Use-by date for engine oil?
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Thread: Use-by date for engine oil?

  1. #1
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    Default Use-by date for engine oil?

    How long does engine oil, both mineral and synthetic, last when stored?
    I have a 5lit can that has been sitting on the shelf for about six years. Is it still good to use?

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breitie View Post
    How long does engine oil, both mineral and synthetic, last when stored?
    I have a 5lit can that has been sitting on the shelf for about six years. Is it still good to use?
    Link to Mobil recommendations
    https://www.mobil.com/en/industrial/...e-and-handling

    5 years seem to a pretty typical shelf life if stored in optimum conditions.
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    Fellow Frogger! driven's Avatar
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    Won't have latest additive packages though :-(

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breitie View Post
    How long does engine oil, both mineral and synthetic, last when stored?
    I have a 5lit can that has been sitting on the shelf for about six years. Is it still good to use?
    Hi
    YES !
    You know mineral oil has been sitting under the dirty old ground for millions of years before it was liberated ! So why would we be worried about oil in a sealed container. Shake it a bit before use
    Jahn

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi
    YES !
    You know mineral oil has been sitting under the dirty old ground for millions of years before it was liberated ! So why would we be worried about oil in a sealed container. Shake it a bit before use
    Jahn
    However the additives and other ingredients haven't been beneath ground. And have the potential to separate (and degrade) from the mineral content.

    So you are confident that a "little shake" is all that is needed to restore the mixture ?

    What is your view on synthetic oils ?

    The op hasn't shared the whole story of his "6 year old oil"

    Edit: It could prove to be expensive mistake if your assumptions/ theories are incorrect.
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    Veni Vidi Posti 68 404's Avatar
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    I'd rather 6 year old 'new' engine oil in my sump than black stuff unchanged for 2 years that's been through hell and back.

    Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by 68 404 View Post
    I'd rather 6 year old 'new' engine oil in my sump than black stuff unchanged for 2 years that's been through hell and back.

    Dave
    um, there is a third option: buy new oil. As the old quip has it: oil is cheap; metal is dear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    um, there is a third option: buy new oil. As the old quip has it: oil is cheap; metal is dear.
    The third option wasn't available at the time of posting!

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    Put it in the company car.....

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    Or the motor mower
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    I reckon it depends on the oil and the application. The less fancy the oil and the less fancy the engine, the happier I would be to use it. I have a couple of 5 gallon drums of light oil my father salvaged from the Paul & Grey Shipchandlers warehouse when they shut up shop in Melbourne 60 or more years ago and still use it for things like lathe lubrication. I would inspect aged oil before using it in an engine. I have some tractors that are 50, 60, even 70 years old, and I would be comfortable putting aged oil in their engines as long as it looked and smelled all right. But in my modern tractors and cars I would use only relatively new oil.

    Roger

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    Total's advice for "optimal" storage times - Total - Lubricants shelf life

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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    Total's advice for "optimal" storage times - Total - Lubricants shelf life
    That's interesting. Very conservative - shelf life of LHM for example is far shorter than the fluid is normally left in cars that are operating. Still, that's what they are prepared to stick to for their customers presumably, so what you buy from Total is younger than those durations, by some unknown amount I suppose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    Total's advice for "optimal" storage times - Total - Lubricants shelf life
    That's interesting. Very conservative - shelf life of LHM for example is far shorter than the fluid is normally left in cars that are operating. Still, that's what they are prepared to stick to for their customers presumably, so what you buy from Total is younger than those durations, by some unknown amount I suppose.
    JohnW

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    Thank you all, for your valuable comments.
    I am surprised by the relative short shelf life of lubricants, as set out in the TOTAL table.
    I always believed that mineral oil was 'indestructible', unless it is actually burnt, and would be good as gold and ready to go round once again after being cleaned up. I remember businesses in the past who 'recycled' used oil and re-sold it for engine lubrication, but at a cheaper price than 'new' oil and their containers identified this oil as being recycled.
    I am not sure about synthetic oil because it appears to mix more readily with water than mineral oil?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breitie View Post
    Thank you all, for your valuable comments.
    I am surprised by the relative short shelf life of lubricants, as set out in the TOTAL table.
    I always believed that mineral oil was 'indestructible', unless it is actually burnt, and would be good as gold and ready to go round once again after being cleaned up. I remember businesses in the past who 'recycled' used oil and re-sold it for engine lubrication, but at a cheaper price than 'new' oil and their containers identified this oil as being recycled.
    I am not sure about synthetic oil because it appears to mix more readily with water than mineral oil?
    I have a friend who used to use one of those reprocessed engine oils. His car remains the only example I know of personally of a near new Renault R10 running a big end bearing. He also had camshaft trouble with a 16TS, although that might not have been the oil....

    Back to Peter's "oil is cheaper than metal" I guess. Not that you were arguing!

    CHeers
    JohnW

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    Refining used oil for reblending is still a big business, eg Southern Oil

  18. #18
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    Thanks - interesting to see. I presume it must be fairly reputable, at that scale of investment.
    JohnW

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    Just look at the prices of old empty bottles and cans of oil. Stick it back on the shelf for another 30 odd years, potentially a better return than a bottle of Grange.......
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  20. #20
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    But not nearly as pleasant to consume.
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