How Long Does An Oil Change Take? Average Oil Change Time

Robert Herrera-COR-Wheels

By Robert Herrera

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An oil change is a vital part of car maintenance, and it’s essential to ensure your engine runs smoothly. One of the most common questions people ask is: how long does it take to get an oil change? Let’s find out together!

How Long Does It Take To Get Your Oil Changed?

It normally takes from 30 minutes to 1 hour to change your car oil, depending on the location and type of service. You can even find service centers with estimated oil change time of 10 minutes.

Oil chagne process

Factors, like the number of vehicles ahead of you, the experience of the technician, and any add-on services requested, can impact the duration of the oil change. 

It’s always best to consult with your chosen provider for an accurate estimate of how long the process will take. Also, how long an oil change should take will be slightly different among auto stores and vehicle types. Here is a quick summary base on my experience at some popular places:

By Vehicle Types

Vehicle TypeOil Change Time
SUVAbout 45 mins
SedanAbout 30 mins
Sports CarAbout 45 mins
Pickup TruckAbout 60 mins

By Auto Stores

StoreOil Change Time
WalmartAbout 30 mins
ValvolineAbout 15 mins 
Jiffy LubeAbout 20-45 mins
Big O TireAbout 30-60 mins
Take 5About 10 mins
MavisAbout 30-45 mins
FirestoneWithin 30 mins
Grease Monkey15-30 mins

My all-time favorite, of course, goes to Valvoline and Take 5. Not only do they get the job done quickly (even less than the time I drink a cup of coffee) but also let me stay in my car during the work. Yes, I didn’t even need to get out of the car!

What Influences The Oil Change Time

When it comes to getting an oil change, the amount of time it takes is determined by many pointers. Two of the most significant factors are the person performing the task and the accessibility of the oil filter and drain plug.

Person Who Performs The Task

worker changing oil

One of the most significant factors that can impact the time it takes to change your oil is the experience and skill of the service technician performing the task. 

A qualified mechanic is likely to be able to complete the job more quickly and efficiently, as they have a deeper understanding of the process and any potential obstacles that may arise.

However, note that a less experienced technician may take longer to finish the job but can still provide quality auto service. As with any dealership service, it’s always best to do your research beforehand and choose a reputable oil change service provider to ensure the correct experience.

Oil Filter And Drain Plug Accessibility

Another factor that can significantly impact the time it takes to change your oil is the accessibility of the oil filter and drain plug. When the filter and plug are easily accessible, the oil change process can be completed more quickly. 

Drain Plug Accessibility

But the actual process can take longer if the filter and plug are in a hard-to-reach location or require the removal of other parts.

Some cars may also require special tools to access the oil filter or drain plug, which can add to the time needed to complete the job. 

Keep in mind that if the oil filter and drain plug are not accessible, it’s best to have a professional service provider complete the oil change to avoid any potential damage to your vehicle.

What Is Involved In An Oil Change?

A proper oil change includes inspecting the old oil filter and replacing it with a new one (if needed) in addition to merely changing the old one and adding fresh oil. This keeps dirt out of your engine and enables the oil fluid to be properly controlled.

The act of changing the oil can be difficult and untidy. Although getting your oil changed professionally may seem expensive, the cost of the oil (up to 5 quarts of fluid) and the oil filter are already included in the pricing, not to mention the time and hassle you’ll save by hiring an expert instead of doing it yourself.

You might even discover that the oil change comes with additional services for your car as a whole. At Chapel Hill Tire, for instance, my oil change section also includes checking the air pressure in your tires, fluid levels, engine hoses and belts, and air filter. 

I notice that this oil change will bring huge benefits to the general health of our vehicle more thoroughly and quickly, thanks to this extra degree of care.

When You Need To Get Your Oil Changed

In general, most automakers recommend changing the oil every 6 months or 5,000 – 7,500 miles. However, the number can vary with different car models and oil types.

For example, my old 2010 Ford Ranger always drives me crazy with its short 3,000-mile oil change interval, while the oil lifespan seems longer with my new 2022 BMW X6, lasting up to 15,000 miles (I use 5W30 high-performance synthetic oil) .

There are also certain signs that may indicate that your vehicle needs an oil change sooner than the recommended interval, such as:

  • The oil is dark and dirty or has a burnt smell
  • The oil level is low, or the oil pressure light comes on
  • Your vehicle is running rough or making unusual noises
  • You’ve been driving in severe conditions, such as extreme heat or cold, or in dusty or muddy environments

If you notice any of these signs or are approaching the recommended interval for an oil change, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with a reputable mechanic to change your oil.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Do An Oil Change At Home?

Yes, it is possible to change your vehicle’s oil at home, but it requires some equipment and basic knowledge of regular maintenance. 

To change your oil at home, you will need a car jack or ramp to lift the vehicle, a wrench to remove the oil drain plug, a container to catch the used oil, a new oil filter, and the appropriate amount and type of oil for your vehicle.

What Happens If You Wait Too Long To Get An Oil Change?

Several issues can arise when you wait too long for an oil change. The engine oil lubricates the engine’s moving parts, reduces friction, and removes heat, debris, and contaminants. 

Over time, the oil breaks down, becomes dirty, and loses effectiveness, leading to decreased engine performance and efficiency.

Is It Ok To Go Without An Oil Change? 

No. The oil should typically be changed in autos every 5-7,000 miles. This means skipping two different oil changes in a year might badly harm your engine as the engine oil gets dirty and breaks down over time.

Can I Add Oil To My Car Until I Get An Oil Change?

Yes, you can add oil to your car until you get an oil change. Ensure the oil level is between the minimum and maximum marks on the dipstick. However, adding too much oil can also cause problems, so do not overfill.

The Bottom Line

How long does an oil change take at a dealership? The time it takes for an oil change varies based on several factors. However, completing the process mostly takes from 30 minutes to an hour.

It is always better to let a professional perform the oil change to ensure the job is done correctly and avoid potential damage to your vehicle. Regular oil changes are crucial to keep your vehicle running smoothly and extend its lifespan.

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Robert Herrera

President & Automotive Expert at COR Wheels

Robert Herrera has been with COR Wheels for 17 years and has a great passion for the automotive industry. During his time at COR Wheels, he has driven and test-driven a variety of vehicles.

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