Caring for Your Car: How Long Does an Oil Change Take?

by Anne B. Robinson

The best way to keep your car up and running for a long time is to schedule regular maintenance. But most of us have a hectic schedule of our own, and sometimes it can feel like a waste of time just sitting at the service department and waiting for the maintenance to be over.

So, it’s always good to know how long does an oil change take, then you can plan your time around it.  

So, How Long Does It Take to Change Oil?

It depends on your service professional, but an oil change should last anywhere between thirty and sixty minutes. During this period, several steps will take place, and the total length of the procedure will depend on each step. Let’s take a look.

First, a service professional needs to prepare your car for the oil change. To do this, they need to lift the car and remove the oil plug. With an experienced technician and the right equipment, this step should take about five minutes.

The second step is to let the old oil drain from the vehicle. This process usually takes around fifteen to twenty minutes, and it takes up the most time.

Third, the technician will change the oil filters in the motor. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to remove the filters, so this step can take up to ten minutes. However, service professionals can usually change the filters while the oil is draining.

The fourth step is to add fresh oil to the motor, which takes no more than five minutes.

In the end, the technicians will replace the oil plug and lower your car. This last step will take between five and ten minutes.

When Should You Change Your Oil?

Now that you know how long the oil changing lasts, you can plan your schedule around it. But let’s see how often you should put it in your calendar.

The easiest way to determine if your car needs an oil change is to check the odometer. Most newer cars can go about 5,000 to 7,500 miles between oil changes. However, certain factors need to be taken into account.

For example, if you live in a dusty area or somewhere with extremely hot temperatures, you will probably need to change the oil more frequently.

Furthermore, many vehicles today have built-in systems that alert drivers when they should change their oil. These systems usually track how many miles the car has traveled, among other factors.  

But, if you are still not sure if it’s time to change the oil, you can also consult the owner’s manual.


1. How long does an oil change take?

It takes between 30 and 60 minutes.

2. How to know if I need to change my oil?

Most cars today will alert you when you should change the oil. However, you can always consult the owner’s manual and odometer.

3. Why is it important to change my oil?

Over time, oil becomes less effective and stops heating your engine properly, leading to shorter engine life.  


Oil change usually takes between thirty and sixty minutes. However, the total length of time will depend on how long it will take to complete different steps. So next time someone asks you how long does an oil change take, you will have a clear answer.

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