How Long Does an Oil Change Take? Jiffy Lube, Walmart, Valvoline

When it comes to vehicle maintenance, one of the most routine yet essential tasks is undoubtedly an oil change. Regular oil changes are like a lifeblood for your car’s engine, ensuring its smooth operation and longevity. However, if you’re like many vehicle owners, you might be wondering, “How long does an oil change take?”

In this article, we’ll dive into the details of an oil change procedure, exploring the factors that influence its duration, and providing you with a comprehensive understanding of what to expect during your next visit to the mechanic or oil change service center. So, let’s get ready to demystify the timeline of this crucial car maintenance task.

How Long Does an Oil Change Take?

On average, a professional oil change typically takes around 30 minutes to an hour, with some quick oil change services being even faster, often around 15-20 minutes. If you’re doing it yourself, it might take a bit longer, especially if you’re new to the process, but with experience, you can streamline it.

A significant portion of the time spent during an oil change goes into working on the tires. If you have four lugnuts on each tire, that means removing a total of 16 lugnuts. Some mechanics prefer to remove all the lugs at once, while others do it in two sets of eight, rotating the passenger side tires first and then the driver side.

Regardless of the method, the lugs are removed, and the tires are taken off and repositioned. Many mechanics start the tire rotation while the oil is draining to save time. During this process, some also inspect the brakes and clean the hubs with a wire brush to ensure proper tire mating.

The time it takes for the oil to drain can vary among mechanics. Some allow it to drain for a more extended period, perhaps 45 minutes, while others let it drain for a shorter duration, as little as 30 seconds. The ideal draining time is often a subject of debate among professionals, but, on average, it’s considered done when only a minimal amount of oil continues to flow from the drain.

The duration of an oil change can vary depending on several factors, including the type of oil and filter used, the make and model of your vehicle, the experience and efficiency of the mechanic (if you’re getting it done professionally), and whether you’re doing it yourself or having it serviced at a shop.

Here’s a breakdown to help you understand how long an oil change typically takes:

  1. Oil Change Procedure: The process of changing engine oil involves several steps, such as draining the old oil, replacing the oil filter, and adding fresh oil. A professional mechanic can often complete this process in about 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Type of Oil and Filter: If you’re using conventional oil and a standard filter, the process is generally quicker than if you opt for synthetic oil or a specialty filter. Synthetic oil, while offering advantages like extended oil change intervals, might take a bit longer to replace due to its higher cost and better performance.
  3. Vehicle Make and Model: Larger vehicles with larger engines typically require more oil and may take longer to drain and replace. Luxury or high-performance cars may have specific requirements that could add time to the oil change.
  4. Experience and Efficiency: Professional mechanics who perform oil changes regularly tend to be more efficient and can complete the task faster than someone doing it for the first time.
  5. DIY vs. Professional Service: Doing an oil change yourself may take longer if you’re not experienced, but it can also save you money. Professional services often include a quick oil change option that takes less time but may cost a bit more.
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Factors Affecting Oil Change Duration

The duration of an oil change can be influenced by various factors, and it’s essential to consider them when planning for this routine vehicle maintenance task. Here are the key factors that can affect the time it takes for an oil change:

  1. Oil Change Type:
    • Conventional Oil: Changing conventional engine oil typically takes less time because it’s a straightforward process.
    • Synthetic Oil: Synthetic oil changes can take slightly longer due to the higher quality and performance characteristics of synthetic oils. However, the extended oil change intervals can offset this additional time.
  2. Oil Filter Type:
    • The type of oil filter used can impact the duration of the oil change. Standard oil filters are quicker to replace, while premium or specialty filters may require more time.
  3. Vehicle Make and Model:
    • The make and model of your vehicle play a significant role. Larger vehicles with bigger engines generally require more oil and may take longer to drain and replace.
  4. Mechanic’s Experience:
    • If you’re getting your oil change done by a professional mechanic, their experience and familiarity with the process can affect the time it takes. Experienced mechanics tend to work more efficiently.
  5. Service Location:
    • The type of service location you choose can influence the duration. Specialized quick oil change centers may complete the task faster than a full-service automotive shop.
  6. DIY vs. Professional Service:
    • Performing an oil change yourself may take longer if you’re not experienced, but it can be cost-effective. Professional services often offer quick oil changes that take less time but may come at a higher cost.
  7. Additional Services:
    • If you request additional services, such as a comprehensive vehicle inspection, tire rotation, or fluid top-ups, it will extend the overall service time.
  8. Scheduled Appointments:
    • Making an appointment in advance can help minimize wait times at the service center, ensuring a quicker oil change.
  9. Accessibility of Vehicle Components:
    • Some vehicles have components placed in a way that makes accessing the oil filter or drain plug more challenging. This can add time to the oil change process.
  10. Oil Change Equipment:
    • The availability and condition of tools and equipment needed for the oil change can affect the duration. Having the right tools and equipment ready can expedite the process.
  11. Oil Change Interval:
    • If you’ve gone significantly beyond the recommended oil change interval, it might take a bit longer to remove older, thicker oil from the engine.

How Long Does an Oil Change Take at Jiffy Lube?

At Jiffy Lube, an oil change typically takes around 15 to 20 minutes for their standard oil change service. Jiffy Lube is known for its quick oil change services, and they have a streamlined process that allows them to complete the job efficiently.

However, the exact time can vary depending on factors such as the location’s workload, the type of oil change service you request, and any additional services or inspections they perform. It’s always a good idea to call ahead or check with your local Jiffy Lube for their specific wait times and service offerings.

