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If you feel that your car requires an oil change but your schedule is very tight, you may be wondering – how long does an oil change take? And how long should an oil change take in the first place?
Well, it depends – an oil change can span from as little as 15 minutes to as long as 2 hours. How long a car shop will take to change your car oil will depend on how careful and meticulous they are, as well as on their business model.
With that, in this post, GarageChief.com will provide you with some rough numbers on how long oil changes take at different franchises.
In contrast, we will also talk about dealer and DIY oil changes and give you guidance on which one would actually be better for your case.
How Long To Get An Oil Change At Different Franchises?
Obviously, the time it takes for an oil change will vastly differ from dealer to dealer. To give you a good idea of what you should expect when having motor oil changed, let’s talk a look at change times at a few popular franchises.
The info below has been mostly gathered from the franchisees’ websites. If more info was necessary, we also read through forums, Facebook groups, reviews on Trustpilot, or reached the companies directly.
How Long Does an Oil Change Take at Jiffy Lube
With its 2,000 locations nationwide, Jiffy Lube is perhaps one of the most well-known car maintenance franchises in the US. Actually, Jiffy Lube was the biggest fast lube chain in the US as of 2016.
But what’s more important for this post is that they also offer some of the quickest oil change services around.
An oil change at Jiffy Lube usually takes about 10-15 minutes. Unlike some other quick-lube franchises on this list, they don’t offer any vehicle inspection services to go along with the oil change, which is probably why their oil changes are so quick.
Plus, expect heavy upsells for additional services. If you don’t want any upsells, then just tell the mechanics that you just urgently need an oil change.
And in fact, urgent need probably is the only case when you would want to visit Jiffy Lube.
Jiffy Lube tends to use generic cheap-ass oil purchased in bulk. This oil might be okay for urgent times, but probably not for long-term use. Check your car’s oil requirements just in case before shopping from these guys.
Apart from that, people very often complain about the quality of service at quick oil change locations, including Jiffy Lube. Their staff might be sometimes poorly trained as well, though despite this, Jiffy Lube stays popular due to its cheapness and quick oil changes.
How Long Does an Oil Change Take at Walmart?
Many people may not know it, but Walmart also offers oil change services. They offer several oil quality tiers priced from about $20 to $50 (these prices are for up to 5 quarts of oil).
Except for the cheapest tier, an oil change includes light vehicle inspection and maintenance like interior vacuuming, washer fluid checkup, battery checks, and some other things. So you are getting more from Walmart than from Jiffy Lube.
Still, some people have had concerns about the quality of Walmart’s oil and the expertise of the staff. That’s pretty expectable because there always is some risk with quick-change oil services.
Quick-change franchises don’t have time to do oil change thoroughly, which may cause flawed service quality. If you do want a quality oil change, then you should probably stick to a car dealership (which we’ll talk about a little bit later).
How Long Does Take 5 Oil Change Take
Take 5 are among the older auto service franchises in the US, aged over 35 years. And interestingly, Take 5 boasts that they are among the few services that let you stay in the car while its oil is changed.
If you go for more comprehensive vehicle maintenance, then you will also get things like air filter replacement, transmission fuel changes, or wiper blade replacement.
With a fuller checkup, you may spend as much as about 30-40 minutes at Take 5, but a more in-depth inspection is probably worth it.
Interestingly, Take 5 has fairly decent user ratings, though they depend on location. Some locations on Yelp are rated 4.5 stars based on 162 reviews, while others are rated at just 3.5 based on 62 reviews.
But both ratings are quite a bit better than with many other quick oil change services out there – if you look around Yelp or Trustpilot, you’ll see ratings closer to 3 stars. So compared to other franchises, Take 5 may offer pretty good quality of service, as you’d expect from their longer maintenance times.
Take 5 Oil Change Overview
How Long Does a Valvoline Oil Change Take?
Valvoline isn’t merely a vehicle maintenance service provider – this company’s lubricant is actually the world’s oldest trademarked lubricant. Apart from that, Valvoline was the second-largest lube chain in the US after Jiffy Lube as of 2016.
When there’s no waiting, oil changes at Valvoline locations take 10-15 minutes. During oil changes, Valvoline also offers free checkups on transmission fluids, wiper blades, tire pressure, air filters, battery, etc.
Needless to say, Valvoline offers oils of its own manufacturing at their drive-thrus. In fact, Valvoline motor oils seem to be very highly rated on Amazon. So you could expect the quality of oil at Valvoline oil change locations to be rather high.
How Long Should an Oil Change Take at Firestone?
Firestone has originally produced tires for wagons, buggies, firefighting apparatuses, and other forms of transport common in the early 20th century. Now, this company also offers complete auto care services, including oil changes.
