Is Replacing Engine Oil The Same As An Oil Change?

If you’ve heard these phrases, “Replacing Engine Oil” and “An Oil Change “you might be curious if they mean the same thing.

In this discussion, we’ll explore whether they’re identical and provide some info on oil changes and when your vehicle might require one.

Let’s dive into it!

A phot representation of "is replacing an oil change same as oil change"
Is replacing oil the same as oil change?
Photo credit: wallacechev

Is replacing engine oil the same as an oil change?

Yes, they’re exactly the same.

People just say ‘oil change‘ because it’s simpler or easier to say!

The engine oil‘s main function is to make sure your engine stays well-lubricated.

This keeps everything in your vehicle running smoothly, so you can drive without any issues.

Over time, the amount of oil in your car decreases, and different particles get into the oil.

As a result, the oil doesn’t lubricate the engine as effectively.

This can lead to significant problems with your engine, but we’ll discuss that in a bit.

What does it mean to replace engine oil?

Replacing oil, or simply an oil change is when you take out the old, dirty oil from your engine and put in fresh, clean oil.

As oil is used up or it ages, it becomes less slippery and doesn’t do a good job of keeping engine parts lubricated.

That’s why it’s crucial to change your oil based on your car’s recommendations.

Is adding oil to your engine the same as getting an oil change?

No, it’s not.

Adding oil, known as a top-off, is different from a complete oil change, even though both involve putting new oil into your vehicle.

In a regular oil change, you remove all the old oil and put in entirely new oil.

In an oil top-off, you simply add new oil on top of the old one.

This is usually done when your oil is low, but you can’t do a full oil change right away.

An image of technician adding oil to a car engine
A technician adding oil to a car engine

Is it OK to add new oil to old oil?

When you mix new and old oil, the new oil gets weakened.

It struggles to do its function due to reduced tension, and it’s important to get your oil changed as soon as you can.

In most situations, it’s better to skip adding oil on top (top-off) and opt for a complete oil change, especially if you have the time for it.

How often do you have to change your car’s oil?

It varies based on your vehicle. Check your car’s manual for guidance on when to replace the oil.

However, you usually need to change your car’s oil if:

  1. It has been six months  since the last oil change.
  2. You’ve driven between 4,000 and 7,000 miles since the last oil change.

What happens if you don’t change your engine oil regularly?

The engine oil’s role is to keep things lubricated and make sure all the parts move smoothly.

If you don’t change the engine oil often, less lubrication can cause different parts of your engine to break.

Sometimes, it might cause your engine to overheat or even lead to your vehicle suddenly stopping while driving.

But don’t worry, it usually takes a long time without an oil change for these major issues to happen.

How long does an oil change take?

It depends on your specific vehicle, and if you go to a professional, it might take a bit longer.

Typically, a full oil change can take about 40 minutes.

That includes checking oil levels, getting rid of the old oil, and adding new oil to your vehicle.

Overall, it’s a pretty quick process.


Replacing your engine oil is the same as getting an oil change, and you can use these terms interchangeably.

It’s recommended to do this every six months, but if you often take long trips or drive off-road a lot, you might need to do it more often.

You can either do it yourself or take your car to a garage for the job.

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