How Long Does an Oil Change Take: All that you need to know?

You will probably want to know how long does an oil change takes why it is important and a lot of other things. All of that and more will be answered in the content below. At the moment, all we can add is that regular oil change on your car, regardless of the age, model, and type, is mandatory. If you bought a used car without previous service data, you need to change the oil as soon as possible. This matter is more complicated than that, and you will need to understand it. Stay tuned.

What is an oil change?

Engine oil change refers to the process in which you will drain the oil engine oil and replace it with a new one. This is a part of regular maintenance and the most important point all drivers need to consider. Keep in mind that the oil needs to be changed after a specific amount of miles a vehicle completes. Modern cars will display a notification or light on the dashboard when this part of maintenance should be taken. For old cars, you will need to write down the mileage once you complete the miles specified in the user manual you will need to change the oil.

Ideally, you would change the oil when a car reaches 5000 miles or after six months. If your car stays parked for a couple of months, you still need to change the oil. This is highly recommended due to the fact when not in use, the oil will lose its properties, and it won’t be suitable for use. You can still drive a car with old oil, but catastrophic engine failure is probable. So, how long does an oil change take? In general, it can take up to 20 minutes or even less.

An oil change will cost you around $100-$120, which isn’t much. In some cases, when you have a car with a smaller engine block, you will need even less money.  On the other side, we have the cost of engine failure caused by the old and poor quality engine oil. This repair can cost you up to $10.000. You will need a complete engine rebuilt, hence a massive cost!

The bottom line here is that oil change is a simple maintenance process that takes under 20 minutes and can help you maintain the engine health for many years to come. This isn’t something you should do; it is something you must do.

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Importance of oil change

Here you will learn all about the benefits of an oil change. In a nutshell, there are five main reasons and corresponding benefits you will get. Don’t forget that you need to change the oil filter as well. It is a mandatory part of the oil change process, and it needs to be changed as many times as you change the oil. Anyway, below you can see the importance and benefits of an oil change.

Provides better engine lubrication

If you know how often to change the oil, you need to know also why to do it. This is the first main reason. Engine oil is used to improve the lubrication of the moving engine components. Without oil, there won’t be lubrication, which means that engine parts will start to wear and tear immediately. This is the main reason why a car can function only 2-3 minutes without engine oil.

Helps cool down the engine

Engine oil is also used to transfer the heat from the components. During their operation, they will create friction, which is translated into heat. That heat can change the chemical compound of the moving parts and cause them to overheat. Engine oil will simply take away all that heat.

Removes the dirt and particles

One of the most important benefits of changing the oil on time is the ability of fresh oil to take away the dirt and particles from the engine. What this means is that over time, old oil will turn into sludge and add the particles which are normally inside the engine, and you can get a heavy mixture. Oil passes through the oil filter, which will eliminate the dirt and debris. Old oil loses this property, and it will turn into smudge over time.

Better gas mileage

Did you know that with regular oil changes, you can boost the gas mileage of any car? In general, you can expect up to 2% of better gas mileage. Over one year, this means that you will save a gallon of fuel. All of this is present with the Synthetic oil change or any other type of oil.

Your engine will last longer

This isn’t a separate benefit but rather one created as the result of all the others. With a simple Oil change tool kit, you can complete the task within 10 minutes. But the engine will run and last much longer. We can see that this is the main reason why people pay close attention to the oil change and why they are looking for high-quality engine oil.

Oil change time vs. mileage

Here we will pay close attention to the oil change interval time or mileage. What this means is that you should change the oil in two cases. The first one is when you reach a specific mileage, and the second one is after a specific period. These two factors are not linked together, as you shall see soon.

How often should I change my synthetic oil? To get the best results, you need to change any oil after 5000 miles. It may sound too soon or similar, but changing the oil regularly will have a huge effect on the lifespan of the car and the engine. You can change the oil after 6000 miles as well, but this means that some damage to the engine might be present already.

Some of you may believe that change oil every two years is recommended. You need to change the oil every six months. By doing this, yes, you will invest more money for a car per year, but that engine will last so much longer. If you change the oil every two years, you will run the engine with old oil for 1.5 years. This isn’t something you should do, and honestly, it is something you have to avoid.

We said that these two criteria factors are not related, and this is the truth. You have to change the oil after a specific mileage and after a specific period. This also means that you have to change the oil two times a year. Don’t forget that the time timer will reset after you change the oil. If you don’t drive your car afterward, you will need to change it after six months of the initial oil change.

