How Long Does an Oil Change Take?

How long does an oil change take? An oil change is a relatively easy job, so it won’t take that much time. In this article, I’ll describe the time it takes to get it done and the steps involved in the process.

How long does it take to get an oil change? A typical oil change for a car takes about 15 to 45 minutes. The actual time will depend on the service shop where you will get it changed.

  • Mechanic or Dealership: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Walmart: 15 to 20 minutes
  • Jiffy Lube: 10 to 15 minutes
  • DIY: 1 hour

You should also take into account the wait to get the oil changed. The shop will let you know when they can get it done. Some days, like Saturdays, can have a long wait if the shop is busy.

Read on to learn more about how long it takes for an oil change, whether by a mechanic, a dealership, a quick lube shop such as Walmart or Jiffy Lube, or DIY.

How Long Does an Oil Change Take?

If there are no other problems with your car’s engine, changing the engine oil will not take too long. On average, it will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes for a mechanic in a quick lube shop to do an oil change.

Since this job does not require mechanical expertise on car repairs, you can even do it yourself, if you have decent handyman skills. It is a relatively easy task, so there is no real difficulty in doing it. How long does it take to do an oil change yourself? If you are not used to doing an oil change, give yourself about an hour to complete the task.

Quick lube centers and dealerships are the most convenient places to do it. However, be prepared to wait in line and spend more time if there are other customers with the same reason you have.

How Long Does an Oil Change Take at a Dealership or Mechanic?

How long does an oil change take at a dealership? On average, a car dealership can take about 30 to 45 minutes to change your car’s engine oil. However, their service fee is more expensive than car service centers or quick lube shops. Therefore, it is not really your best option if you are working on a budget.

Another thing is that it is more likely that you will have to secure an appointment before you can give them your car. It could take several days up to one week. And when your car is already with them, you will most likely have to leave it there for most of the day. 

But since it is a car dealer, it is your safer option. Car dealers are better organized than quick lube shops when providing the needs of their customers. So, when an incident happens concerning your car, they are more ready than car service shops to take responsibility for what happened.

Moreover, most car dealers employ master mechanics who can provide better solutions to common car problems.

Often, a mechanic will ask if you want to have your tires rotated along with the oil change service. Sometimes, they offer a discounted price if you get both services. How long does an oil change and tire rotation take? It takes about 30 to 45 minutes for a mechanic or dealership to do a tire rotation; add that to the 30 to 45 minutes for an oil change, and both services will take about 1 to 1.5 hours.

How Long Does an Oil Change Take at Walmart?

You may not be aware of it, but you can have an oil change at Walmart as well. Actually, this retail store offers several types of oil change services, with fees ranging from $20 to $50 and up to 5 quarts of engine oil.

How long does it take to get an oil change at Walmart? If you go there just to have your engine oil changed, it should take them 15 to 20 minutes to finish the job. There are many types of oil change jobs available at Walmart. They include light vehicle inspection as well as light car maintenance.

Walmart also offers many extras along with the oil change. But if you go there just for an oil change, you don’t get the extras. The extras include battery check, washer fluid checkup, interior vacuuming, and many others.

how long does it take to get an oil change

However, there are also concerns regarding the quality of oil change you can get from Walmart and its mechanics’ skills. They offer a quick-change oil service, so it is not that surprising. More often than not, they will not spend that much time to do the job properly.

If you’re looking for the best or quality oil change, your better option is with a specialized mechanic or car dealership. But if you’re looking for a quick job, Walmart is a good alternative.

How Long Does an Oil Change Take at Jiffy Lube?

How long does it take for an oil change at Jiffy Lube? If you’re in a hurry and you badly need an oil change fast, Jiffy Lube is your best option. They will do it in just about 10 to 15 minutes. Jiffy Lube can do it faster because they will just change the oil in your engine crankcase and will do nothing else.

They don’t perform any light engine inspection, interior vacuuming, hood cleaning, or anything that is maintenance-related. That’s why they can do it faster than those who offer these extra services. You don’t have to tell the mechanic not to do anything else because they only provide oil change service and nothing more.

But take note: Jiffy Lube uses inexpensive generic oil, which they buy in bulk. If you urgently need a change oil, this is OK. But if you are looking for long-term protection for your engine, this type of oil is not OK.

So, if you are not in an emergency situation, read your car manual and check the kind of engine oil the car manufacturer recommends. Moreover, be aware that some of the mechanics and staff at quick lube centers are not well trained. Not all of them, though, but it pays to be mindful of this.

Oil Change at Other Car Service Shops

Regular changing of the oil is one of the most common maintenance jobs that must be performed on your vehicle. In other words, there’s a great demand for this service. It’s the reason why many car shops offer this service.

How long does it take for an oil change at other popular car service shops? See below for the estimated oil change time for Take 5, Valvoline, and Firestone.

Take 5

Among those that offer oil change service is Take 5. This company has been providing car services for more than 35 years. If you bring your car to them for an oil change, it will take them 15 to 20 minutes to do the job.

