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I don't do my own oil changes for a variety of reasons, but I'm starting to balk at the cost of getting synthetic oil changes from a service shop. Jiffy Lube wants to charge me $85 and TiresChoice is $69 (compared to $25 for conventional). My question is: do I have to get synthetic oil or will conventional oil suffice? Will I just be making things worse in the long or short run if I start using conventional?
 

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You need to use an oil of proper weight and it should have the Dexos 1 or Dexos 2 rating label on the front. That means it meets the requirements that GM has documented for oils in their engines. Some of those oils may be synthetic blends rather than full synthetics.

My dealer uses 0-20W and earlier in my 2014's life it was given 5-20W oil at the dealer.

I'm not sure what oils are available in various brands and weights at a store like Walmart. Frankly, I don't trust most of the quick shops to use the correct Dexos rated oil. I do my own other than my '14 Malibu and my Cruze '15 which my son has.

Buying an AC Delco filter for $8 or so at Walmart and buying 5 quarts of Pennzoil full synthetic 0-20W is about $25. So that's $33. I do change the oil in my Cobalt which has had Pennzoil Dexos 1 oil since I got it.

There are likely others here with choices of regular oils that meet Dexos 1.
 

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2017 SS Sedan 6.2L
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You should not use conventional oil in your 2014 Malibu. It is a very high tech engine and cheap conventional oil does not meet the minimum requirements necessary.

Like imidazol97 said, you can buy dexos certified oil at places like walmart for $20-25 and get a decent filter for $5-8 (either at a store or online). Then you can just hand the mechanic the supplies and pay the base price of an oil change so you're not paying anywhere near $85.

P.S. Don't go to jiffy lube. That's a good way to have someone drain your transmission fluid and pour oil into your windshield washer bottle.
 
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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Short answer: Use whatever you want.

Extract:
Be forewarned that your PowerTrain warranty could be voided in whole or in part, which is worth way more than any sum of oil changes you can do.

I lost my 2011 3.6L V6 engine at 94,ooo miles, just 9,ooo miles and 3 months shy of its in-service date and mileage. I estimate that I got about $5ooo-worth of engine and labor at no cost to me. Before that, I had been using synthetic blends and had switched to full synthetic, but after that, all I've used is full synthetic. Even though I no longer have any warranty at all, I still use the best oil that will extend the life of the engine.

You'd do well to use full synthetic oil, but at the very least, adhere to the warranty specs to protect yourself and your engine. Nothing's guaranteed except death and taxes; everything else is icing on the cake.
 

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do you have any relationship with a local mechanic/shop???...some will allow you to buy the oil and filter yourself and they will put it in for a nominal fee...nice to have a relationship with someplace for when the more expensive repairs crop up (or to keep them from cropping up through maintenance)...

both Walmart SuperTech and Costco Kirkland make full synthetic oils for these cars and many times a 5 quart bottle is under $19...other oils you may want can be bought during sales or with rebates (Mobil 1, Shell Rotella Gas/Truck)...filters too...

good luck with your choice and your cars

Bill
 

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I only use full synth. fluids in my vehicles. Took my old '99 Yukon and my old '09 Malibu both to 190k miles and sold them running fine. Seen both on the road a year or two later. The best oils and gas will never let you down. A vehicle is the second most expensive purchase one makes in their life, so do you want the most out of it or roll the dice and cheap out on maintenance ? I do all my own oil changes, shop oil changers are one level above floor sweepers.
 

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Use a good name-brand oil with the Dexos rating on the container. Doing it yourself means you can keep an eye out for sales. :)

Oil isn't cheap today but neither are engines. As an extreme example, pop a dually pickup diesel off-warranty and you're looking at $20,000+. That buys a lot of quality oil.
 

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All of the above is great advice. The only thing I would add is buy yourself a set of ramps that you can drive the car up on to and do it yourself. It is one of the easiest things to do to maintain your car. I'm pushing 70 and haven't had my car (02 Malibu) in a shop for oil changes since I can't remember when. Walmart has the synthetic blend high mileage oil I use and with a filter it costs me less than $30 to do it. Best of luck and yes use the proper oil that your manual calls for.

Peace
 
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