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How Long Should An Oil Change Take?

Engine oil is imperative to your vehicle’s operation, and routine oil changes are vital in ensuring your engine stays healthy and performs optimally. With time and usage, oil begins to break down, losing its ability to provide the proper lubrication to prevent engine components from rubbing metal to metal and helping keep components cool.

Oil changes are important because they remove impurities and prevent the buildup of sludge in the engine. Too much oil sludge in the engine will increase corrosion and other serious problems that could lead to permanent damages.

Did you know oil changes also help improve gas mileage? Dirty oil makes your engine work harder, resulting in more fuel consumption. Fresh, clean oil, however, lightens the engine’s load and uses less fuel.

Most vehicles will require an oil change at least once or twice a year. With many options for oil changes available, from fast-lube centers to dealerships to do-it-yourself methods, many wonder: How long should an oil change take?

How Long An Oil Change Should Takeclose up of a stopwatch with a thumb on the start button

Oil changes, like many vehicle maintenance services, take several steps from start to finish. The length of time each step takes will determine the total time of completion for the service. Here are the steps it takes to complete an oil change, as well as the average amount of time it should take to complete them:

  1. Vehicle Preparation (5 – 10 minutes) – If taking your vehicle to an automotive center, the technician will put down temporary covers to prevent soiling the interior of the vehicle. The car may be test driven or taken immediately into the bay, where the technician will lift the vehicle to access the oil canister and remove the drain plug.
  2. Drain Oil (15 – 20 minutes) – The longest step in the process. All spent oil will be removed from the vehicle and drained into the drain pan.
  3. Remove & Replace Oil Filter (10 – 15 minutes) – While the oil is draining, the technician will remove your engine oil filter. Filters trap and prevent contaminants from entering your engine and causing damage. Filters on some vehicles may be more difficult to remove than others, varying the overall time of this step.
  4. Replace Oil (5 minutes) – Fresh oil will be added to your engine. There are various types of oil depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Talk to your technician to ascertain the type of oil needed for your car.
  5. Completion (5 – 10 minutes) – Your vehicle will be lowered from the lift, then started so the engine can run for up to one minute and inspected for leaks. If necessary, a test drive will be performed to ensure the vehicle is functioning well. The technician will then park your vehicle and remove any protective covers.

When it’s time for your vehicle’s oil change, you have several options; you can take your vehicle to the dealership, a fast-lube center, an automotive center, or do it yourself. Each of these options can yield different experiences and time invested in completing the oil change. How long should an oil change take if it’s DIY or done professionally?

Do-It-Yourself Oil Change

If you decide to perform your own oil change, depending on your skill level, an oil change could take you as little as an hour to a half a day or more. First, you’ll need to head to the auto parts store and purchase oil, oil filters, an oil drain pan, funnel, wrenches, and a jack or jack stands. After your materials are purchased, you’ll need to complete the oil change, which could take anywhere from thirty minutes to several hours. After you’ve completed the job, you’ll also need to dispose of the used oil properly by taking it to a used oil collection center, which will take some time.

Fast-Lube Center Oil Change

An automotive center focusing primarily on oil changes can have your car out in a “jiff”. The benefit of these fast-oil change places is, if there isn’t a wait, you could be out in as little as 15 minutes. But time is all you’re saving. If you choose a more comprehensive automotive center or dealership, a professional technician will change your vehicle’s oil and include a vehicle health inspection to advise you on any upcoming repairs or maintenance that your car may need, something a quick center won’t do.

The Sun Auto Service Oil Change

At Sun Auto Service, our oil service is more than just an oil change. We believe that, when you leave our service centers, you should feel confident in your vehicle’s condition. The Sun Auto Service oil change is an enhanced experience where, in addition to the traditional lube, oil, and filter, our technicians:

  • Rotate your tires (when applicable)hand checking car oil level
  • Check and top off all fluids
  • Perform a complete multi-point inspection. This inspection allows us to inform you of the current state of your vehicle and advise you of any necessary maintenance or minor repairs before they become major repairs.

Since our oil service includes all of the above, a Sun Auto Service oil change will take about an hour to complete. However, you’ll leave our service center confident in the condition of your car with a plan for future maintenance services.

Ready for your next oil change? Schedule your appointment online today!