How to Change Your Oil (COMPLETE Guide) YouTube: Video

How long does an oil change take

An engine oil change is a simple process that doesn’t require the need for special tools or anything similar. You will need basic tools and a basic kit. A kit refers to the oil and oil filter package. You may need to replace the air filter as well, but this is a separate topic. Below you will see detailed and complete How to change the oil in a car step by step. At this point, we can add that you should never change the oil on a hot engine. Let it cool down and then start.

Oil change process

The process itself is straightforward. All you have to do is to drain old engine oil, replace the oil filter, and pour fresh oil. The entire process can take just a couple of minutes, and it can be done anywhere. In a professional garage, they will use a massive car lifter to lift the car. Yes, it makes things easier, but you don’t need it. You can use an ordinary car jack. The goal is to be able to reach the oil change bold on the bottom of the engine and to drain the oil. In most cases, you will have to lift the car just a few inches. Some SUVs don’t even have to be lifted.

Tools and items you will need:

  • Carjack
  • Drain bolt socket
  • Old container
  • Fresh oil
  • New oil filter
  • New Oil
  • Oil Filter Wrench
  • Work Light

DIY oil change (Step By Step)

Now is the time to help you understand how to change the oil all by yourself in comfort or in your garage. Keep in mind that you need to follow all the steps we mention below and understand them completely before you can move to the next one. Never skip a step and make sure you completed each one properly. Let’s start with the basics and guide you through more complex steps. Keep in mind that you will need 20-15 minutes to complete the process.

Park the car on even terrain

Here we can see several possible options. The first one is that some drivers prefer oil change on uneven terrain simply so they can drain the more old oil out. This is a nice touch, but almost irrelevant. The engine is designed to be drained of oil on even terrain. A professional garage will do it so you can get a better idea. There is no need to park a car on hilly or downhill so you can drain excess oil.

how to change the oil in a car step by stepAlways park a car on the even terrain and make sure you can use a carjack. Secure the car with a parking brake, and then you can move to the next step, which is a bit different. Don’t forget that you must not start the car without engine oil. No, you cannot start it, move it, or even turn the ignition on. If you do, you can damage the engine, which is an expensive failure that will cost you significantly. Anyway, let’s move to the next step.

Lift the car

If you drive an SUV or custom-made car that has a ton of ground clearance, you don’t need the carjack. On the other hand, we have most cars which are regular, so they have to be elevated using a carjack. Secure the carjack and place it so you can lift the part of the car where the engine is, You can Also Use a car Lift it can be 4 post lifts or 2 post lifts, you should know how to place the car on the lift. It is a known mistake that some people lift the front of their car and never realize that the engine is on the back, or vice versa.

car ramps for oil change

The goal here is to gain access to two things. The first one is the oil change drain bolt, and the second one is the oil filter. You won’t be able to complete the oil change unless you tackle both of these parts. How long does an oil change take? It will depend on these two steps the most!

Let the car cool down

One of the most common mistakes is draining the oil on a hot engine. This is a mistake that has one major flaw. The hot engine uses oil to cool down. When you drain the old oil instantly, the temperature of the engine parts will be significantly higher. Hence it can cause damages to the seals or even worse.

There is no specific time frame for which you need to wait. Just leave it for a couple of minutes, depending on the temperature. When the engine is cool enough so you can touch it, you can start with draining the old oil.

Drain the old oil

Locate the oil drain bolt. It will be the lowest point of the engine, and it looks like a regular bolt. Place a container or anything you can to capture the old oil. Here we must point out that in some states or countries, it is illegal to change the oil on the street. It isn’t safe either, so you will want to do this in the comfort of your garage. How much oil for oil change do you need will be answered below. Now focus on the step in question.

drain the oil

After you have placed the container below the drain plug, you should use the wrench and the socket to undo it. Make sure you are performing the last steps using your fingers. The oil will push the bolt when it is loose, and it will start to flow. This means that the bolt can easily end up in the container. You will have to find it means you will have to push the hand in all that oil.

Leave the oil drain for a couple of minutes. You are ready to start with the process again when the old oil doesn’t drop anymore, and the container is full. Once you are done, clean the bolt. You can see that it has a magnet at the bottom. It is used to catch small particles of metal and to secure them before they reach the moving parts. Remove them, clean the bolt, and tight it down. Don’t forget about this part.

