For the past decade, more OEMs are recommending the use of more expensive synthetic motor oils, which is increasing the cost of each PM service. But the higher quality motor oil also allows the intervals between these services to lengthen, which is offsetting some of the additional per-transaction costs.
“The transition toward full synthetic engine oil requirements continues to grow. Increasing numbers of new-vehicle models require full synthetic oil, which costs more than conventional or semi-synthetic oil,” said Dawn Schremp, national service department director for Enterprise Fleet Management.
The shift to semi-synthetic and synthetic blends has increased maintenance intervals but it also increased oil drain prices. As a result, the average cost of oil drains to fleets has increased. “We see a cost increase in the price per transaction, but there have been fewer transactions this year,” said Troy Fleener, team lead, maintenance for Emkay.
The longer drain intervals are offsetting the higher per-transaction price, making PM costs, on average, flat for CY-2020 when compared to CY-2019.
An additional factor impacting fleet PM costs is that the oil capacity for some models has increased, necessitating the use of more quarts of oil than what was used in the past.
“Many new models have larger engine oil capacities beyond the typical five-quart capacity of older vehicles, adding to the cost of oil change services. The higher cost of synthetic oil and increased engine oil capacities can be offset, to some degree, by longer recommended drain intervals set forth by vehicle manufacturers,” said Schremp of Enterprise Fleet Management