How Long Do Common Car Maintenance and Repair Tasks Take?
There are common maintenance services that need to be completed on a regular basis if you want your car to function at its best. Getting these services performed on your vehicle takes time, but it's time well spent; getting this work done now can help avoid damage that can lead to costly repair bills further down the line. There are also some repair services that you'll need to have performed when a car part fails or suffers damage.
It can be helpful to know how long each of these maintenance and repair services takes, from start to finish. That can help you schedule your time more efficiently when planning to get work done on your vehicle.
Here are time estimates and general information regarding some maintenance and repair services that are commonly performed.
How long does an oil change take?
An oil change is a relatively quick service. If you're having it done at a repair shop or quick lube shop, the process can take about 30 minutes.
Because it's a straightforward process, some people choose a DIY approach with their oil changes. If you're performing the oil change yourself, a lot will depend on the tools you have and how experienced you are. Generally, a DIY oil change can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
A car's engine can be expensive to repair. Oil changes protect your car's engine and keep it running smoothly.
How long does it take to change a tire?
If you want to handle this task without getting your hands dirty, visit an auto repair shop. Typically, you'll be in and out in about 45 minutes or less.
If you're rolling up your sleeves and replacing the rubber yourself, the task can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes, depending on your level of experience, and available tools.
How long does a tire rotation take?
Rotation involves changing the position of each tire on your vehicle; for example, the rubber on your left front wheel may switch places with the rubber on your left rear wheel. Getting your tires rotated at a dealership or auto repair shop will typically take between 15-30 minutes.
It's a simple and quick task, but one that can go a long way toward protecting the health of your car's tires. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), regular rotation can ensure that your car's tires wear evenly. This may help extend their life span.
How long does it take to change brakes?
Your brakes are your first line of defense when avoiding accidents, and it's essential to keep them well maintained. At an auto repair shop, changing your car's brakes can take between 1 and 3 hours.
If that sounds like a long time, keep in mind that a car's braking system is more complex than many people realize. It includes components that range from discs to hoses to drums. However, there are three main components that are typically in the spotlight when brakes are being serviced: brake pads, calipers, and brake rotors.
How long does it take to patch a tire?
Patching can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, a patch is an acceptable repair if the puncture injury is no greater than 1/4 inch in diameter.
A patch is a strip that's placed over the hole in the rubber. It can be secured using heat and curing agents.
How long does a tire alignment take?
You can expect alignment to take about an hour. This holds true for both two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles.
If the car's suspension is worn or damaged, some components may need to be replaced during the alignment. This could cause the task to take a bit longer.
How long does a transmission flush take?
At an auto shop, a transmission flush typically takes between 3-4 hours. This process involves flushing out your car's old transmission fluid using a pump inlet or commercial flushing machine.
A flush can help improve the way your car's transmission performs. It can also help lengthen the life span of your car's transmission.
How long does a car diagnostic test take?
If there are no major issues, a car diagnostic test can take between 60-90 minutes. If there are problems that require a deeper dive, a diagnostic can last as long as 3 hours. This test is used to identify problems. Though it can take a while, using this test is quicker than having a technician work to find the root cause of the issue. As a result, a car diagnostic test can wind up saving you money in labor costs.