it flows better cold.

NO car absolutely needs synthetic unless going for the really light weights, why you generally can't get them in non-syn. The syn also lasts longer than non-syn at very high temps.

It's all in how you use them.
 

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And, to those that think the so-called 'lifetime warranty' on OTC parts has great worth, think again. The warranty actually means they will give you new parts as long as you still have that receipt, but they are often of LESSER quality rather than better, the idea being to give them to you until you go through enough of them you eventually give up asking for them. There being almost ZERO better quality there like you would tend to think. You are actually paying for more total number of parts given to you rather than for the better parts you think you are getting there that only change once. What the Chinese manufacturing juggernaut brought us, they make them so cheap they can easily afford multiple parts going out to the same person, it's even figured into the end cost.

A HUGE scam, and I saw it first hand on hundreds of occasions when I was in parts. They figure the average number of parts a person will likely get as they go bad again and again and you actually pay on that figured average number rather than just for one better quality part. Of course all those multiple part changes have nothing in there as far as cost of replacing them at all.
I think they are great! I'll gladly pay 1/5th the price and have to replace it a couple of times (maybe) especially if it is an item that is easy to replace. I've had Moog lower balljoints that were bad right out of the box and that is the best brand you can buy (Though i think the quality did go down a bit when Federal bought them) in my opinion other than OEM. Not to mention, for an application such as mine (a lowered Honda) which is putting much more stress on the parts than they were designed to handle, they will need to be replaced more often anyways. Example, the right half shaft on my Honda costs over $310 from the dealership wheras I can buy a new one (not remanned) from Advanced for $65 w/ coupon. It takes me 30 minutes to swap one out at the most and even if I have to do it 3 times its well worth the $245 in savings. Lifetime warranty on rotors and pads?! SOLD! For anything with a lifetime warranty whether it be tools, parts, electronics, etc I immediately scan them, make a copy, and staple the original to the copy and then file away by item type or vehicle. Heck, with most auto places they have all your purchases on record and you don't even need your receipt.
I absolutely love them! Just don't go with the "premium" brands and you'll be fine.
 

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Well, some of the parts are absolute garbage, I sold them. I see your point and do exactly the same with receipts on a part I think will break regardless of who makes it. One other issue though is that you often easily pay twice what the part is worth OTC, I buy almost exclusively online now and it saves more than the 40% discount I used to get as a parts guy. Now that number is often up to 60% and that can even include shipping if you are sharp. The lifetime warranty pushed that up artificially........the price is nowhere near 1/5, I buy online and NEVER pay what any part comes near OTC. Just bought FIVE relays for $8, OTC was $9 for ONE. Hundreds of other things priced the same differences. It is pure death to buy OTC now, why I keep more than one car, to be able to wait on parts by mail, it has made me thousands of $$$$$$$$$. About the only thing I buy OTC now is something under $10 that would have shipping put on it online.

Save the receipts!, while I was there they crashed servers to lose every bit of that data they save, they do NOT guarantee to be able to get it at all times and lots got mad when no past sales data could be found. Stupid idea anyway, when people change cellphone numbers every 6 months they lose the number to forget it and then the yelling begins AFTER they have you waste 30 minutes looking up bogus numbers they are now making up out of thin air due to not being able to remember the old one. I wasted one hour of every day doing that research and generally 2/3 for nothing, it X 4500 employees all doing it results in hundreds of millions of $$$$$$$ in lost effort every year and the chains could not get their heads around that.

Moog IIRC has a cheap Chinese line now, they had to to compete, too many think $80 for a good lifetime balljoint is too high when they can get a 'lifetime' for $20 that does not last a year due to no heat treat on the part. I gave many people a set of warranty BJs every year; they are trash. Many got alternators and starters once a year too, it was crazy. I almost got fired once over not warrantying a creeper a guy had put a complete engine on to break the backbone of it, then his dog repeat attacked it to tear off 3 of the wheels, and then he wanted his money back claiming it was no good because it wouldn't take all that and I refused.

Yes, if the part comes off easy it can work. The only way getting say 5 of them instead of 1 will pay off.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It works fine. MY 1.8 gets non-syn and I go no lower than 10W here, currently using 10-40, in Texas.

Syn oil becomes much more important at 5 weight and lower, and real extremes in temperature, it flows better cold.

NO car absolutely needs synthetic unless going for the really light weights, why you generally can't get them in non-syn. The syn also lasts longer than non-syn at very high temps.

It's all in how you use them.
This is just my daily driver commuter car. I average 10-12k a year for miles. I don't run it that hard, but I do live in New Hampshire, so I do see cold temps in the winter.

It used to be (before synthetic) you changed your oil every 3K.... Then it went to 5k.... then I saw car-makers make the oil change interval 5K ... and that was with conventional oil.... now I see synthetics saying oil changes can be 7-12k (depending on how high-end it is).

Hence my going on about changing mobil-1 oil at 5K... I've been told that is a waste... and to go longer.... but I can't (won't) do that.
It seems (correct me if I'm wrong here) that 5k on conventional oil seems to be the new standard these days. (?)
 
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