How Long Does an Oil Change Take?

Oil is the lifeblood of gasoline powered engines. Thus, all car owners with an internal combustion engine must get an oil change after driving a certain number of miles. The oil change improves the vehicle performance and also extends the life the car. Although the oil change is a routine task, it comes time to get one at the most inopportune times. Yet, the oil change is still required. If you’re pressed for time, read on to find out how long an oil change takes whether you do it yourself or you go to a car garage.

Engine Oil in Internal Combustion Engines

The internal combustion engine is complex and sensitive. Many components work together so the engine will run. Engine oil flows through parts of an internal combustion engine, acting as a lubricant and cooling agent. Internal combustion engine uses several types of gaskets and seals to secure the oil flows. The variable valve (VVT) solenoid, or oil control valve, is attached to the near the cylinder head block.

The older the vehicle, the more oil it will consume. The longer you drive the vehicle, the more you will have to change the oil. When the oil is clean and the oil level and pressure are right, the engine wear is reduced, and performance is improved. Oil absorbs water and dirt and it loses its quality over time, lessening its effectiveness as a lubricant. The oil filter becomes worn and full of debris over time so it can no longer filter out debris. Engine sludge is one of the most common causes of clogged passages for the oil flows.

Internal combustion engines tend to form a black emulsion made up of water, oil, and the by-products from the combustion. The sludge also comes from oil that has leaked or spilled onto the engine parts and has been allowed to solidify. Engine sludge builds up in cars that have not had regular oil changes. The more oil the engine uses, the higher the accumulation of debris. Heat and debris oxidate oil, which changes the oil structure to a gel-like, sticky, thin substance. Particles begin to attach to the oil that won’t fit through the oil filter. If engine oil passages clog up with sludge, it causes serious problems.

The level and condition of the oil also affects the oil pressure. The oil pressure is the highest when the engine is cold. The oil gauge should be at the highest point when the engine is cold started. When oil levels are not right, it can seriously harm the engine.

Why Does My Car Need Oil?

Modern cars have evolved so far as the electric car which runs only on electric power. Yet, automobiles with internal combustion engines still require oil. Even though there is an oil filter, engine oil gets dirty over time. It may even become contaminated with debris. Combustion generates a lot of heat and some byproducts that get into the crankcase contaminate the oil. Usually the oil filter is replaced during an oil change. if you haven’t been getting an oil change the oil filter can become dirty really fast. Oil changes or just the cost of a replacement filter is relatively inexpensive.

How Long Does an Oil Change Take?

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A professional oil change will take between 30 minutes and 1 hour to complete. This is assuming that there is nothing else that needs to be attended to. It also depends on how many people are in front of you when you take your car to the car garage. If these time frames are too long or undependable for you, change your own oil. It may take a bit longer the first time you do it, but it will be faster as you become a pro.

How Do I Know When My Car Needs an Oil Change?

As oil moves through the engine, it accumulates deposits. Therefore, most cars should have the oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Aside from the number of miles the car has been driven, other factors could weigh in to the need for an oil change. Depending on the age of the car, the temperatures in the region the car is driven in, the quality of the oil that was used the last time, and condition of the oil pump (view on Amazon) can all affect the best intervals between oil changes. Here are some things you can check to determine if you need an oil change:

Check the oil gauge – Most newer vehicles have an oil pressure gauge on the dash that is attached to an oil pressure sensor (view on Amazon). Your oil pressure gauge will tell you that your oil pressure is high. Oil pressure indicates flow resistance, viscosity, and flow rates throughout the engine. If the oil gauge is too low or too high, it could mean you need an oil change, or your car has too much oil; both of which affect the oil pressure. The most common cause is the need for an oil change. When you start your car, the oil gauge needle should be on high because oil pressure is highest when its temperature is cold.

