Should I Change RV Oil From Walmart?

rv oil change walmart
rv oil change walmart

Owning a recreational vehicle comes with a huge responsibility. It’s like buying a house, except this one has a vehicle aspect that requires even more complex maintenance. If you fail to take care of your RV, you’ll have more trips to the service center than to your desired destinations.

Before you know it, your RV is sitting in your yard like an abandoned loser cruiser slowly rusting away.

The engine is the heart of your RV and requires the most attention. Unlike other vehicles, your RV is designed for long drives and hauling heavy loads, forcing the engine to work twice or thrice as hard. Of course, this engine has more capacity than a standard one.

Still, it needs regular maintenance to perform at optimal levels. Replace worn-out and clogged air, fuel, and coolant filters. Carry out glow plug checks before hitting the road. Check the gaskets and replace them as needed. Drain the water separators before the water backs up into the engine. And more.

But there’s one maintenance task that is just as critical yet often ignored—oil change. That’s because engine oil’s useful life is getting increasingly longer.

So, even if you check other engine components regularly, you’ll tend to ignore the engine oil since you don’t expect to change it until you lose track of time and forget about the oil change altogether.

Why change your engine oil?

change engine oil

Your RV’s engine is a complex assembly of metal parts that push and slide against each another as it burns fuel and transforms heat into mechanical energy. These parts must be lubed up for performance and efficiency, which allows the engine to produce more power with less fuel. A well-oiled machine not only performs better but also lasts long.

This repetitive motion of the engine components leaves a trace of metal dust that mixes with the oil, making it thick and dirty over time. Add outside dust that made its way into the engine, and you’ll get a dark, sticky sludge that can hardly limber up the components.

And while the engine oil dumps excess debris through the filter, the microscopic ones stay suspended.

Despite their size, microscopic metal dust can cause severe damage when left recirculating in the engine. Periodically changing your RV’s engine oil slows wear and tear by flushing out this dust. It also improves the engine’s performance by helping it stay cool.

Remember that engine oil must be fluid enough for the engine parts to move freely. These parts will take more time and effort to move if they bathe in old, gooey engine oil.

When to change your engine oil?

The question now is when should you change your RV’s engine oil? Most manufacturer manuals recommend an oil change every 3,000 to 7,500 miles. If you’re using your RV regularly, you’re likely covering 1,000 miles per month.

Of course, it’s just a general estimate, but ultimately, the frequency at which you should change your RV’s engine oil will depend on several things, including the type of oil you use and the driving conditions.

It’s different if you’re using synthetic oil. Unlike natural oil, this one lasts longer, with some brands stretching it out for up to 15,000 miles. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t make you complacent. You should inspect the oil regularly to know its condition and get an idea of how long you must wait before your engine needs new oil.

The most apparent clue that an oil change must be in order is in the appearance and texture of your engine oil. It must be amber and runny. So be ready to raise the green light if it’s almost black and slushy.

Should I change RV oil from Walmart?

change RV oil from Walmart

Most RV owners change their engine oil themselves. Sometimes, they take their vehicle to a workshop and let a mechanic do it if they want a more thorough job. But some owners—those who wish to avoid the hard work for less than the cost of a professional service—take advantage of Walmart’s Auto Care Center Services.

Yes, Walmart offers a bunch of car services, including oil changes, tire replacements, and fuel maintenance.

Walmart’s oil change service is pretty basic and costs a lot less than how much you’d have to pay at an actual workshop or service center. It comes as a package that includes oil filter replacement, chassis lubrication, and maintenance check of essential vehicle components such as lights, brakes, and tires.

However, this may not be the same in all Walmart branches. For example, some may offer tire rotation and transmission fuel checks, while others may not.

How does Walmart do it? First, their technician checks the vehicle’s oil level and condition to know the scope of the job. Then, they remove the old oil and filter and wipe off any remaining debris on the inlet.

fresh engine oil

Once the inlet is ready, they install the new filter and pour the fresh engine oil. The fresh oil must circulate throughout the engine to lubricate all components, so the technician will start the engine and let it run for a few minutes.

Some issues do not present themselves right off the bat. Leaks, for example, only become apparent after the fresh oil has been poured in. So, the technician will check the entire engine for leaks before confirming that the service is complete. Then, after finishing the oil change, they will check the tires, brakes, and lights as a bonus.

The price of Walmart’s oil change service varies depending on the type of oil the engine uses. Standard oil only costs around $34, while synthetic oil costs around $54. You can also choose to have new tires mounted for only $11 per tire and have your fuel system checked and maintained for a minimum of $20.

Walmart claims that certified technicians perform its oil change service. If you have doubts about their technicians’ expertise, feel free to ask for some proof of certification. After all, you want your RV—one of your biggest investments—to be handled by a genuine, experienced technician.

Pros and cons of changing RV oil at Walmart

Pros cons of changing RV oil

Many RV owners prefer changing their engine oil at Walmart because it’s convenient. Let’s not forget that Walmart is one of the world’s largest retailers. It has a branch in almost every major city and state.

As a result, it’s easier to find than an RV service center. Walmart’s oil change service is also significantly cheaper than that at service centers and workshops.

However, like anything cheap and accessible, this service has its share of disadvantages. For example, it is limited to oil changes and oil filter replacements. The add-ons that cost a little over $10 aren’t in-depth, and the technician may miss critical spots.

You are also likely to wait in a long queue to be entertained since this service is famous not just among RV owners but all motorists. Of course, you shouldn’t expect the oil they’ll put in your vehicle to be the premium quality.

They’ll have to make some money out of this service somehow, and that won’t be possible if they use oil that costs more than the price of the service. And lastly, the service comes with a limited warranty.


change your RV’s engine oil yourself

Walmart’s oil change service is a good option if you’re looking for convenience and extra savings. It might get your engine through to the next cycle, but don’t expect the new oil to significantly impact your RV’s performance.

If anything, you should expect a few problems along the way, which might cost you more than the little savings you thought you made. There’s a good chance you’ll end up having your engine checked at a specialized RV repair shop.

If you’re still on the fence, your best option is to learn to change your RV’s engine oil yourself. In fact, it’s one of the things an RV owner should compel themselves to learn because professional services will not always be available, and engine-oil-related issues are among those that can ground your RV.

If your RV isn’t moving, you can’t take it to a service center even if you want to. But if you know what to do, you won’t just have your problem fixed in no time, but you can also save a great deal of money.

Leave a Comment