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How Long Does An Oil Change Take: What You Need to Save Your Time

Every car owner will experience the oil change process for his or her car. That remains a fact. However, everything else varies, especially on how you’re going to replace the oil.

Some car owners would like to do it themselves. On the other hand, others would like a professional car service to get it done. All of these approaches can vary in time, which may be inconvenient for you, especially if you’re a busy person. Today, let’s find out how long does an oil change take!

Understanding the Oil Change

how long does an oil change take

Your vehicle is just like a living creature. One way or the other, it will require having its fluids drained out and replenished anew. We do this all the time by drinking water and other liquids while urinating within the day. It can keep us hydrated and energised for our active lifestyles.

But, you can also apply this to cars. If we have our respiratory and cardiovascular systems, our vehicles have the engine. The engine acts the same way as these two systems in our body, supplying an efficient means of energy to keep the car running for a long time.

For the air-fuel mixture, the engine needs the help of oil. Oil inside the engine lubricates the numerous moving parts it has during a full engine cycle. One example of this would be the pistons.

Oil has more importance than simply lubrication and cooling. However, we won’t dive in further to that. Those two things alone are enough proof that your car needs oil as much as it needs fuel.

Dirty Oil Can Be Harmful More Than You Think

Dirty engine oil is the main reason why we do an oil change to our cars. Now, it might seem a little simple to think that you need to replace dirty oil because it’s, well, dirty. With this said, there are a lot of reasons why you should take oil change seriously.

The first thing that should come to mind is that engine oil breaks down over time. It’s not just “dirty”, but it’s also about to useless. It can be nothing but junk inside the engine.

When engine oil breaks down, its entire design and purpose go along with it. The composition of the oil disintegrates, which means that its two core functions will decrease in efficiency rapidly.

That means that your car is more susceptible to a lot of problems that can cause short and long-term effects. Overheating is one of the problems that your vehicle can encounter, which is more than enough of a reason to change its oil.

What’s the Process?

Now, similar to changing tires or troubleshooting the engine valves, an oil change can take up a lot of your time depending on several factors.

With that said, it’s important for any person to know how long an oil change would take. We’re all busy people that have lives outside of our car, after all.

Instead of giving out a list of possible durations, it’s better for us to understand the process of changing the oil. That way, we do two things at once, namely, by knowing what goes on in the process and how long it’ll take.

How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

Before oil change, you should know when to change the oil. It is always the first step. Although it varies, a sound basis would be changing your oil by the number of miles it has travelled.

Most mechanics would recommend 3,000 to 5,000 miles. However, if you use a particular kind of oil, which is usually synthetic oil, then your car’s oil change interval can reach until 10,000 miles.

The Main Steps in Oil Change

Changing your car’s oil involves a lot of components and several procedures. Again, we’re not going to discuss that in detail since we’re only finding out how long the entire process it would take. Instead, we’ll focus on the general steps that the car undergoes.

1. Lifting the Car and Bringing It Down Later

jack stands up a car

Lifting the car is a must since you’ll need to drain the oil from below. Thus, you’ll need to jack it up and suspend it by using a pair of good car jack stands. Depending on your skill, lifting the car up and stabilising it can take as fast as 5 minutes but it can reach up to 10 minutes.

2. Opening the Drain Plug

opening the drain plug

Photo Credit: https://www.2carpros.com/

Now that you suspended your car, then opening the drain plug is as easy as removing a screw. That will quickly take just over a minute or two.

3. Draining the Oil

With the drain plug open, the oil should be dripping to an oil pan right now. That takes the most time, typically taking 15-20 minutes. Remember, your car has a ton of oil, so it’ll take a while!

4. Changing Oil Filters

Changing oil filters is the second most tedious job. You’ll have to unscrew the oil filter, prepare a new one, and screw it inside again. That can take as quick as 10 minutes to as long as 20 minutes depending on skill.

young mechanic changing the oil filter

5. Putting in New Oil

This one is simple, as you would only need to fill your car with a reasonable amount of new oil to finish the process, checking the dipstick as well. That will quickly take no more than 5 minutes.

The Final Answer

So there you have it, a simple computation would have you doing the entire process around 35 minutes to an hour. Most of this depends on your knowledge and skill. To be more efficient in your work, it’s a good idea to research well on the techniques and locate the parts first before anything else.

In most car dealerships and repair shops, an oil change can take as long as 2 hours. The reason for this can be a mixture of repairmen taking their time, and just an overall lack of priority. So, if you want to save up money and time, then consider doing an oil change by yourself. Good luck and always remember, safety first!

Steven K. Galloway