WillG80 New Reader
8/23/19 9:02 p.m.

How long does it take you guys to change your oil? Including getting tools and cleaning up. I can do my GTI in 20 minutes and the Chevy truck in much less.  Drive onto ramps, remove drain bolt, remove oil filter. Install filter and bolt, add oil. Cleanup. 

The reason I ask is because of the “convenience” of taking a car in for an oil change. Surely that takes much longer, no? 


I do do my own oil changes so I might be biased. 

EvanB MegaDork
8/23/19 9:10 p.m.

I've never really cared to time it since I'm in the garage anyway pretty much every weekend and an oil change is something that i do while working on other things. I've never considered taking a car to get the oil changed but the most annoying part is driving to the store to get oil and a filter.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/23/19 10:06 p.m.

The time required all depends on the vehicle.  Some you can do it in 10 minutes, others it takes an hour.

And you are biased.  wink  Not everyone wants to do it themselves but that doesn't mean they're wrong in having it done at a shop.  Also remember that some people may not be physically able to do it.

Curtis UltimaDork
8/23/19 10:56 p.m.

My (now ex) wife's lowered Scion xB I used to think would be a pain.  The drain plug is right at the front of the pan and the filter was right beside it.  I could change it in about 6 minutes in the driveway without even using a jack.  Seriously, the drain and filter were about 10" behind the front bumper.

The biggest time consumers were waiting for it to drain, and waiting for the bottles of oil to drip into the funnel.

One of the fastest things I have to change oil is my I/O boat.  I put a quick-drain valve on the pan.  I stick the hose out of the bilge plug hole to a pan and open the valve.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/24/19 7:42 a.m.

My old Mazda 626 that I bought new in 1980 was great for oil changes, I could easily reach both the drain plug and the filter from above so I didn't have to jack it up - just slide the pan underneath, and then pull it out when I was done.

buzzboy HalfDork
8/24/19 7:56 a.m.

E36 is great and quick. Total time of ~10min if the oil is hot enough to flow. The easily accessed filter and the fact that I only have to jack up one side of the car makes it much quicker too. Plus it get's 1 oil change per year currently so I'm not worried about time.

XJ is a pain because of where the filter is. I've paid for a quick lube to do it, not for the amount of time. I do, however, go back and check that nothing seems wrong. I'm paranoid about those places.

spitfirebill MegaDork
8/24/19 8:33 a.m.

Spitfires couldn’t be much easier.  You can sit in the wheel and do it from above.  Shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.  The TR3 couldn’t be much worse.  I shall be installing an oil filter adapter when I get back to it.  

Olemiss540 New Reader
8/24/19 8:50 a.m.

The longest time killer is cleanup for me. Making a mess with a crapload of paper towels and doing gymnastics keeping jugs upright while refilling them with used oil. Wiping all my oil soaked tools off and washing my hands 10 times. 

Still probably a 25 min ordeal but nowhere near 6 minutes!

Also, why is it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I use a pump for tranny/diff refills, the hose wont stay in the gearbox and the pump will blowout/fall over? I feel like an absolute moron every time even though I have probably done it 25 times. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
8/24/19 9:35 a.m.

When I did them at my ex's house (who had a large garage and a township facility for used oil) it usually went pretty quick since the oil would get drained into an shop-style 8 gallon under-lift container.  While the oil was draining, I would rotate the tires and check the brakes and the condition of other bits while the car was in the air. At my house, it takes longer since i don't use the shop-style container and for most of my cars, I drag the scissor lift out of the garage into the driveway.  But again, I'm usually doing more than just an oil change.

Still... it's less aggravating than having a quick-lube place do it and have them try to up-sell you crap.  And less time as well, since usually when I have time to go to a quick-lube place is the same as when everyone else has time, so a "15 min oil change" can often take an hour or more between the time you pull in and actually leave.  I keep oil change supplies on hand far in advance, so when it needs to get done, I can do it on my schedule.

