Blog Car Care Advice How Long Does an Oil Change Take + When to Get One?
Car Care Advice

How Long Does an Oil Change Take + When to Get One?

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Wondering if an oil change is worth the time it takes
A quick oil change ensures your car runs smoothly, boosts fuel efficiency, and, most importantly, prevents costly repairs down the road. 

But what happens if you ignore it?

Read more to explore how long an oil change can take, the factors affecting its duration, and what dirty oil does to your engine.

This Article Contains:

How Long Does an Oil Change Take?

An oil change process is usually quick and can take around 30 to 45 minutes — if you’ve been sticking to the routine vehicle maintenance services your car needs.

Most of the oil change service time is actually spent waiting for the oil to drain. After changing your car’s oil and installing a new oil filter, your technician will quickly inspect your vehicle to ensure everything is okay. This can add to the duration, but it’s usually no more than 15 to 20 minutes.

These inspections include:

The service duration can be extended further if your mechanic spots other car troubles. For instance, your mechanic may have to order parts that are unavailable in their parts department before fixing the issue. 

Next, explore the different factors that can add to your wait time.

What Affects the Duration of an Oil Change?

Here are some considerations that can affect the amount of time taken for an oil change process:

A. Who’s Changing the Engine Oil?

A DIY oil change can take about 30 minutes to an hour or more. This wait time depends on your experience in changing your own oil, handling equipment like wrenches, and garage setup.

Are you bringing your car to a service center for a fresh oil change?

A professional oil change technician at a dealership or service center will take 30 to 45 minutes for an oil change service. That’s because there may be a wait time — depending on your service appointment and how busy the dealership is.

Meanwhile, if you take your car to a quick lube shop, the mechanic can replace your old one with new oil in around 15 minutes. 

However, this approach has some concerns. For instance, quick lube shops may not offer highly trained technicians. If the parts aren’t reinstalled correctly, they may lead to oil leaks sooner rather than later. 

B. How Accessible Is the Engine Oil Drain Plug and Oil Filter?

Many car models have their oil drain plug and oil filter situated at the bottom of the vehicle, where they are easy to access. 

However, in some SUVs, like the Land Rover, the oil drain plug may be under a skid plate, and the oil filter might be behind other engine components. This makes it harder even for trained technicians to access them and may require more time to replace the oil.

Wondering what’s the ideal time to get fresh oil?
Read more to find out.

When Should You Change Your Vehicle’s Oil?

It’s essential to have an oil change done about every six months or 5,000 miles. Alternatively, if you see the oil change or check engine light on your dashboard, it’s time to go for a motor oil change. If you have pre-owned vehicles, it’s better to get an oil change as soon as you get the car since you may not know when the last service was done. 

Note: Every manufacturer has different recommendations about oil life and when to change it. Check your owner’s manual to know the exact time and oil level. 

Still, irrespective of whether you have a new vehicle or not, you should watch for these common engine oil change signs: 

  1. Burnt oil smells from your car because dirty oil can’t cool your engine, and the oil begins to burn.
  1. Loud clanking noises from your car’s engine are caused by improper lubrication of old oil.
  1. Sluggish engine performance due to increased friction.
  1. Heavy exhaust smoke due to the burning of degraded oil and debris. 
  1. Frequent trips to the gas station for refills because dirty oil reduces fuel efficiency. 

If you’re still unsure about getting a quick oil change, we’ll explore some additional benefits of getting this service.

Why Should You Change Your Car’s Oil Regularly? 

There are several advantages of a regular oil change, such as:

Old oil can easily clog your oil filter, increase friction, and, in the worst case, cause engine seizures. That’s why it’s important to schedule preventive maintenance services to spot dirty oil or other car troubles before they’re too late. 

Note: If you have clean oil but a low oil level, you can get a top-off. And if the low oil level is a frequent issue, get your car checked for oil leaks.

Next, let’s find out the different types of oil available and which one will suit your vehicle. 

What Type of Oil Does Your Vehicle Need?

Depending on whether you own newer or pre-owned vehicles, you can use either:

Older vehicles typically run on conventional oil. But you can consider switching from conventional oil to synthetic when you schedule service next. Synthetic motor oil is a better choice for your engine as it prevents car breakdowns and offers easier starts in extremely cold conditions.

However, if synthetic oil is expensive, you can choose a synthetic blend. It’s more affordable than full synthetic motor oil and more efficient than conventional oil.

Note: If your owner’s manual prescribes a specific oil, choose that. If it doesn’t, ask your mechanic to help you pick a cost-effective oil that yields great performance.

Read on to find out how much an oil change can set you back.

How Much Does an Oil Change Cost?

You can expect to pay around $30 to $100 for a professional oil change

This cost depends on your local labor charges, oil type, and your vehicle model. You may need to pay more if the service department has to order parts for a filter change. 

Although a DIY oil change can help you save on labor costs, the process can be messy, and you’ll need to follow safety protocols to dispose of the old oil. For instance, you’ll need to take the old oil to a recycling center or an auto shop that accepts used oil.

Tip: Before booking a service, always check your service center’s website for any service special or part special offer to get discounts on the total bill. Some centers even offer new vehicle specials and pre-owned vehicle specials for both new and existing customers.

Get a Hassle-free Oil Change with AutoNation Mobile Service

An oil change is a quick and inexpensive service that protects your engine as well as the environment.

If you require help with an oil change or just need routine vehicle maintenance, reach out to AutoNation Mobile Service

We can perform any auto service right from your driveway. We also offer upfront pricing, convenient online booking, and a 12-month, 12,000-mile repair warranty on new inventory.

Contact us for a quick oil change today or any other services, like brake repair, transmission fluid replacement, or transmission repair.