How Long Does an Oil Change Take?

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Getting your car’s oil changed is an important part of keeping a regular maintenance schedule and helps ensure your vehicle operates at peak performance. On average, expect a full oil change to take anywhere between 25 minutes to an hour, depending on several factors and accounting for wait time.
When a mechanic changes your oil, they first have to drain all of the existing oil—the step that takes the most time—and replace your oil filter before refilling the engine with new oil. Depending on whether you visit a repair or quick-lube shop, you may have to wait before someone is able to change your oil, which can lengthen the process.
If it’s your first time getting your car’s oil changed, or you have questions about the oil-change process, keep reading. Licensed
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How long does an oil change take?

While the actual time may vary for a number of reasons, most oil changes take between 25 minutes and an hour, with the majority taking over half an hour. In general, it’s recommended to plan for at least an hour of your day to be taken up by getting your oil changed so as not to cause scheduling issues.
That said, the duration of an oil change is largely dependent on gravity, as there is no way to rush the process of draining out the old oil. Exact times are also influenced by how easily accessible your engine’s drain plug and filter are. Most car models have theirs situated near the bottom of the vehicle, but some are harder to get to than others.

Which is faster: repair or quick-lube shops?

While it’s not always the case, quick-lube shops are usually going to be faster than most auto repair shops at changing your oil. 
However, if you make an oil change appointment with your local auto shop ahead of time, you may not have to worry about potential wait time, in which case the total appointment duration may be about the same.

Should I just change my own oil?

If you are confident you can do so correctly, there’s no reason you can’t change your own oil. This will certainly be cheaper, as you are only purchasing the oil and filter rather than having to pay for both the materials and labor. It may take a long time, depending on how experienced you are.

How often should I change my oil?

On average, it is recommended you change your oil every six months, a timeframe that assumes approximately 3,000 miles were driven based on average driving statistics.
If you don’t know when the last time your car’s oil was changed, there are a few things to watch out for which indicate your engine needs new oil:
  • Loud clanking noises from the engine
  • Increased trips to the gas station to fill up your tank
  • Smell of oil inside the car
You can also visit a quick-lube shop and have them check the oil level and give an estimate of how long until you should change your oil if you’re unsure of when it was last changed.
Changing your oil on a regular basis is crucial to maintaining an undamaged, properly functioning engine and helps ensure efficient fuel consumption while producing less overall emissions.

What type of oil do I need?

As a general rule, it’s best to consult your owner’s manual for the exact type of oil you need, but you can also ask your mechanic. They will help you pick the one that yields the best performance for your car.
In many cases, you can figure out the type of oil you need by considering the age of your vehicle. Older cars use conventional oil, while newer cars take synthetic or synthetic-blend oils. Synthetic blends are usually more affordable than full synthetic oils and more efficient than conventional oil.

Finding affordable car insurance

Sticking to a regular maintenance schedule is crucial to keeping your vehicle operating as intended. Compliment that dedication to your car’s upkeep by protecting it with the right auto insurance policy.
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FAQs

In general, it is recommended you have your oil changed every 3,000 miles driven, equating to approximately six months based on average driving habits. 
If you are unsure of when your oil was last changed, look out for these signs: oil smell inside the car, increased trips to the gas station, and/or a loud clunking noise from the engine.
In most cases, older vehicles require conventional oil, while newer cars use synthetic or synthetic-blend oils. If you are unsure of the exact kind of oil your vehicle needs, consult your owner’s manual or ask your mechanic to help you pick the right oil.

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