How Long Does An Oil Change Take (It’s Not What You Think)

We are receiving tons of questions in our email inbox every day that, when should I get my oil changed? How often do I need my oil changed?

With oil changes costing as much as a hundred bucks a pop, is that the right advice?

So, today you are going to get all your common and uncommon questions answered. Just keep reading until the end of the article!

Checking out most owner’s manuals, you will see more automakers now say you can go longer before replacing your oil. Once it was thought that oil changes should be in every 3,000 miles. However, this fact is not valid today. The car manufacturer put off the old news and now almost every car can ride quite a bit longer before requiring an oil replacement.

Let’s dive into deeper knowledge about the true facts of oil changes. Learn the process of getting the best oil change and keep your car racing on.


An oil change typically takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete. The exact time depends on the type of vehicle, the type of oil being used, and the availability of tools and equipment. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals and to use the correct type of oil for your vehicle to ensure optimal performance and longevity.HOW LONG DOES AN OIL CHANGE TAKE

On the other hand, a repair shop might take a bit more time than a lube shop. You might have to expect a stay time between 30 and 45 minutes. Eventually, while you are going to DIY oil changes, it may take 30 minutes to one hour. The estimated working time depends on your equipment, experience, and garage setup.

What’s more, oil changes also depend on what type of car you have. As you know, some cars come with oil drain plugs and filters and those are simply accessible on the underside of the car. Thus, If your car’s plug is simply accessible, then you would need less time and difficulty in the oil changes.


Let’s see what dealerships which are owned independently from the manufacturer, will recommend us. We have chosen four vehicles with the same instructions in their owner’s manual. That is, replace the oil when the indicator light comes on. The four main recommended on how long does an oil change take are…

  • Change in every thousand miles or every six months: It comes true in few cases. Though, you might ask why should I change so early! Here are the reasons when you may need to change in every thousand miles:

Let, a car driver isn’t making long trips at high, steady speeds. Like this, the car engine won’t be heated enough to boil off condensation. This might result in your oil to conk out faster.

Or, if he isn’t driving very far, most of his driving is of the type that is very hard on the engine. And if he changes the oil more frequently, it’ll help the driver to reduce the damage.

  • Every 3,000 miles: Once, it was very common and well-known knowledge about the oil change interval. But, nowadays, we come to know from much scientific research that it is not essential to change your oil every 3,000 miles. Nevertheless, while you’re running an older car, and there’s a recommendation of three thousand miles. Then it’s better to stay with the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Every 5,000 to 7,500 miles: The same about this one as well. Watch your manufacturer’s guide carefully. Some car owners claim that often they recommend 6000 miles. But, should I rely on them or make the interval more frequent? However, some consumers think about changing later than that recommended time also!

Then, let see which interval comes next.

  • Every 10,000 to 15,000 miles or every six months: If the manufacturer of your car approves synthetic oil, then you have no worry to drive as many as ten thousand miles or more without changing oil. Although synthetic oil is not as cost-effective as regular oil. But, you can go with it as it comes with more advantages. Of course, synthetic oil serves far better than regular oil. Plus, it is environment friendly as well.

An Alternative Way: You May Love!

As an intelligent car owner, you’d really love changing the oil and oil filter in your engine.

You know with this long oil change interval recommendation on most of these newer engines. I think the synthetic oil does just fine but I’m little suspicious about how well the oil filters fair. I have pulled a lot of these oil filters out at 10,000 miles and man they are filthy. Particularly, when the engine gets over about eighty thousand miles and of course when it gets up to 140 thousand miles. For example, I don’t go the ten thousand mile interval with my e320 Wagon.

What Do We Recommend for Oil Change Interval? Think Out of the Box!

It might harm your car’s life that you are going 250-300 thousand miles without changing the oil! (I hope nobody will)

But, as you have known earlier, you can go ten to fifteen thousand miles easily without a change in your oil.

Now, come in a different way. I love this way to solve the problem. Just try it. However, who can say, you won’t fall in love with this?

Making a Filter Replacement:

It is very important to select the right filter. If you are running one of these newer engines, with synthetic oil, let us pull the filter off this housing here and take a closer look. Let’s take a look at the filter. When an engine ages, you have carbon going by the piston rings mixing with the oil. If the filter looks dirty, it is better to replace the filter rather than doing anything else.

Where can I get a filter to replace?

You may go to an automobile repairing center. But, keep it in mind that they might provide you a paper filter which doesn’t work at all. Rather you can use fleece filters.

If you are driving one these newer cars with a recommended high interval oil change, you have to be really careful about the filter you purchase.

Plus, you should use lint-free cleaning cloth to wipe out the inside of that housing. Just wipe it out very carefully. Because there might be some sludge and other junk done in there.

What about intervals in this case?

I want to kind of close-talking about intervals you. I feel it okay up to eighty thousand miles. The reader might ask, why eighty thousand miles? Well, I just tell it from my experience of working on engines. You know from 80 to 100 thousand miles that’s when the wear seems to start accelerating and what I do is drop the interval of 20%. So, if it’s a 10,000-mile interval change when my cars hit 80,000 miles, I drop it down to 80,000 miles. And then when it hits 120000 miles and this is kind of another point I’ve seen with engines. At 120000 miles, there’s a lot of things that start to wear out. You have water pumps, you have a lot of the bearings, you have motor mounts. You may also notice that your engine starts burning. When my engines hit 120 thousand miles I dropped the oil change interval 40% to six thousand miles. A trick that worked for me is every six thousand miles and every three thousand miles I just popped the cap off and a new oil filter.

Particularly, if you have a vacuum extractor to suck the oil out.

So you might be thinking what about viscosity? Why I didn’t say anything about how thick oil I use. Well, I generally follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. I generally increase viscosity when the engine gets over a hundred to 120000 miles.

Please don’t get into any oil wars here, this is not the purpose of this article either. Just try it in your own way. If this alternative way seems overwhelming to you, let it off.  


Now it’s time to call in science. Fluid Life in Brantfor, Ontario, one of the largest providers of oil analysis in North America. The organization’s manager Mark Sherman first pumps out a sample to be tested. He takes a sample of brand-new oil. Then, he shows the comparison between both the used and unused oils. The samples are then shaken, weighed, and placed in an ICP spectrometer. And this machine burns in a temperature that is actually hotter than Sun. After finishing the experiment on Mark Sherman tells us, “Overall these engine oils are good actually. There was a slight amount of oil degradation, but the contamination level was nice and the wear metals were quite low.

Then, what is his opinion about how much longer it could stay in that vehicle before it needs to be changed? He answers that this used engine oil is good for another three to four thousand kilometers. Engine oil can get dirty with regular use, you can read this article to learn how does engine oil get dirty.

Now, you might ask, why some dealership push us for more frequent oil changes than need? Probably Lucas Leung(former service advisor who has worked at six dealerships) got the answer. “Every time you come more often, then there’s a possibility to sell the customers other stuff. Probably that is why!”

This is all about! I hope you love your car as you love your sweetheart. Never let your sweetheart change in a way that you don’t like.

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