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#94812 - 08/05/04 02:12 AM How long is oil good for?
bigjason Offline


Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 31
Loc: SF Bay Area
I have so mnay quarts of oil in my storeage because I just can't stop buying on slae oil from Wally, lol.
My question is: How long are they good for? Given that they are still in the bottle and I didn't open the cap yet.
1 year? 2 years? maybe 3 years?

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#94813 - 08/05/04 02:40 AM Re: How long is oil good for?
benjamming Offline


Registered: 01/03/04
Posts: 5681
Loc: northern Alabama
I assume it's kept in a climate controlled environment? Mobil lists their oil is shelf stable for 10 years I believe.

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#94814 - 08/05/04 06:43 AM Re: How long is oil good for?
k1xv Offline


Registered: 04/29/03
Posts: 1108
Loc: Southern Vermont
Welcome to Oilaholics Anonymous [Big Grin]

I think 10 years in sealed containers is probably safe, provided the containers are plastic bottles or something similar. Back in the days when they were making oil "cans" with treated paper sides, I had some old oil where there were chunks that looked like deteriorated lumps of cardboard like material. Not good.

I would make sure that I agitated the oil before pouring it in the crankcase to make sure that anything that had fallen out of suspension in storage got into the crankcase.

Recently, I used some old Havoline I had on hand. I knew it was kind of old, but then I looked at the cap and saw a symbol that said "Sponsor, 1992 Olympics". The oil came out of the plastic bottles clear, and nothing seemed to have fallen out of suspension, and the car is running fine.

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#94815 - 08/05/04 08:52 AM Re: How long is oil good for?
TallPaul Offline


Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 12922
Loc: By Detroit
quote:
Originally posted by k1xv:
I think 10 years in sealed containers is probably safe, provided the containers are plastic bottles or something similar.

Ten years! Oh Boy! And I thought my stash was maxing out at 80 quarts. Now I can double it. [Happy]

Just kidding. But I might go as high as 100 quarts just to say I did. Of course there will be bottle arrangements and photographs too.

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#94816 - 08/05/04 03:08 PM Re: How long is oil good for?
Matt89 Offline


Registered: 04/21/03
Posts: 1432
Loc: Virginia
quote:
I had some old oil where there were chunks that looked like deteriorated lumps of cardboard like material. Not good.

Actually, that was done just so the oil will be more compatible with Fram filters...

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#94817 - 08/05/04 05:02 PM Re: How long is oil good for?
Cutehumor Offline


Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 8968
Loc: USA
quote:
Originally posted by TallPaul:
Of course there will be bottle arrangements and photographs too.

hello oil shrine! [Big Grin]

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#94818 - 08/05/04 06:25 PM Re: How long is oil good for?
Ray H Offline


Registered: 01/16/03
Posts: 4478
Loc: Southern California
Petroleum is the byproduct of dead plant and animal decay - can't rot no more. (Nice to know where we're really headed, huh? [Smile] ) The stuff's also had several million years in the ground under tremendous heat and pressure to fully develop its unique bouquet. Seriously, check any finished motor oil MSDS - they inevitably state under the heading, Chemical Stability, "Indefinitely". The next two or three API and ILSAC specs. will have been in force well before a sealed bottle of motor oil craps out.

Note to k1xv: The 1992 or earlier Havoline's sediment may have been crud from the refinery plumbing or suspended molybdenum disulfide, MoS2, additive that had eventually settled out. The newer form of moly in finished motor oils, molybdenum dialkyldicarbamate (or something like that), is truly oil soluble and will NOT settle out.

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#94819 - 08/05/04 07:56 PM Re: How long is oil good for?
TallPaul Offline


Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 12922
Loc: By Detroit
quote:
Originally posted by Ray H:
Petroleum is the byproduct of dead plant and animal decay - can't rot no more.

Motor oil is refined. In your engine it wants to revert back to sludge (crude oil) and will if you let it stay in there long enough. This is simple entropy, just like the steel in your car reverting back to iron ore. However, a closed oil container is fairly well isolated from the elements that would cause its entropy (particularly if kept in a cool place like a celler) and therefore may have a near indefinite shelf life.

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#94820 - 08/07/04 03:10 AM Re: How long is oil good for?
Ray H Offline


Registered: 01/16/03
Posts: 4478
Loc: Southern California
"Cool celler"? Pshaw! The MSD sheets state "indefinite stability" for finished motor oil product at any ambient temperature suitable to human tolerance. This is motor oil, not wine. Nor am I at all sure about the simplistic, across the board claim that spent motor oil has reverted back to crude petroleum, either. Petroleum out of the groun is an amalgam of near infinite hydrocarbons laced with sulfer and nitrogen. Spent motor oil is a considerably more defined mixture of hydrocarbons still of sufficiently low molecular weight to pour easily with excess oxidative products. While it can be re-refined, to my mind, it's questionable to equate it with crude petroleum.