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How Long Does an Oil Change Take at Valvoline?

At Valvoline Instant Oil Change, an oil change typically takes around 15 to 20 minutes for their standard oil change service. Valvoline is known for its quick and efficient oil change services, and they have a well-organized process to get your oil changed swiftly.

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However, the actual time may vary depending on factors like the location’s workload, the type of oil change service you choose (e.g., conventional oil, synthetic oil), and any additional services or inspections they perform.

To get the most accurate estimate for your specific situation, it’s a good idea to contact your local Valvoline service center or check their website for current wait times and service details.

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How Long Does an Oil Change Take at Walmart?

At Walmart’s automotive service centers, an oil change usually takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour. However, the actual duration can vary based on factors such as the location’s workload, the type of oil change service you select (e.g., conventional, synthetic, high-mileage), and any additional services or inspections included in your appointment.

Walmart’s service centers often offer a range of oil change options, including standard oil changes and more comprehensive services. To get a precise estimate and schedule your oil change, it’s advisable to contact your local Walmart automotive service center or visit their website for up-to-date information on wait times and available services.

How Long Should an Oil Change Take If I Do It Myself?

If you’re performing an oil change on your own, it’s typically a straightforward process that can be completed within 30 to 45 minutes.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the process and a rough estimate of the time required for each step:

  1. Gather Tools and Materials (5 minutes):
    • Collect all the necessary tools and materials, including an oil filter wrench, socket set, oil drain pan, funnel, a new oil filter, and the correct amount and type of motor oil specified in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
  2. Prepare the Vehicle (5 minutes):
    • Park your vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Make sure the engine is cool to avoid burns from hot components.
  3. Locate and Access the Oil Drain Plug (5 minutes):
    • Crawl under the vehicle and locate the oil drain plug, typically on the oil pan. Use the appropriate socket or wrench to loosen the drain plug.
  4. Drain Old Oil (10 minutes):
    • Allow the old oil to drain completely into the oil drain pan. This process can take a bit of time, depending on the viscosity of the oil and how efficiently it drains.
  5. Remove and Replace the Oil Filter (5 minutes):
    • Using an oil filter wrench, remove the old oil filter. Before installing the new oil filter, apply a small amount of fresh oil to the rubber gasket. Hand-tighten the new filter, typically turning it about three-quarters of a turn after it makes contact with the filter housing.
  6. Refill with Fresh Oil (5 minutes):
    • Use a funnel to pour the correct amount and type of fresh oil into the engine. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the exact oil capacity and specifications.
  7. Check Oil Level (2 minutes):
    • After adding oil, start the engine and let it run for a minute or two. Turn off the engine and wait a few minutes for the oil to settle. Then, check the oil level using the dipstick and add more oil if necessary.
  8. Dispose of Old Oil and Filter (3 minutes):
    • Properly dispose of the old oil and oil filter at a recycling center or an auto parts store that accepts used oil.
  9. Clean Up (2 minutes):
    • Clean up any spills or drips, and securely tighten the oil drain plug and the oil filler cap.
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In total, you can expect the DIY oil change process to take approximately 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your familiarity with the process, the accessibility of components on your vehicle, and whether you encounter any unexpected complications. A

lways refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific instructions and oil change intervals.

Tips to Expedite the Oil Change Process

Certainly, here are some tips to expedite the oil change process and make it more efficient:

  1. Organize Your Workspace: Before you begin, lay out all your tools and materials in an organized manner. This will save you time searching for what you need during the process.
  2. Warm Up the Engine: If possible, run the engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil. Warm oil flows more easily and drains faster.
  3. Use a Quick Lube Valve: Some vehicles have quick lube valves that make draining the oil quicker and cleaner. If your vehicle has one, use it.
  4. Pre-Loosen the Oil Filter: Before draining the oil, pre-loosen the oil filter with an oil filter wrench. This will make it easier to remove once the oil is drained.
  5. Have the Right Tools: Ensure you have the correct socket or wrench sizes for your oil drain plug and filter. Using the right tools will save time and prevent frustration.
  6. Use a Funnel: When pouring fresh oil into the engine, use a funnel to avoid spills and speed up the process.
  7. Choose a High-Quality Oil Filter: High-quality oil filters often have better construction and anti-drain back valves, making them easier to install and remove.
  8. Check for Leaks: After refilling with oil and running the engine briefly, check for any leaks around the oil filter and drain plug. Address leaks immediately.
  9. Dispose of Oil Properly: Ensure you dispose of the used oil and oil filter in an environmentally responsible manner. Most auto parts stores accept used oil and filters for recycling.
  10. Keep Records: Maintain a record of your oil changes, including the date, mileage, and the type and quantity of oil used. This will help you stay on schedule for future changes.
  11. Consider Synthetic Oil: Synthetic oil can extend the time between oil changes, reducing the frequency of this maintenance task.
  12. Practice Safety: Always use jack stands if you need to raise your vehicle. Safety should be a priority to avoid accidents and injuries.


The duration of an oil change can vary depending on several factors, including the type of vehicle, the skill level of the person performing the change, and whether any additional maintenance tasks are involved. On average, a professional oil change at an auto service center typically takes around 30 to 45 minutes.

If you choose to do the oil change yourself, it may take slightly longer, especially if you’re not as experienced. However, with practice and the right tools, you can complete the process in about 45 minutes to an hour.

Whether you decide to change your oil yourself or have it done by professionals, proper maintenance is key to keeping your vehicle running smoothly.

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