Does Motor Oil Expire? (Motor Oil Shelf Life Explained)

The average length of time that motor oil lasts is up to around five years. Motor oil is a petroleum product that will degrade over time from exposure to oxygen, light, heat, and water. If you keep it away from the light and sealed, you can expect it to last somewhere close to 5 years.

Does Motor Oil Expire

Does Oil Have An Expiration Date?

This question seems like a simple one at first. However, there are a few things to consider. You will need to know how long motor oil will last in your engine before needing to be changed. You also have to take into account if you buy motor oil, how long it will las on the shelf before expiring. And just as important to know, if motor oil degrades.

Engine oils do have an expiration date, but it can vary greatly between the type of oil and how it has been stored. Each manufacturer of specific motor oil will advise how long you should expect the oil to last. You should be able to find the details on this somewhere on the oil bottle. If you cannot find it, you can search up the oil brand online to see what the expiration date is.

Engine oil shelf life

The average shelf life of the most common brands of oil is around five years. The shelf life is slightly higher for synthetic oils, and you can expect the oil to last somewhere between 7-8 years.

  • If you have no idea how old the motor oil you have is, first you need to inspect it and get an idea if it’s still okay to use.
  • Empty some of the oil into a clear container and have a look at it.
  • It should be light brown in color. If it appears darker than you expected, it may have undergone oxidation. If it appears almost milky in color, water may have gotten into it.These are all indications that the oil has gone bad. You should probably replace it.

Motor oil shelf-life unopened

Motor oil that has not been unopened will last a lot longer than a container of oil that’s been left open. This is because, once you open a sealed container of oil. It is exposed to the environment and will start slowly undergoing chemical reactions that will degrade the oil.

Shelf-life of motor oil once opened

The shelf life of motor oil described by oil companies usually refers to the extended period of time it will last if it’s left unopened. However, once the original container has been opened, the quality of the oil will begin to decline. For this reason, it is recommended to use the oil within one year of opening oil bottles.

Does Motor Oil Expire

How Long Can Oil Sit In An Engine?

The short answer is around six months. This is the case only if the oil was of good quality when it was first poured into the car engine. After this time, it is regarded as being past its expiry date.

Does motor oil expire in an engine?

If you leave old oil in your engine for an extended period of time, the oil’s viscosity will increase, and it will become thick and sludgy. This will put a strain on your engine as it struggles to use the old motor oil effectively. This will result in a decline in the engine’s performance.

Does Synthetic Motor Oil Expire?

Much like conventional oils, synthetic oils will also expire after a certain length of time. Synthetic oils contain synthetic additives which help to prolong the shelf life of the oil compared to normal oil.

How long does synthetic oil last when opened?

Much like normal motor oil, synthetic oil will begin to degrade more quickly once opened. For this reason, it is recommended to change old oil after it has been opened for a year.

How long does synthetic oil last unopened?

Although synthetic oils will also degrade over time, they tend to last slightly longer than normal oil. On average, you can expect the oil to last somewhere between 7 and 8 years if left in an unopened bottle.

How long does synthetic oil last in an engine?

You can expect the oil to last around 7,500 miles in an engine as long as the oil was in good condition when it was put into the engine. An oil change is recommended after this time as it is regarded as being past its expiration date.

How Long Does Oil Last In A Car Not Driven?

The oil in a car is said to last somewhere between 6 months to a year if the vehicle has not been driven or only used for a few short trips. You should change the oil in your car around every six months or after driving a total of 5,000 miles.

What Happens When Oil Expires?

When oil expires, its viscosity increases, making the oil thick to the point where it cant flow through the car engine passages. Expired oil has usually undergone some degree of oxidation due to exposure to the environment. This can increase the acidity of the oil, which can cause corrosion and damage to the engine.

Can You Use Expired Motor Oil?

You should not use expired oil in your car for a number of reasons. Old oil is less effective in acting as a lubricant in your engine and can lead to a build-up of contaminants that can harm the engine parts. It is best to get rid of expired oil to avoid damaging your car leading to expensive repairs and potential replacements of engine components.

How To Store Engine Oil

Engine oil should be stored in a dry environment and out of the sun. Extreme temperatures should be avoided, and it is recommended to be stored somewhere with a temperature between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It should also be stored in the original container and kept sealed until its use is required.

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Author: Dave Johnston

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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