We can’t talk about vehicle maintenance without discussing oil changes. Love it or hate it; you can’t take a break from it for too long. No matter what your current worries are, you will have to get the engine oil changed when it’s due. Of course, your regular car won’t turn into a Ferrari post an oil change job.
But then, it will run smoother than before. Also, a timely oil change will reduce the risk of a car breakdown. Since you know that we are talking sense, let’s understand how often you should change your engine oil because there’s a lot of myth floating around this topic.
How Often Should your Change your Engine Oil?
The old school of thought suggests that we change our engine oil every 3,000 miles. Driving beyond this threshold limit without an oil change was considered to be a risky affair. Believe it or not, this school of thought did exactly what it was supposed to do for the individuals that stood to profit from this advice.
Of course, today’s vehicle owners are more enlightened than ever before. Yes, they know a lot more than before. Most importantly, they have realized that spending money on oil change before it’s even due offers a disproportionate amount of gained benefits. As they say, ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.’
Of course, this isn’t to say that you should wait for your car to show signs of breakdown to take it to an auto repair center because running your car with toothpaste thick oil inside of it is not a good idea. You can definitely do better than that. Here’s a general guideline that you can follow to gauge the due date for a vehicle’s oil change.
Depending on the car you own, the manufacturer’s recommendation would state waiting for anywhere between 3,000 to 15,000 miles between an oil change. It’s a good habit to read the owner manual to see the suggested frequency for an oil change. Not to mention that there are better oils available nowadays that have reduced the frequency of oil changes.
How Long Does it take to change Engine Oil?
Well, the answer to this question is not as straightforward as it may seem on the surface because of the variables involved. Generally speaking, the time taken would vary based on whether you are doing it yourself or taking your car to a professional. As expected, car experts are able the get the oil change job done sooner than the DIY folks out there.
Obviously, this isn’t the case all the time because some vehicle owners can work as efficiently as the local mechanics at a garage shop. Of course, it’s a whole lot better to leave this job to the car experts to reduce the risk of human or technical errors. Not to discount the fact that you might not have all the professional tools available with you to perform a quick job.
Typically, a job of this nature takes anywhere between fifteen minutes to an hour. Yes, you could be in and out of the auto repair center in less than fifteen minutes. Most of the quick oil change stations use a hose to suck the old oil out of the car’s engine. Then, they unscrew the filter and replace it with a new one. Finally, they fill fresh oil in the engine and check the oil level.
As you can tell, the procedure isn’t too complicated. But then, it needs to be done accurately, or else things might go wrong pretty quickly. Also, rare cars might have different oil change procedure than what is mentioned above. Usually, a certified car mechanic may be able to perform an oil change on rare cars with great precision.
When Can Oil Change Take Longer than Usual?
Obviously, if there is a long queue of cars in front of you, it’s bound to take more time to get the oil change done. Sometimes, the wait time could be more than the actual time needed to replace the old oil with the new one. Of course, there’s a way to dodge this bullet by booking a prior appointment with the auto repair center. Most of the credible auto repair centers accept bookings via online and offline mode, enabling you to avoid the waiting hours.
That said, it’s best recommended to show up 10-15 minutes prior to the allocated time to ensure that everything happens on schedule. As usually expected, the repair center will able to carry out all the preliminary steps ahead of time if you show up a bit early.
Other than this, there are many other factors that can prolong the time taken for an oil change. For instance, the lack of professional tools needed to carry out this job can result in more time consumption. For instance, repair centers who use the ramp as opposed to a jack to lift the vehicle are able to slightly reduce the total time needed for an oil change.
Also, bear in mind that it’s easier to suck the old oil from a hot car. If you have been waiting for your turn for too long, your car may not be running hot. Subsequently, the car mechanic may have to run the engine for a few minutes to warm the oil. Basically, flushing the old oil will be easier and quicker if the engine oil is warm. Obviously, it will save you some time.
What’s also worth bringing into notice is that engine oil change takes more time if the existing oil filter is jammed due to dirt. Believe it or not, removing a jammed filter can be a huge task by itself. Of course, expert car technicians may be able to free the old filter sooner than a DIY guy because of their prior experience with similar scenarios.
As you can tell by now, the time taken for an oil change depends on a lot of factors. Performing it at home may save you some money, but it won’t usually save you any time. For a quick oil change job, it’s better to take your car to credible auto repair centers. You can expect to walk out of their doors within 20-40 minutes with the oil change done without any errors.