Inflation Note: Motor Oil

Posted On: Friday - February 10th 2023 6:38AM MST
In Topics: 

6 is the new 12.

In case you're fairly new to the site and wonder what this 2nd inflation post is on about, within 2 days, well, it's kind of a fixation here. We've had posts on more than just examples. Some have been on the intricacies of calculating good representative CPI (Consumer Price Index) values - "Hedonics", "Substitution", and so on, all here with the Inflation topic key.

As for the examples, maybe it's cherry-picking, maybe it's not. What we do is compare prices, some on products and some on services, for which we have a very good memory for the price of many years ago, with a good estimate for that year too. The longer term, the better, as we want a long-term average (with compounding always).

I get this specialty motor oil for one conveyance I've had a long time. (It's not the stuff in the image, BTW.) The thing about motor oil is, it's petroleum, of course, but it doesn't seem as volatile as gasoline. Yes, that WAS a good pun, as I mean pricewise in the context of this post. It goes up slowly when oil goes up, but it sure doesn't seem to come down, ever... I have a good idea on this, as my goal is to stock up when it's down. Yeah, I know, I really screwed up by doing Cloro-prepping*. However, I'm told, as I would have guessed, that motor oil has a shelf-life on the order of the time since the dinosaurs.

I HAD stocked up, for both the cheap stuff for the older vehicles, pricey stuff for a new one, and some of this specialty oil. However, the mechanic told me to change out the type, so it was time to stock up from scratch.** I don't expect it's ever going down, but I also didn't expect the current price, since it's been so long.

I would tell the price for a case, but we've got to be careful on that. The old cases of oil had 12 bottles. New ones have 6. Was that designed to fool people? I don't know what that's about. It was easier to stack and carry the old ones, and the empty boxes were of more use. I'll do it by the bottle.

It's $7.65 a quart for stuff that I recall being under $2 a quart 31 years back! I bought cases (of 12) for right around $20 back then, but I'll go with 2 dollars, as in, $24 per case. From MoneyChimp: That's a 4.5% average yearly inflation rate compounded over 31 years.

No, it doesn't sound terrible. It just doesn't match the CPI tables you'll see for that basket of goods. (Well, see, the baskets are made from petroleum now, so you know ...) A general rate of 4.5%*** also means you lose half of your savings in dollars every 16 years.

* Original post here.

** Sold the other stuff to a friend. He got a hell of a deal.

*** I used 4.47%, as that was the more precise one for my motor oil calculation. (However, I didn't use that precision, as it was probably UNDER $2/qt. back in the day.)

Area 8 Binary Code 72
Friday - February 10th 2023 8:42PM MST
PS Inflation is a construct of the white male patriarchy and all prices will be redistributed in the spirit of egalitarian equity. (honk!)
There was a chart of everything that has gone up under the clown circus that is Brandon but there is only so much screen resolution.
All of my food staples have went up with some doubling in price since the Stig Beal.
Prices are coming back down slightly as the local Sack-N-Save doesn't have unlimited shelf space.
It was built in the late 1990's before the tens of thousands of replacements and the we must build structures on every plot and parcel mania.
Friday - February 10th 2023 7:58AM MST
PS: Let's see, a € is about the same as a $, least last time I spent one, in the summer. Yeah, that's a lot. Every 12,000 miles or so, though. This one goes by hours. A newer vehicle we have says one can change the oil at some higher interval, maybe 6,000 mi., maybe more than that. However, I still change it once a year, which is only about 5,000 miles each time.
The Alarmist
Friday - February 10th 2023 6:47AM MST

I think I paid roughy €20 per litre for the oil my diesel takes, but the change is every 20k km ... I don’t know if that is good or not. When I was a young stud, the $3 per can oil had to be changed every 3k to 5k miles.
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