Notably, Firestone doesn’t offer quick 10-minute oil changes. Instead, they claim to aim at ensuring that your vehicle runs longer after an oil change at their locations. Typically, an oil change with Firestone takes about 30 minutes.
During an oil check, Firestone can also perform a free checkup of your vehicle’s systems upon your request.
If you are also interested in the kind of oil Firestone is using, then it’s a few types of Pennzoil oils. These oils seem to be pretty highly rated – for example, the Pennzoil Platinum oil has 630 ratings and 4.8 stars on Amazon. So like with Valvoline, you should be pretty safe when it comes to oil quality.
How Long Does An Oil Change Take At A Dealer?
And how does it take for an oil change at a dealership? Well, dealers typically take longer to change motor oil. Expect to wait for at least 30-45 minutes. In case the oil change is complemented by a vehicle inspection, the oil change may take up to 2 hours.
With this in mind, you could expect an oil change at a dealer to be more thorough and the quality of the job to be better.
Of course, the duration of an oil change will depend on the dealer. For example:
- The Norm Reeves Honda Superstore usually does oil changes in 20-60 minutes.
- The Nissan of Mobile dealership generally completes an oil change in 30-45 minutes.
- Butler Toyota does oil changes in about 40-50 minutes.
Dealer Vs Quick-Lube Location Oil Changes
So who should you address for an oil change – a dealer or a quick-lube location? Well, this depends on what you need.
With a dealer, you could expect the following benefits:
- Higher-quality motor oil that has been picked specifically for your vehicle.
- If an inspection is included in the price of the service, then it likely will be more thorough than in a quick-lube location. Mechanics at the latter usually only perform a light visual inspection that cannot spot hidden problems.
- Low likelihood of mistakes since mechanics at a dealership are not rushed by the plan and can be a little more careful when doing their job.
- With some dealerships, damage to the vehicle may be covered by the service provider. But this may not apply to all dealers, so you should read their terms of service for more info.
Dealers have disadvantages as well – namely, their services can be costly and, of course, they take more time to complete the job.
When it comes to quick-change locations, their main advantage is time savings. If you are lucky with queues, then you probably won’t have to wait longer than 10-25 minutes to get your car’s motor oil changed.
Apart from that, quick oil change locations often charge less than dealers, which may be a big advantage for some people.
With that said, there probably are more disadvantages to quick-lube locations than advantages. More precisely:
- Vehicle inspections are often just visual.
- The staff has to keep up with a tough plan and serve as many cars in a day as they can. Mechanics don’t have time much time to dedicate to you, which increases the likelihood of poor service. Even if the staff is very experienced (which often is not the case), it probably won’t be able to ensure top-notch quality of their services.
- Often, quick-change shops do not bear any responsibility for damage to your vehicle.
- Quick-lube locations often push upsells onto their customers, which can be annoying.
With all this in mind, we think that you should reserve visits to quick-lube shops only if you really need an oil change right now. Otherwise, they are not worth it, especially if you have a new car.
Try to stick to dealers – they will likely offer you higher-quality services, and they will probably ensure that your car stays in good condition in the long term.
How Long is an Oil Change When Changing Yourself?
If you have zero experience, then it will take longer for you to change the oil than for a skilled mechanic, though the DIY oil change process is pretty easy. You need to:
- Locate and remove the oil plug.
- Drain the oil (use a drain pan if possible).
- Change oil filters.
- Add fresh engine oil
- make sure you didn’t overfill engine oil
- Replace the plug.
Still, a newbie will probably spend at least an hour on this procedure, which is quite a lot. If you don’t have time, then you may want to avoid DIY oil changes.
Besides, there are some other reasons why you would want to entrust oil changes to a car dealership:
- You need a car lift to have easy access to the oil plug. Alternatively, you need a spot where you can get beneath your vehicle. On flat ground, it can be very difficult to do oil changes.
- You won’t necessarily do a good job of changing your own oil.
- According to a wonderful post by Business Insider, changing your oil yourself doesn’t offer much time and money savings. Furthermore, you could actually be wasting money!
Being able to change your car oil probably is a useful skill to have. But unless you are 100% sure that DIY oil changes are optimal for your case, then avoid them.
And we’d say that unless oil change services aren’t available in your area, you should probably avoid changing oil on your own and instead stick to dealer services.
How Long To Get an Oil Change – Final Words
Hopefully, the question of “how long does an oil change take” has been answered for you.
You know the average time for an oil change to take, but as with many things in real life: it depends – some shops do it very quickly, while others will take at least an hour. But although it may seem that faster is better, you should remember about the downsides of ultra-fast vehicle servicing we’ve talked about above.
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