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Auto Repair in Mint Hill: How Long Should an Oil Change Take?

In a fast paced world, the time needed to stop and get an oil change is minimal. After all, if its a daily driver, you can’t just take it off the road for a day, you have errands and a job to do! It is completely understandable that “5 minute oil changes” as offered by some major oil-change corporations seem desirable. However, an oil change that only lasts that long isn’t in your car’s best interest.

Ken Manchester, owner of Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill, elaborates on the subject.


“I don’t care how many workers you put on an oil change. 5 minutes is just way too short.” He says. “An oil change done correctly should take about 30 minutes.”


Gunk like this happens from never changing the oil.

“Part of the problem with that premise is that it is physically impossible to drain oil that fast in most cars. Even if you’re using one of those high-tech fluid vacuums, oil just can’t leave the vehicle that fast. Even if it could, however, in order to even make this oil change last only 5 minutes, you’d have to be pouring new oil in as fast as you’re draining old oil out. And that is a disaster waiting to happen.”


“If your oil is changed in 5 minutes, they didn’t drain all of it out like they said they did.” Ken states. “This really becomes a problem if they bill you for the full amount of oil, too. Unfortunately isn’t the easiest thing to prove, though.”


To put it simply, oil changes shouldn’t be long, but they shouldn’t be quick either.


“An oil change should take 30 minutes for one main reason – to properly drain oil. Refilling it doesn’t take too long, but draining it does. That oil is spread all throughout your engine, lubricating things. It just can’t come out in 5 minutes.”


An oil change is not necessarily a complex procedure, but doing it properly is important. Many places that offer speedy oil changes probably aren’t giving you your money’s worth. The next time you need an oil change, keep this in mind.

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Preventative Maintenance

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Preventative Maintenance.   Time, Mileage or Condition which do you observe to maintain your car?  Some vehicle owners go by the owner’s manual, some the shop’s recommendation where they have their car serviced.  Which one is right for you?  The answer depends on how you drive your vehicle in conjunction with what  the the manufacturer recommends.  However, listed below are some guidelines that apply to the average driver and their car, no matter what make or model.

Oil Change Service:  This is by far the most cost effective service that has the biggest impact on prolonging the life of your car.  It is better to do this sooner than later.  Some vehicle manufacturers indicate you can go 5K-10K or more in between services.  The truth is with today’s technology the oil may last that long but it is likely the filter will not.   The filter is a vital component in making sure the oil that circulates through the engine is gunk and particle free.  In addition to that most drivers today are bad at remembering to perform this vital service in the first place, so that means that 5K interval in reality turns into 6k or 7k before you actually get it done.  To be on the safe side having your oil changed every 3,000 miles or 3 months is not a bad routine, especially if you drive your vehicle hard with lots of stopping and going are in an extremely hot or cold climate, tow a trailer etc.  If you follow this rule of thumb and go over, you most likely will have your vehicle serviced long before the 5,000 mile interval.  This is our shop’s standard recommendation for most vehicles.

Transmission Fluid Change:  This service too depends on what the manufacturer recommends and can vary based on the make and model.  Now days it is a cost effective measure to have your fluid tested first to determine if the service is actually needed.

Coolant Change:  Under most driving conditions coolant can last for a long time.  However it does not hurt to check it at the change of seasons since a variety of things can impact the condition and quality of the coolant.  If there is a deviation from the manufacturer’s specification in the coolant condition it can be easily corrected.

Brake Fluid Change:  Two different tests can be performed to determine the quality of your brake fluid.  One involves using an electrode to test the fluid, the other involves heat.  Either one of these methods is effective to determine the quality of the fluid and whether or not it needs to be changed.

Power Steering Fluid Change:  This is the easiest fluid to test and can be done with a coffee filter.  If debris is left behind in the filter it is time for a change.  The baseline for changing this fluid is usually 50,000 miles  but you can test it more regularly if you feel it is necessary.

Performing routine car maintenance is meant to prolong the life of your vehicle and hopefully avoid major problems that can leave you stuck on the side of the road.  Setting up a schedule with a reputable auto repair facility can take the headache out of remembering when to do what and keep you on track.  If you have concerns about  preventative maintenance, don’t hesitate to stop by and have Ken take a look at it.
If you are looking for top quality auto repair in Mint Hill or South Charlotte area, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.