Is motor oil a good investment? Is it Expireable? How long does it last?

It is important to regularly change your car's oil to maintain its performance. However, not everyone knows if motor oil expires and how to tell that it’s no good. What is the life expectancy of motor oil?

This guide will cover motor oil basics and expiration dates. This guide will also help you to identify when your motor oil has reached its expiration date and how you can keep it from getting worse. 

Índice de Contenido
  1. What happens to motor oil?
  2. How to tell if motor oil has run its course
    1. 1. Expiration date
    2. 2. The color of the sky
    3. 3. Consistency
  3. Is Motor Oil Good for Long-Term Use?
    1. 1. Shelf unopened
    2. 2. Shelf Half-used
    3. 3. For Engine
  4. How safe is it to use old motor oil?
  5. How to store Motor Oil
    1. 1. Make sure to use the original container
    2. 2. Store in Dry Place
    3. 3. Pay attention to the Temperature

What happens to motor oil?

Motor oil does expire over time. However, it’s not simple to tell when it’s bad. Motor oil may not have an expiration date on it, but it can still go bad if left in the car for too long or if stored incorrectly. 

Motor oil should stay stable in optimal conditions. Motor oil can go bad due to extreme temperature, synthetic additives, and oxidation. You must also consider how you store it. 

How to tell if motor oil has run its course

1. Expiration date

It is important to know how long the oil will last by looking at its expiration dates on motor oil bottles. Most conventional oils have a shelf life of around 5 years. Synthetic oils can last 7 to 8 years. 

This expiration date applies only to sealed bottles. You will have a shorter shelf life if you open an already opened bottle. 

Manufacturers recommend that you dispose of old oil before it expires. These cases would mean that you should dispose of any oil, no matter what its condition is. 

2. The color of the sky

Check Motor Oil Dipstick

Fresh engine oil has an amber hue. You should be able pull out the dipstick and observe this natural color after an oil change. 

That’s why when you check the oil and see it darkened or black, you know it’s probably time to change it. Except for diesel engines, oil loses its original color due to oxidation. It can also become contaminated by dirt and moisture inside the engine. This causes it to eventually fail. 

The color can change even when an oil bottle is opened. The oil should not be used if it is stained by dust. 

Fresh oil must be transparent and clear, regardless of its color. It should not have a milky or hazy appearance. 

3. Consistency

It should be easy to pour oil. If you notice any separation, it’s possible that the oil has been contaminated.

Oil that is too thick or solid can also be harmful. You don’t want motor oil to have a slimy consistency because it’s not going to protect the car engine. 

RELATED : Is There Normally More Metal in Oil?

Is Motor Oil Good for Long-Term Use?

1. Shelf unopened

If motor oil is left unopened, it will be much more durable. That’s why it’s so important to leave it closed until you are ready to use it. Most bottles have a suggested date on them.

Conventional oil can last for five years in many instances. If stored correctly, however, unopened synthetic oil could last seven to eight more years.

Oil should be used as quickly as possible. It is more susceptible to lose its lubricating properties and degrade over time.  

2. Shelf Half-used

If the bottle remains open, it will expire. When you break open the oil bottle, it becomes significantly shorter. If the oil is not sealed, you can't expect it to last for more than five to eighteen years.

You should instead plan to make use of the oil within one year after opening it. This applies regardless of whether the oil is synthetic or conventional motor oil. Oil's efficiency and lubrication will decrease as more air is added to it. An open bottle can also lead to oil oxidation. The oil may become ineffective and sludgey if it is subject to oxidation. 

3. For Engine

Regularly driving your car means that you don't have to change the oil as often. The engine could be damaged if it is not maintained to the required level. 

However, if you store your vehicle or you haven’t driven for a while, you need to be concerned with how long the oil is good for. A motor that has oil sitting still can cause the same problems you have with an opened bottle. Oil that is left to sit in the motor will eventually oxidize and cause sediment buildup. This old oil can cause irreparable damage to the engine. 

How safe is it to use old motor oil?

You should get rid of old oil from the shelf. It’s never worth running old oil in the engine, especially when you consider the cost.

An excessive level of oil or house contaminates, will only cause damage to the metal internal parts. Repairing this damage could mean costly garage bills that you don’t want to deal with. If in doubt, get rid of it properly and buy a new bottle. 

RELATED : How to Change Oil In Your Car

How to store Motor Oil

1. Make sure to use the original container

Motor oil should be kept in its original container. You should keep the container sealed until there is no alternative.

Even after you open it, it’s best to leave it in the container you bought it in. So that you are able to trust the container, the manufacturer has a good idea of how motor oil should be stored. Transferring it to another container opens the door to contamination from dirt, dust and other contaminants. 

2. Store in Dry Place

Oil bottles should be kept in dry areas. Motor oil is most vulnerable to moisture. When you open the bottle, it’s more susceptible to moisture and water vapor. 

Oxidation occurs when air touches the oil. Also, humidity can cause moisture to condense in the bottles if it is too humid. Higher oil levels in containers mean greater risk because more space allows for condensation. 

3. Pay attention to the Temperature

All motor oils should be stored at 32 to 85° Fahrenheit. It doesn’t matter if you have an open or unopened bottle; you want it in these temperatures. 

It’s also helpful if the temperatures remain consistent while in storage. Oil will last longer if there are fewer temperature fluctuations. Extreme temperatures can cause motor oil to begin to degrade, which will result in a drop in its viscosity. It is no longer able to lubricate the engine as it should because it has begun to break down.

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