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#94821 - 08/07/04 09:29 AM Re: How long is oil good for?
TallPaul Offline


Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 12922
Loc: By Detroit
quote:
Originally posted by Ray H:
"Cool celler"? Pshaw! The MSD sheets state "indefinite stability" for finished motor oil product at any ambient temperature suitable to human tolerance. This is motor oil, not wine. Nor am I at all sure about the simplistic, across the board claim that spent motor oil has reverted back to crude petroleum, either.

The shelf life of oil is related to the temperature at which it is stored. See the article, Lubricant Storage Life Limits - Industry Needs a Standard, from the Noria Learning Center:
http://www.noria.com/learning_center/category_article.asp?articleid=172&relatedbookgroup=Hydraulics
Especially see Table 1 which states that low temperature and low temperature variation are factors in longer lubricant shelf life:
http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Backup/200005/storage_life_tab1.gif
Also see Tables 3 through 6 where major oil companies, minor oil companies, and industry experts give various educated guesses at shelf life. Anyway, I will continue to keep it in my cellar. Can't hurt, likely will help.

As for motor oil reverting to crude oil in your crankcase, well only in the widest sense of the word crude. You can run it (if the engine will keep running) into a pretty nasty gummy mess. I could have stated that part better.

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#94822 - 08/07/04 09:47 AM Re: How long is oil good for?
65hoss Offline


Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Memphis
quote:
Originally posted by TallPaul:
Ten years! Oh Boy! And I thought my stash was maxing out at 80 quarts. Now I can double it. [Happy]

Just kidding. But I might go as high as 100 quarts just to say I did. Of course there will be bottle arrangements and photographs too.

I can never accumulate much oil. I go thru it to fast. Except for paying for all the oil, most of you would love to have all the oil testing I could do. It would be a constant playground for trying new stuff. At least I have the empty bottles...

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#94823 - 08/08/04 09:45 AM Re: How long is oil good for?
TallPaul Offline


Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 12922
Loc: By Detroit
Ray H. I can't find the "indifinite stability" statement in the Valvoline All Climate MSDS:
http://msds.ashland.com/ShowMSDS.asp?M=0170829&C=005&D=505&L=EN&F=ANSI&N=AC+10W30+4%2F1+GA

I was at Pep Boys buying two cases of Valvoline Durablend 10w40 today and told the manager I hoped this stuff has a good shelf life because I have several years supply at home. He looked at the oil in my arms and said, "Durablend, that stuff will last longer than a cockroach," [Big Grin]

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#94824 - 08/08/04 02:33 AM Re: How long is oil good for?
mojo Offline


Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 180
Loc: Harrisonburg VA
I would not be so sure of that 10 year limitation as its not the oil that can oxidize/deteriorate, but the additives themselves can lose some of their effectiveness due to their solubility and potential for interacting with extremely trace amount of moisture. Bear in mind that all plastic containers are not impervious to moisture penetration. Also certain additives like antifoamers of the silicone variety can coalesce over time which in turn decreases their ability to function as they were intended.

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#94825 - 08/08/04 02:59 AM Re: How long is oil good for?
pscholte Offline


Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 5180
Loc: Der Schwarzwaldwesten
I can see we need to dust off the old BITOG seminar on how to store your oil. Oil will be stored in a climate controlled and relatively dust-free environment; oil will be segregated according to brand, and then within a brand, by color and batch number. No oil will be used out of sequence except with the written permission of at least 10% of the active BITOG membership and sufficient justification for said batch number order violation will be provided. No more than 3 "vanity photographs" are permitted each quarter to reduce bottle decomposition from the camera flash and photographs will not be distributed to persons or organizations who might make sport of the propensity of BITOG members to treat their oil with the respect that it deserves. There are 457 additional stipulations which you will receive when you attend the seminar. As you can see this is not complicated at all. [Big Grin]

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#94826 - 08/08/04 03:47 AM Re: How long is oil good for?
Ray H Offline


Registered: 01/16/03
Posts: 4478
Loc: Southern California
quote:
Originally posted by TallPaul:
...I can't find the "indifinite stability" statement in the Valvoline All Climate MSDS...

Under,

"...10.Chemical Stability:...

...Stable..."

True, unlike many MSDSs I've searched, the Valvoline MSDS doesn't read, "indefinitely" stable, but, neither does it place any qualifying limitations before or after "stable", either. You and others are certainly welcome to disagree with my interpretation of the syntax Valvoline chose.

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