Aside from oil change, you can also ask Take 5 to perform light car inspection services, such as wiper blade checkup, tire pressure checkup, and many more.

Valvoline

Another car service center that offers oil change is Valvoline. Here, you can get your car’s oil change in about 10 to 15 minutes. While the oil in your car is being changed, the staff may offer you free checkups on tire pressure, battery, wiper blades, air filter, transmission fluids, and many more.

Firestone

Firestone is another company where you can go to have your engine oil changed. Unlike Valvoline and Take 5, it takes them longer to do the job – about 30 minutes. The reason is that they want to ensure that your car will run long after they have changed its engine oil. During a typical oil change job at Firestone, their staff will ask you if you want a free checkup of your car’s systems.

How Long Does a DIY Oil Change Take – By Yourself?

If you have decent handyman skills and have the basic car repair knowledge, you can change the engine oil yourself. You don’t have to drive the car into the shop of a car dealer or a car service center. And there is no waiting line that you have to worry about.

Most importantly, you can cut the cost considerably because all you need to buy is the new engine oil, new oil filter, and some oil plugs if need be. Since you are a decent handyman, I assume that you are ready to get dirty and get the job done.

How long does it take to do an oil change yourself? If you change the engine oil yourself, it might take you about an hour. The actual duration will also depend on your skills and experience in doing this job. If you are a newbie, it could take you longer to complete the job.

But this is a relatively easy task. You can learn the ropes, so they say, fast and easy. The upside to DIY is that you’ll have the confidence to do it. And if you need an oil change in the future, you will just do it without worrying about your ability to complete the job.

Disadvantage of DIY Oil Change

There is also a downside to the idea of changing the oil yourself. While there is very little chance of making a mistake in this task, it is still possible to commit mistakes. If it happens, you really need to ask for the help of a good mechanic.

So, it is very important to get the right knowledge on how to do it correctly. The following tips will help you before doing a DIY:

  1. Read up on how oil change is properly done.
  2. Prepare all the tools that you’ll need and prepare the materials as well.
  3. Arm yourself with safety gear, such as gloves, goggles, and the right clothing.
  4. Buy the right engine oil replacement, oil filter, oil plug, and whatever is needed.

How will you dispose of the used, dirty engine oil? You should not just throw it down the sewer. It will destroy the environment. There are car service shops that have use for this dirty oil. Give it to them. They may be able to repurpose this dirty oil and not just let it go to waste.

We’ve answered the question, ‘how long does an oil change take’; next, let’s look at the different steps of the oil change process.

how long does it take for an oil change

How Long Does Each Step Take in the Oil Change Process?

To fully understand how long an oil change takes, it is helpful to know how long each step of the process takes. Here are the approximate times or duration of each step:

1. Lift the Car – About 5 Minutes

It could be less if done by a mechanic in a car service shop. Most decent car service centers have hydraulic lifters to make this step fast. If you do it at home, you will need at least two car jacks. This step will take you about 10 minutes to accomplish.

2. Open the Drain Plug – A Few Seconds

This step depends on how tight the drain plug is screwed. Simply unscrew the plug. Cover the plug with a cloth to make it easier to unscrew.

3. Drain the Dirty Engine Oil – About 15 to 20 Minutes

Before pulling out the drain plug, place the oil pan directly below the drain opening. The crankcase should have enough engine oil at all times to protect the engine parts. So, expect to wait from 15 to 20 minutes before all the dirty oil is drained out of the crankcase.

4. Change the Oil Filter – About 10 to 20 Minutes

Remove the old oil filter and then replace it with the new one. This step is more difficult to do than the other tasks, so it will take longer to complete it. If an experienced mechanic does it, it will be faster.

5. Pour the New Engine Oil – About 5 Minutes

This step is relatively easy to do. Just pour the new engine oil at the opening on top of the engine block. You know how much engine oil is required by your engine. After pouring the oil, dip the oil dipstick into the provided engine slot to check if there is enough oil in the crankcase.

How to Change Oil Faster

You can do the following tips to complete the change oil process faster:

1. Make an Appointment with the Car Service Shop or Car Dealer

Making an appointment will prepare the car shop and get them ready to service your car at the scheduled time.

2. Go to the Car Service Center at Off-peak Hours

Weekends, lunchtime, and after office hours are the best times to have your car serviced at car service centers. There will be fewer customers at the shop, so they will be able to get to your car faster.

3. Practice Changing the Engine Oil Yourself

As you gain experience, you’ll be able to do it faster, just like professional car mechanics.

Conclusion – How Long Does It Take to Get an Oil Change?

How long does an oil change take? On average, an oil change for a car takes about 15 to 45 minutes. The actual time also depends on the service shop where you will get it changed.

  • Mechanic or Dealership: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Walmart: 15 to 20 minutes
  • Jiffy Lube: 10 to 15 minutes
  • DIY: 1 hour

How long does an oil change and tire rotation take? If you get both services, it will take about 1 to 1.5 hours at a mechanic or dealership.

Now that you know how long an oil change takes, you can plan ahead and get your vehicle back in time for more important things.