A regular oil change protects your engine from dirt and ensures smoother engine operation.
This Article Contains:
- How Long Does An Oil Change Take?
- What Affects The Duration Of An Oil Change?
- 5 Oil Change FAQs
How Long Does An Oil Change Take?
An oil change process is usually quick and can take anywhere between 20-45 minutes.
That’s if you’ve been sticking to the routine maintenance services your car needs.
In that time, your mechanic or technician will:
- Open the car oil drain plug
- Drain the dirty oil (motor oil)
- Remove the old oil filter and replace it with a new oil filter
- Refill new oil and check the oil level
Apart from your technician, gravity does a lot of the work.
That’s why the majority of the oil change service time in an oil change is actually spent waiting for the oil to drain.
After changing your car’s oil, your technician will usually also inspect your car’s engine to ensure that everything is okay. This can add to the duration it takes, but is usually no more than 10-15 minutes.
Now that you have the answer to “how long does an oil change take,” let’s see why it takes that much time.
What Affects The Duration Of An Oil Change?
The duration of an oil change can vary depending on several factors.
Here are some of them:
1. Who’s Changing The Engine Oil?
If you’re taking the DIY oil change approach to feeding your vehicle with fresh oil, it’ll take you about 30 minutes to an hour or more. The DIY oil change duration depends on your experience, equipment, and garage setup.
Are you bringing your car to a service shop for a fresh oil change?
A professional mechanic or technician at a dealership or repair shop will take 30 to 45 minutes for an oil change service. That’s because there may be a waiting period, depending on your service appointment time and how busy the dealership is.
However, if you take your car to a quick lube shop, the mechanic can change your old oil with new, clean oil in about 20 minutes. However, there are some concerns with this approach.
2. How Accessible Is The Engine Oil Drain Plug And Oil Filter?
Another factor influencing an oil change duration is the type of car or vehicle you own. That’s because many car models have their oil drain plug and oil filter situated at the bottom of the vehicle, which is easy to access.
However, if your car’s oil drain plug and the oil filter are less accessible, it might take longer for your mechanic to change the oil and replace it with a new oil filter.
Now that you know that an oil change service isn’t the most time-consuming task, let’s answer some questions that you may have about oil changes.
5 Oil Change FAQs
Let’s find out more about oil change by answering a few FAQs.
1. When Should I Change My Car’s Oil?
Every manufacturer has different recommendations for when you should go for an oil change.
To find out, you can always take a peek at your owner’s manual, your handy service advisor.
Alternatively, if you have a newer vehicle, you can keep an eye on the oil change or check light on your dashboard. It should give you an indication that it’s time to get your motor oil changed.
Typically, an older car needs you to change its motor oil every 3,000 miles. However, a newer vehicle or a car with modern lubricants may have a longer oil change interval — likely at every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
Irrespective of whether you have a newer vehicle or not, you can also look out for common engine oil change signs like:
- It smells like oil inside your car. You may even smell burnt oil because dirty oil can’t cool your engine.
- You hear loud clanking noises in your car’s engine because of improper lubrication by old oil.
- You need to make frequent trips to the gas station for refills because dirty, old oil reduces fuel efficiency.
2. Repair Shop Vs. Quick Lube Shop: Which Is A Better Choice?
A quick lube shop, like the name suggests, can carry out a quick oil change.
It’ll be much faster than an oil change process by a dealership or repair shop because a quick lube shop specializes in changing oil for several cars each day. But beyond a quick oil change, there isn’t much they can offer.
A quick lube shop:
- Won’t always have the exact brand of oil filter that’s recommended by your car’s manufacturer
- Isn’t any cheaper than a repair shop
- Won’t have highly trained technicians
On the other hand, a service technician at a dealership or auto repair shop performs many other essential routine maintenance inspections and auto services apart from an oil change.
Some of them include:
- Checking wiper blades
- Checking tire pressure
- Tire rotation
- Examining the exterior lights
- Checking brake fluid
- Checking for oil leak
- Oil pan replacement, etc.
So if you just need to change your oil, a quick lube shop might work if you’re in a rush. But if you need quality routine maintenance done, a dealership or repair shop may be a better choice.
3. Why Should I Get My Car’s Oil Changed Regularly?
There are several advantages of a regular oil change, such as:
- Quick and affordable: The first and obvious benefit is that an oil change process is quick and affordable. And this simple process of changing motor oil will save you larger expenses, such as repairing or replacing a damaged engine.
- Environmental impact: Old oil or dirty oil produces high amounts of emissions, which are harmful to the environment. In comparison, new oil or clean oil contains less debris and produces less emission.
- Improves fuel consumption: New oil reduces friction in your engine, allowing it to run smoothly. And that reduces the amount of fuel your car needs every day.
- Better engine health: Changing your old oil and oil filter as recommended by your owner’s manual is important to protect your engine from damage. Your oil filter does trap most oil contaminants; however, smaller contaminants can escape and circulate through the engine. These particles can damage the inside of your car’s engine.
- Keeps the engine cool: The moving parts of your car’s engine can cause friction and produce heat. This can increase the engine temperature too high and break down your car. New engine oil keeps lubrication in check; as a result, your engine doesn’t heat up.
4. What Type Of Oil Does My Vehicle Need?
Depending on if you own an old or newer vehicle is, you either use:
- Conventional oil
- Synthetic oil
- Or synthetic blend oil
Older vehicles typically run on conventional oil, but synthetic oil is better for your engine and prevents breakdowns, especially in extremely cold conditions.
So when you go for an oil change, switching to synthetic oil from conventional oil could be an option for you. However, do remember synthetic oil is more expensive. That’s when you can go for a synthetic blend because they’re much more affordable than synthetic oil and much more efficient than conventional oil.
Note: If your owner’s manual prescribes a specific oil, choose that. If it doesn’t, ask your mechanic or a service advisor for help. They’ll help you pick any oil that’s cost-effective and yields great performance.
5. What Will Happen If I Don’t Change My Vehicle’s Oil?
With time, your car will suffer severe symptoms and even damage.
Old oil turns dark black and causes sludge build-up in your engine. This can easily clog your oil filter, create friction points, and in the worst case, cause engine seizure.
To avoid such situations, keep your oil clean to lubricate engine components properly.
An oil change is an inexpensive and quick service when compared to other car services you need in your car’s lifespan.
And a regular oil change will not only protect your engine with clean oil but the environment too.
If you need a helping hand to change your oil or just a trusting service advisor to guide you, reach out to RepairSmith. They’re a mobile auto repair shop and routine maintenance service provider.
With RepairSmith, you get ASE-certified, trained technicians who can change your vehicle’s oil and fix any other car-related troubles you may have.
Contact them right away for a quick oil change right in your garage — a service appointment that you can easily book online!