Who will change your oil

We explain when an oil change is necessary, how long it takes, how much it costs and why you have to change the engine oil regularly. Our instructions show how you can change the oil yourself.

  • Why is the oil change important?
  • When and how often do I have to change the oil?
  • What does the oil change cost?
  • How long does the oil change take?
  • Which engine oil should I use?
  • How can I change the oil myself?

Why is the oil change important?

The engine consists of many moving parts. If they rub against each other, this can lead to engine damage such as overheating. The engine oil ensures that the parts do not rub against each other and that the heat is distributed evenly.

The engine oil also serves as a cleaning agent: while the engine is working, metal shavings can be produced. The oil binds these dirt particles and filters them out through the oil filter. The oil and filter wear out over time. They need to be renewed regularly.

In the first few years of your car's life, the oil change is usually done in the workshop. This takes place as part of the inspection. In older vehicles, you can change the oil yourself. The value of the vehicle does not usually decrease.

When and how often do I have to change the oil?

You should change the engine oil after about 15,000 to 30,000 kilometers. With average driving behavior, this is every 12 to 18 months.

Vehicles that only drive short distances need an oil change more often than long-distance drivers. But that differs depending on the vehicle type. You can find the exact information in the service booklet. Usually your car display will also inform you when an oil change is due.

Sometimes you need to change the engine oil outside of the periods. For example, if there is pollution (soot, sulfur oxides, water). Experts recognize this by a very dark color.

In diesel and gasoline engines, the oil can thicken due to soot and lead to starting difficulties in the cold season. If you suspect pollution, drive to a workshop.

If you drive under extreme conditions, such as off-road or motorsport, you will have to change the engine oil more often. The engine works faster, high temperatures arise. In Formula 1, for example, the oil is changed after every race.

What does the oil change cost?

An oil change in the workshop costs between 25 and 90 euros. The price depends heavily on the type of oil required. The liter prices are between 5 and 70 euros. It is often cheaper if you get the oil yourself beforehand. If you also have the oil filter changed, the entire oil change costs a little more. The filter is relatively cheap with prices between 15 and 20 euros, and then a total of between 30 and 110 euros.

If you do the oil change yourself, you have to pay for tools, oil and filter. You can also borrow tools from a self-help workshop. An hour there usually costs 10 to 20 euros.

How long does an oil change take?

An oil change in the workshop takes 15 to 30 minutes. If you change the oil yourself you have to expect more time. It depends on your experience. You also need to consider the time it takes to load and dispose of the oil and tools.

Which engine oil should I use?

There are many different engines. The engine oil must be one hundred percent suitable. Follow the information provided by your car manufacturer. The manual tells you which oil you need. Workshops usually leave a note in the engine compartment with the date and type of oil changed.

Differences between mineral oil and synthetic oil

A distinction is made between mineral oil and synthetic oil. Mineral oil is made from petroleum and is cheaper. The production of synthetic oil is more expensive. But the oil is of higher quality and better for the engine. It has to be changed less often.

Oil for the whole year: multigrade oils

Seasonal oils must be replaced in summer and winter. You can use multigrade oils all year round. They can be recognized by the presented "W", which stands for "suitable for winter".

These multigrade oils are particularly common: 5W 30, 0W 40, 15W 40, 5W 40, 5W 50, 10W 60. The number in front of the W indicates the viscosity of the oil at sub-zero temperatures. The lower the number, the faster the oil will flow in cold temperatures.

How can I change the oil myself?

Changing the oil yourself can save costs. It is usually only worthwhile for older cars. Otherwise the value of your vehicle can decrease.

Engine oil change: you have to pay attention to that

Use the prescribed oil and ensure that the used oil is disposed of properly. You need a lockable oil drip tray for this. You can buy engine oil and oil filters from specialist car dealers or hardware stores.

A lifting platform or access ramp makes it easier to change the oil. Self-help workshops are good. That costs 10 to 20 euros per hour. If you have any questions, you can contact the specialist staff and use the tool.

Oil change instructions: The oil change using the example of a VW Polo

You need this:

  • The engine oil recommended by the manufacturer
  • Oil drain pan
  • Drain plug
  • ½ inch ratchet with 36 and 19 socket
  • Oil filter
  • funnel

The instructions show the oil change on the VW Polo. If you have specific questions about your vehicle, ask your manufacturer beforehand: Watch the video.


  • Remove the Engine cover.
  • Pull the Dipstick out. Then the oil can drain away more easily later.
  • Solve the Cover of the oil filter housing. If the lid has become stuck over time, it takes a lot of effort. Use the ratchet. Important: only loosen the lid, do not pull it out completely. The housing is under pressure, otherwise oil can spray out.

Drain the old oil

  • Jack up the carto reach the oil drain plug. If you don't have a lift, you can use a mobile jack. It is important that the vehicle is raised straight. Then the oil can drain completely and you get the correct readings when you fill it in.
  • Face the Oil drain pan under the engine and loosen the oil drain plug. Let the oil drain into the tub.
  • Important: Dispose of the old oil properly at the dealer who sold you the new oil. He is obliged to take back the old one.
  • Swap the old oil drain plug against a new one. Make sure that the new screw is slightly larger than the old one. Only then is it really tight. Use a ratchet wrench to tighten the new screw. You can remove drops of oil with a cloth.
  • Jack off the car again.

Change the oil filter

  • Swap the Oil filter. It's in the lid that you removed earlier. Carefully remove the lid and filter and pull off the old oil filter.
  • Solve the old rubber seal and replace it with a new one. It is important that the rubber seal is placed correctly: not on or next to the thread.
  • Put the new filter on.
  • screw Oil filter and lid back to the case and pull it tight until it cracks.
  • Dispose of the old parts professionally at your dealer.

Fill in new oil

  • Put the Put the dipstick back in. Then you can check later how much oil you put in.
  • Fill that new oil a. Read the manual beforehand to find out how much you will need and pour in about half a liter less. It's easier with the funnel.
  • Check again and again oil leveluntil it is between minimum and maximum. Pull out the dipstick to read.
  • Restart your car. This allows the oil to be distributed in the filter and engine. Ten seconds are usually enough. At the beginning you will hear a clacking noise. Once it has stopped, you can turn off the engine.
  • The oil must first collect in the oil pan. Wait 10 minutes and read the with the dipstick new value from. Refill oil again until the middle value is reached.
  • Bring Lid and cladding back to.

After changing the oil

After every oil change on your car, you should make a note of the mileage. Then you can do the next oil change at the right time. Whether you do it yourself is up to you. You save costs, but you also have to consider the longer duration and the additional effort.

Regular oil changes are not the only thing that is important in maintaining your car properly. Find out what else you should consider when caring for your car. If another indicator light than the oil can flashes, our article on the most important indicator lights will help you.

We wish you a successful oil change and always a good trip! Your Allianz Direct

Calculate car insurance

It's worth changing: Get the affordable Allianz Direct car insurance now.

Calculate my contribution