When I was driving my TDi a lot more, I was pretty efficient at it.  If I really concentrated on not screwing around, I could do an oil change, fuel filter, air and cabin filter change (std 20K mile service) and rotate the tires in less than 30 min.  But I've done over 30 oil changes on that car, so I'd better be good at them.

RevRico PowerDork
8/24/19 3:53 p.m.

I take mine to the shop. It winds up being considerably cheaper to pay them to do it than to buy the stuff and do it myself for some reason. There is also the hope that the grease monkey will forget to put in oil or a drain plug and the shop will have to buy me a new vehicle. 

iceracer UltimaDork
8/24/19 6:42 p.m.

Best car I ever had for easy oil/filter change was my Dodge K car 2.2L.

I could do both from under the hood.

Soon I am about to have the change done by the dealer for the first time on my FiST.

  The car being low, the hassle with ramps and me no longer feeling like doing it anymore brought me to this decision.

I bet it will take longer than if I did it at home.   Eh, they have cofffee.

nutherjrfan UberDork
8/24/19 11:31 p.m.

In reply to EvanB :

I spent I think an extra $7 to have Nissan ship me a filter and crush washer in two days.  The drive to Tysons was over half an hour and as a rideshare driver that's money time.


nutherjrfan UberDork
8/24/19 11:33 p.m.

In reply to Curtis :

yeah my 1st gen Versa has the filter on the front that you have to maneuver around a splash shield to get at.  You can kinda tell the previous changes involved a little brute force to get in there. indecision

nutherjrfan UberDork
8/24/19 11:37 p.m.

My neighbor an old man pretty close to 70 I'd guess drives the passenger wheel of his current model Impala onto the curb and manages to do it that way. surprise

Floating Doc
Floating Doc SuperDork
8/25/19 7:23 a.m.
nutherjrfan said:

My neighbor an old man pretty close to 70 I'd guess drives the passenger wheel of his current model Impala onto the curb and manages to do it that way. surprise

As an old man pretty close to 70, I now feel obligated to reply. wink

My last oil change on my GMT 400 took two weeks.

93gsxturbo SuperDork
8/25/19 7:38 a.m.

Let me walk you through the process on a 2015 Land Cruiser.

Take off the front skidplates (10 bolts, 10 and 12mm heads)

Take off the mid skidplate access panel (2 bolts, 12mm heads)

Take off the plug in the oil filter housing

Insert the little dealy that comes with the new filter to drain the housing

Take off the main oil filter housing

Swap filters and O-Rings

Reinstall oil filter housing

Reinstall little plug in oil filter housing

Move drain pan

Remove drain plug (14mm)

Drain engine oil

Install drain plug

Add new oil

Install skidplates.


What a pain!  

Patrick MegaDork
8/25/19 7:50 a.m.

It takes a long time to drain and fill the truck as it takes 3 gallons. The filter requires to slide it through a small spot in the wheelwell or take off the intake charge tube.  I would gladly pay the dealer to do it if i had time

tr8todd SuperDork
8/25/19 9:48 a.m.

Did four of them in a little over an hour a couple of weekends ago.  Would have been faster but my daughter and her boyfriend wanted to learn how to do it on their cars.  Oh, and I changed out two air filters, a cabin filter, and filled the washer fluid tanks.  

Daylan C
Daylan C UberDork
8/25/19 10:03 a.m.

Meanwhile, 3 gallons of 15w40 draining out of a 12 valve Cummins takes a bit of time. The filter landing in a weird place in a square body Dodge was a bit annoying too.

SVreX MegaDork
8/25/19 10:27 a.m.

My 7.3L Powerstroke took about 2 minutes of labor, and 15 minutes of waiting for it to drain. About 15 Qts. It took 2 qts just to fill the filter.

I knew exactly which tools I would need, and didn’t need a lift or ramps. Just roll under it. 

Cooter UltraDork
8/25/19 12:12 p.m.

Funny you should mention timing my oil changes...

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