15 Ways To Pass Time During An Oil Change

There’s no way to prevent the inevitable when your thirsty car needs an oil change. It’s time to sacrifice your precious time and painfully wait for the mechanics do their work on your car. They always tell you it’ll take 30 minutes and it never is! But no worries! With the help of this slideshow, you’ll find ways to take back your stolen time. Here are 15 ways to pass time during an oil change.

read a book

Courtesy of Andres Rodriguez/Flickr.com

1. Read a book

The magazine sections at these places are usually terrible, so plan in advance and bring a book with you (make sure it’s a real page-turner). You might find yourself lost in your book’s world and before you know it — your car is ready. Ding!

2. Get into a heated debate on a Facebook thread

Show off your “smarts” by engaging in controversial debate on someone’s Facebook status. Bill Cosby is a tool-bag! No he isn’t! You’re way out of line here! If there isn’t any interesting argument on your feed at the moment, write your own offensive status and wait for someone to take the bait. You’ll feel stimulated and rejuvenated that you were able to prove to someone that you know exactly what you were talking about.

phone call

Courtesy of Matt Preston/Flickr.com

3. Call your parents

For heaven’s sake, call your mother. She’s lonely and thinks you don’t love her anymore. Use this free time to call your parents or any family member to catch up and restore your “best child” status. Your mother can’t wait until her next friends meet-up to brag about her wonderful and caring son/daughter (your siblings can shove it).

browse stores

Courtesy of epSos.de/Flickr.com

4. Browse nearby stores

Scout the area for any possible stores nearby to entertain you. Who knows, there might be an interesting shop full of knick knacks that will entertain you for hours? Or specifically go to the auto shop that is right next to a mall?


Courtesy of Lena Vasilejeva/Flickr.com

5.  Eat lunch

Go to an auto shop around lunch time that is conveniently close to a restaurant and treat yourself to a lunch. Or if you’re feeling frugal, pack your lunch (hold the pickled herring, no one wants to see you eat that).


Courtesy of Andrew Yee/Flickr.com

6. Strike up a conversation

Introverts need not apply. Start a conversation with other people who are also bored out of their minds. You might have an interesting conversation, create a new friendship, or fall in love. Imagine the stories you’ll tell your future grandchildren. When your grandmother walked in the shop and said her car was leaking, I knew she was the one. 

oil change

Courtesy of Flickr.com

7. Listen to music

Leave the shop and find a nice comfy spot to listen to your tunes. Listen to heavy metal, some gospel music, or classical jazz, whatever you do — don’t listen to any lullabies. You’ll find yourself waking up in the middle of the night in some shady parking lot like a bad Rip Van Winkle story.


Courtesy of Tony Alter/Flickr.com

8. Go for a walk/jog

Plan in advance and wear your good running shoes. You can coordinate your running time to 30 minutes and just when you’re finished, your car will be ready with the a/c on. Unless it’s still not ready (which you know it won’t be), you run into the risk of sitting in the waiting room like a sweaty pig.

mentally prepare

Courtesy of Jonathan Kos-Read/Flickr.com

9. Mentally prepare yourself to say no to bogus “deals” or additional fees

Unfortunately, some auto shops like to scare their customers into spending more money on unnecessary changes. Use your judgement and know when to say no. Practice in front of the waiting room’s bathroom mirror. Hell no! I definitely do not need new wipers! 


Courtesy of ColKorn1982/Flickr.com

10. Knit a sweater for your cat/dog

Sometimes the wait is so long that you can literally knit a whole sweater for your cat or dog. So why not just do it? Never mind your pet might hate you for it, it’s the thought and effort that count.


Courtesy of Tnarik Innael/Flickr.com

11. Write a short story

Use the wasted time to unleash the essayist in you. Who knows? You might write a masterpiece essay (or a novel, depending on how low the oil change takes).

12. Give up and watch the waiting room’s T.V. soap opera

Does it seem like they’re always showing some cheesy soap opera or Telemundo television in the waiting room? Maybe now is the time to finally be a little open minded and try to enjoy the show. You might find yourself genuinely interested in why Johnny developed amnesia after Beulah professed her love to his brother in Encino. 

tell like it is

Courtesy of Timothy Krause/Flickr.com

13. Tell it like it is!

Get on your soapbox and bring your megaphone and tell like it is! You’re tired of the waiting and the absurd fee for air filters! Surely, other people will agree, talk among themselves and join you in your protest. You’ll go down in history as the next Norma Rae at the car wash!


Courtesy of Stewart Butterfield/Flickr.com

14. Make some Origami

If you did not bring any papers with you, it’s guaranteed the auto shop will have tons of paper forms and applications that you can pilfer to make your own projects. Surely the mechanics might get annoyed, but they’ll soon appreciate your origami swan craftsmanship.

15. Start a sing-a-long

Turn your life into the musical you’ve always envisioned it should be! Start a sing-a-long and encourage the others to join in on the fun. Sometimes it’s so crazy that it could work, just like these three random strangers who randomly came together to jam.

Want to discover the finer side of Africa? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Leave a Comment