Remove the old oil filter

Now you can remove the old oil filter. A few drops of oil will fall, and this is perfectly normal. What you have to do is to use the socket designed for the oil filter in question and simply remove it. It will be an extremely easy step, and you need a couple of seconds for that.removing the oil filter

Make sure to place the old oil filter in the upright position and drain the old oil from it. You can use the same container. You may need to learn to remove a stuck oil filter if this is a new issue for you.

Fill the new oil filter with oil and mount it

Now you should fill the new oil filter with oil and lubricate the rubber seal on the top. This isn’t a mandatory step but highly required. You will decrease the change of engine running on low engine oil levels once you are done. Now all you have to do is to mount the new oil filter to the engine, and you are done with this step. You can use your hands to tighten it down, and you don’t even need the socket and a wrench. The oil filter will tighten itself after some time. But, if you are new and want to be secure, tight it down with a socket.changing oil

Pour new engine oil

Here is a tricky part. If you pour all the new oil, you can get too much of it into the engine. You will need to drain the excess of it, which is annoying and complicated. So, to get it right, you need to pour oil until it reaches the lowest point on the oil dipstick. Then add it in small amounts and make sure it reaches the top point of the oil dipstick. In some, cases you may need a lot of oil, but with most cars, you need a low amount.

Start the car for 10 seconds

You will have to start the car for 10 seconds. The goal here is to lubricate and push the oil through all the parts of the engine. You will also see that the engine oil light turns off after a few seconds. Once you are done, you can move to the next step.

Add more oil if needed

You will have to turn off the car and leave it for a couple of minutes. Then measure the oil level again and use the dipstick to add more oil to reach the maximum value. Almost always, you will need to add more oil, but with most cars, you need 100ml or even less. Be careful not to add too much oil, or you will have to drain it once again. With this step, you are done with the oil change process.

Shop Oil Change

How long does an oil change take at Toyota or some large car brand? The answer is the same as when you change it. Yes, they might be a bit faster, but they are going to charge you that speed. On the other hand, you can complete the entire process all by yourself.

Don’t forget that the same steps are going to be used in any shop which will change the oil in your car. However, they will also ensure that there are no damages or problems in the Engine bay, something you can do it all by yourself as well.

How Long Does an Oil Change Take FAQs

Question: How long does it usually take for an oil change?

Ans: How long does an oil change take depends on several factors such as the make and model of a car, your expertise, and the availability of tools. We will add only that in a nutshell, you can complete the entire process within 10 minutes. Some of you will need more while others will need less, but most will get the job done. The next time when you change the oil, you will be even faster.

Question: How long does a BMW oil change take?

Ans: You don’t need Mechanics School to be able to change the oil on your BMW. All you need are basic tools as the ones we have mentioned above and your time. The process is generally identical to other car brands, and you will need the same items. This means that you need around 10 minutes to change the oil. Keep in mind that larger engines require more oil. For a 6, cylinder BMW you will need 6 liters of oil.

Question: How long do a tire rotation and oil change take?

Ans: Regardless of where you decide to change the oil and tires, a garage, or all by yourself, you will need a bit more time. The longest time you will need is 2.5 hours. This is needed when you will replace the tires without changing wheels and change the oil. If you have a second set of wheels with different tires, you will need 30 minutes.

Question: How much should an oil change cost?

Ans: The Oil change on an average car will cost you $100 or $200. The main difference in the cost depends on the type of oil you are buying. Less-known brands do offer more affordable oils, but this isn’t something you need to consider. You should purchase the oil recommended by your car manufacturer. By using it, you will get the best engine durability and eliminate the risk of possible damages.

Question: What will happen if you don’t change the oil in your car?

Ans: Some of you may believe that nothing will happen. However, if the engine oil is used for too long, it will lose its viscosity. This means that it will become thinner. This refers to oil reaching the cylinders and burning with the gas. You can lose engine oil pressure as well, and you can get a level under the minimum. In most severe cases, your engine will be critically damaged, so you will need to rebuild it. This isn’t something you can do alone!

Question: Why is my oil change so expensive?

Ans: If you use high-quality oil, made by well-known brands, and you need high amounts of its oil change will be expensive. It isn’t advised to try and save money on this maintenance due to the fact it is far more affordable to change the oil than to fix damages caused by old oil.


Now you know how long does an oil change takes and why you need to properly maintain your car with fresh oil. It is the most basic and the most important part of maintenance that applies to all possible vehicles. Don’t forget that if you don’t change the oil, you risk massive engine failure, which may require a complete engine rebuilt, an extremely expensive option.

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