Check the oil level – If you believe the oil level is not right in your vehicle, you can check the oil level yourself:

  1. Drive the car around for about 10 minutes to allow the engine to warm up. That way, you will an accurate reading when you check the dipstick.
  2. Pop the hood and remove the oil dipstick.
  3. Wipe the dipstick off with a cloth and then reinsert it.
  4. Wait for about 1 minute. Then pull the dipstick back out.
  5. Read the oil level on the dipstick to see where the oil level is on the dipstick marking, If the oil level is exactly on the full marking, unless of the color of the oil is dark to black, there is no need to do anything.
  6. If the marking is below or above the full line, or the oil is very dark, it is a good idea to get an oil change or drain the excess oil.

Look for smoke – A reduction in the lubrication running through the engine causes parts to rub together which causes external oil leaks. An external oil leak is characterized by oil dripping through a leak onto hot engine parts. The oil burns on the hot parts causing smoke. Internal oil leaks can happen too. Hot oil leaks into the combustion chamber, causing smoke.

How To Change Your Oil?

Changing the oil in a motor vehicle is not complicated at all. Many people choose to do it themselves. You will need the new oil, oil filter, and replacement drain plug washer. You may even find that you must replace the oil drain plug or the entire pan.

Choose your oil – If you have worked on cars a bit then you already know that different vehicles require different types of oil. The two primary types of motor oil are synthetic and conventional and are further classified as single or multigrade. Most of the newer cars require synthetic oil. Synthetic oils are made using very complex processes. The oil is developed using petrochemicals, some of the highest quality base oils, and additives. Synthetic oil protects the engine against high temperatures and reduces wear on the engine. Another benefit of synthetic oil is that it requires less oil changes over the course of a year. However, it is not recommended to use synthetic oil in older engines that have at least 75,000 miles.

Conventionals are made of crude oil and were used in the older model cars. Although synthetic oil has many wonderful properties, conventional oil does too. Conventional oil can withstand high temperatures and stability for long periods of time and is usually cheaper than synthetic. Synthetic and conventional oils are both designed to reduce the accumulation of deposits. Both types of motor oils are also designed to prevent different problems. The highest quality oil is expected to extend the engine life to 250,000 miles. If you rack up high mileage every year then you would need a high mileage motor oil. Choosing a more expensive motor will be worth it in the long run. Additives are added to all types of motor oil. These additives can have a massive effect on the quality of the motor oil.

It is critical that you use the right oil to protect your engine. Check with your owner’s manual to determine the amount and the type of oil your car needs. If you have everything you need and you want to do the oil change yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Gather the required tools: funnel, jack and jack stands, latex gloves, oil drain pan, box end or socket wrench, and oil filter wrench.
  2. Park in a safe, level place and pull on the emergency brake because most times, you’ll have to jack the car up and crawl under it.
  3. Let the engine run for about 10 minutes to warm the oil up. Warming the car up generates heat that expands.
  4. Use the jack to lift the car and place the jack stands.
  5. Locate the oil pan. Reaching the oil pan can be challenging on some vehicles. You may have to remove a tire to get to it. (Be careful not to interfere with the gearbox oil pan.)
  6. Locate the oil drain plug. Put on the latex gloves.
  7. Turn the oil drain plug in a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction. Make sure you have the correct socket size for the plug. You may have to use the extension along with the wrench.
  8. As the plug loosens, slowly drain the oil into the oil pan.
  9. Clean the oil drain plug and retighten it.
  10. Locate and the oil filter. Let the filter drain and then remove it.
  11. Use your clean cloth to clean up and spillage.
  12. Replace the old oil filter with the new, spinning it in until it makes contact with the seal.
  13. Lower the car and remove the oil cap.
  14. Use the funnel to add the new oil.
  15. Replace the oil cap.
  16. Let the car run for about 10 minutes,
  17. Turn the car off and check the oil level with the dipstick.

Go to the car garage – Regular oil changes are a requirement for peak performance and longevity of your car’s engine. Your owner’s manual will tell you what oil to use in the oil change serviced and how often it should be changed. Keeping the vehicle serviced as recommended by the manufacturer will prevent oil passage blockage and sludge problems. Having the oil changed is preventive maintenance as well as a performance booster.