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How Long Does an Oil Change Take?

Oil drains from a car during an oil change.

How long does an oil change take? Is it something you can knock out on your lunch break, or do you need to set aside a whole day to get the job done? The answer depends on a few factors, including your vehicle, your skills (if you’re doing it yourself), and where you’re taking your vehicle if you want someone else to do the job.

How Long Does an Oil Change Take?Oil dipstick

An oil change can be completed in about 15 to 45 minutes. The biggest variable tends to be where you choose to have the work done. You could take it to an express service that specializes in quick oil changes, go to the local garage that performs maintenance and repairs on your vehicle, take it to the dealership or do it yourself. The option you choose can affect how long the job takes.

Express Service

If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to bother with scheduling an oil change, then an express service is a great option. You can just drive up when it’s convenient for you and get the job done in around 15 minutes. You often won’t even have to get out of the car.

While this type of service can be convenient, be aware that there may be a long wait time before it’s your turn if you show up at a peak hour.

Your Local Mechanic

The NAPA AutoCare who does regular maintenance and repairs on your vehicle can also take care of an oil change. They can get the job done quickly as well, but you’ll likely have to make an appointment. Depending on how busy their schedule is, you may need to leave your car for a few hours or maybe a whole day.

The Dealership

You will probably need to schedule an appointment to get your oil changed at the dealership. Service schedules can fill up quickly, so it may take a few days to get an appointment. You might also have to leave your car there for the day, in which case it may be worth asking for a loaner car.

Do It Yourself

This is a job you can do yourself if you have the time and knowledge. Make sure you have all the right supplies handy, including an oil filter, and leave yourself plenty of time. If it’s your first time, then plan on blocking out a whole morning or afternoon so you don’t feel pressured.

What Can Make the Job Take Longer

Although the process is generally the same for most vehicles, the layout of the engine compartment can vary. If the components are in tight, hard-to-navigate spaces or behind protective paneling, expect the job to take a little longer.

Check out all the oil filters available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information about oil change products, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy Flickr.

Nicole Wakelin View All

Nicole Wakelin covers the automotive industry as a freelance journalist for a variety of outlets. Her work includes news pieces, podcasts, radio, written reviews, and video reviews. She can be found in The Boston Globe, CarGurus, BestRide, US News and World Report, and AAA along with lifestyle blogs like Be Car Chic, The Other PTA, and She Buys Cars. She is active on social media with a large following on both Twitter and Instagram and currently serves as Vice President of the New England Motor Press Association.

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