how long do oil changes take

How Long do Oil Changes Take – A Guide

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Whether you have a mustang or an old F-150, every car needs its favorite drink to keep cruising. An oil change is required to make sure your car’s moving parts don’t wear out due to friction.

Experts recommend getting an oil change every 7,500 miles or 12,000 kilometers. The longer you wait, the more you risk its performance. But, this begs the question – how long do oil changes take? And more importantly, what will happen if it isn’t changed in time? Keep reading to find out.

How Long do Oil Changes Take?

how long do oil changes take

Although we’d like to give a one-line answer here, there are a lot of variables that need to be accounted for. Depending on the type of car you own, along with the person changing it, the time can vary by as much as 2 hours. 

It heavily depends on the conditions, which can vary drastically. For instance, if other people have scheduled to get their oil change, there is no telling how long the total time could be.

First, let’s talk about who is changing it. Is it a professional at a Quick Lube, or a mechanic in a repair shop? If you’re going for the former option, you could be done with the oil change in less than 15 minutes. This is primarily because the people working there specialize in oil changes.

If you take your car to a repair shop, the time could be a bit longer, depending on how often the mechanics see the same model. To give you an estimate, this could take approximately 50 minutes.

However, if you are changing the oil of your car, and you’re not a professional, it can take you up to 2 hours.

Why Are Engine Oil Changes Necessary?

In its essence, an oil change is necessary to keep your car running smoothly. As the mileage increases, so does the dust and dirt in the engine. 

While it may not seem like a big deal at first, low maintenance can quite literally blow a hole in your pocket if you’re not attentive at changing the oil regularly.

In a nutshell, an oil change ensures that no friction builds up over time. It also keeps your car clean and helps with its fuel average.

What if I Don’t Get an Oil Change For My Car?

damage car

It makes sense that getting an oil change will keep your car running smoothly. But what if all advised precautions are thrown out the window? What would happen to your car if it doesn’t get an oil change at all?

Bad Odor

You’ll be able to smell it. That’s right. Your car will soon start giving off pungent fumes that could make you dizzy if you don’t get an oil change soon. This is primarily because your oil filter will get extremely clogged. 

Not getting an oil change could therefore cause a bad odor. If not addressed, this smell will only continue to worsen.

Performance Issues

As it goes without saying, not getting an oil change will affect your car’s overall performance. A dirty oil means less horsepower, and the extra friction caused by the dirty oil will reduce acceleration.

This will not only decrease your car’s throttle but also have a major effect on its fuel economy.

Transmission System

The internal gears of transmission work together to transfer torque between the engine and drivetrain. An unchanged oil can increase the friction of the engine, thus causing these gears to rub together. If not addressed, it can eventually destroy them.

Breaking System

Brakes are pads that slow down your wheels and help control speed. Not getting an oil change means having a dirty brake pad. Essentially, this can cause excessive friction, which can wear out your wheel bearings. Ultimately, it can cause your brakes to fail.

What Kind of Oil Works Best?

how long do oil changes take

In the world of cars, there are decisions upon decisions to be made. While most are related to customizing your car, there are a few which are important. 

The type of oil you use in your car and the health of the oil filter are directly related to your vehicle’s fuel economy, mileage, and overall performance.

With so many types, it can become difficult to decide. So we’ve broken them down and compiled a list for your convenience.

Conventional Motor Oil

Conventional motor oil has been around the longest. These oils are produced using base stock derived from petroleum products. The base stocks then undergo chemical refining processes to produce a finished product.

The main selling point of conventional motor oil is its price. Compared to other types, it’s not as efficient or eco-friendly. However, it is the cheapest. Opting for conventional motor oil may be more expensive in the long run, as more oil changes will be necessary.

High Mileage Motor Oil

High mileage motor oil is a blend of synthetic and conventional oil. It is comparatively more expensive than conventional motor oil but still cheaper than full synthetic oil.

The high mileage motor oil is best suited for vehicles that have been on the road for a long time. When your car is new, its durability is intact, but as it gets older, you need to take more care so it runs smoothly.

If your car’s mileage is around 80,000 or higher, it’s advised to choose high mileage motor oil. It is important to note that while high mileage works well for older cars, it’s only worth it if your car has been maintained properly.

Synthetic Blend Motor Oil

If you want to invest in your car and go for the best option in terms of price and quality, we suggest you go with synthetic blend motor oil.

Essentially, it is a blend of conventional base oils and full synthetic motor oil. While it is expensive in comparison to full synthetic oil, the quality provided is reasonably good for any normal car.

It will ensure your car’s performance and fuel economy stays optimal.

Full Synthetics

As you may have already predicted, full synthetics are the premium option to go with. No corners are cut and it will give you the ultimate protection for your car engine. The major con with synthetic oil is its price, as it can be quite expensive.

While it may be the best choice out there, that doesn’t qualify it to be good for older cars. This is because vehicles that have been around for longer than 15 years are not designed to use full synthetic oil. For them, the best option is conventional.

However, if you do have a new car and want to make sure no compromise is made in terms of its performance, then full synthetics are the best option to go with.

How Much Does it Cost For an Oil Change?

change oil

As with all things in the car world, there is no simple answer here. It depends on a few variables, and we shall look at them below.

Vehicle Type

The bigger the car, the more it’ll cost. This is primarily true for most cases since larger cars, such as SUVs and trucks, generally take more time and labor. Similarly, a sports car can cost as much as $10,000 for only one engine oil change, primarily due to the time it takes to open the engine.

Since time is of the essence, it adds up to be a prominent factor when the final cost is calculated.

Service Provider

Depending on the service provider, their reputation, and the quality of work, the end cost can vary by a wide gap.

If you get an oil change from the official car manufacturer, you can often get discounts and even free oil changes.


We can’t forget the oil itself. Depending on the type of oil you get, the cost will vary. This can be either conventional, high mileage, synthetic blend, or full synthetic. The more expensive oil you get, the more mileage it will provide before you need another oil change.

How Often is an Oil Change Required?

A good rule of thumb is to get an oil change after every 7,500 miles or 12,000 kilometers. However, this can vary. If you drive in rough conditions with more air pollution, it is advised to get an oil change more often.

Similarly, if you see a significant drop in your fuel average or your car’s performance, it may be an indicator that something is wrong, or an oil change is due.


Changing your oil regularly is significant when it comes to maintaining your car’s health and performance. While many people shy away from getting an oil change, due to the time it could take, it usually does not take that long. 

Hopefully this guide helped you learn the question that has been nagging at you – how long do oil changes take?

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