Oil Shelf Life
Time for another #techtiptuesday to begin! This week we are going to talk about oil shelf life. We often get people asking if it safe to use old oil bottles they find around their house, if it is going to cause damage, or if the oil has “gone bad”.
The general rule of thumb when dealing with engine oils is that they tend to remain usable for around 5 years if stored properly. That last part is key. Sealed bottles kept in a safe environment will last longer and you will not need to worry about contamination.
What causes the oil to go “bad”? The biggest issue that oils can have over an extended time is what is known as additive fallout. This means that while sitting the additives in your oil can over the course of a very long time settle at the bottom of the bottle, and create a “sediment” looking fluid. These additives are important to the performance of the oil, so with them no longer in suspension in the bottle, the oil will not work as well as intended. Sadly it is not as easy as shaking the bottle to get them mixed back together.
Remember that time frames will vary, higher quality oils can last a little longer, and vice versa. It is all dependent on the quality, time frame, and how the product was stored. If you aren’t sure how old the oil is you can pour it into a clear container and see if there is any sediment. This won’t prove that the oil is still good but it will help to determine how bad it may have gotten.