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How LONG will oil stay good in the container?

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How long will oil (both fully synthetic.. and regular conventional oil) stay good/fresh for in the quart container once it has been opened?

how about if the quart has never been open?

what I don't understand is why they say to change your engine oil if your bike/car,atv, etc. sits for over 6 months without being used.. how the hell would the oil get dirty if the engine isn't ran?

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Oil in the container, sealed will last pretty much forever.

Oil in the engine, can absorb moisture. And if the motor has been run at all it has contaminates that can become caustic. That is why it is a good idea to change the oil prior to storage and before taking it out of storage (long term).

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I think new, never opened oil should be good for years. Once opened, I would still trust uncontaminated oil on the shelf in the bottle for years. It never lasts that long around my place though.

Once oil has been in a running engine, it is contaminated by the engine internals, heat, friction, moisture, combustion blow by, etc. In that case, it probably does deteriorate even if it is just sittng there in a dormant engine.

Edited by zlathim

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if you put in new fresh oil RIGHT BEFORE you winterize the engine... why would you need to change the oil once you break her out for the spring? you would think since the engine was NOT run the oil inside should be good from sitting all winter/year long right?

Oil in the container, sealed will last pretty much forever.

Oil in the engine, can absorb moisture. And if the motor has been run at all it has contaminates that can become caustic. That is why it is a good idea to change the oil prior to storage and before taking it out of storage (long term).

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Motor oil has a shelf life of about 3 years. Eventually the additives settle out into a gel like substance at the bottom of the bottle.

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open or sealed?

Motor oil has a shelf life of about 3 years. Eventually the additives settle out into a gel like substance at the bottom of the bottle.

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http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Car_Care/AskMobil/Mobil1_Shelf_Life.aspx

Question:

Shelf Life of Unopened Mobil 1 Quarts

Does Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil (in an unopened quart) have any sort of shelf life, like conventional motor oil?

-- John Lantz, Littleton, CO

Answer:

ExxonMobil recommends a five year maximum shelf-life for engine oils, including Mobil 1.

Now, they sell oil, so who knows if this value is on the uber conservative side. I'd bet it is. If you have unopened oil that has sat for 5 years, you either suck at determining how much you need, you're an oil collector or you don't ride enough to care. :bonk:

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How long will oil (both fully synthetic.. and regular conventional oil) stay good/fresh for in the quart container once it has been opened?

Its good right up until dinosaurs start to hatch, then you better toss it! :bonk:

In all seriousness I have had blend oils (Castrol) sit for 4-5 years and used them with no issue. Open or closed shouldn't make much difference as long as there was no contamination. There isnt any aromatic "fumes" that can escape.

You should drain the "new oil" out after sitting for a winter because combustion bi-products mix with moisture to produce sulfuric acid. Its exactly the same chemical reaction that causes "acid rain" in our atmosphere. Even though the oil in the winterized motor is "fresh" it is still mixed with the remnants in the engine and is now contaminated and acidic. This is why I recommend using the cheapest oil you can find as a "winterizing" or "storage" load. Start the stored engine up on the "fresh" oil after taking it from storage and let it warm up, then drain it out. This will remove the acidic oil and any accumulated moisture...

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You should drain the "new oil" out after sitting for a winter because combustion bi-products mix with moisture to produce sulfuric acid. Its exactly the same chemical reaction that causes "acid rain" in our atmosphere. Even though the oil in the winterized motor is "fresh" it is still mixed with the remnants in the engine and is now contaminated and acidic. This is why I recommend using the cheapest oil you can find as a "winterizing" or "storage" load. Start the stored engine up on the "fresh" oil after taking it from storage and let it warm up, then drain it out. This will remove the acidic oil and any accumulated moisture...

^ this, and...

Motor oil is designed to hold contaminants in suspension until it is drained, at which time most of the contaminants go bye-bye out the drain hole. Of course there's always a few ounces or more (depending on engine design) of used oil that remains inside the motor. This bit of remaining used oil will immediately contaminate the new oil that is added -- even if just a small amount of contaminants, they're still in there. That is why oil that's never really been run in an engine very long should still be drained out after long-term storage. (As well as moisture in the oil absorbed over time as stated above.) Think of new oil as a substance that absorbs bad stuff that your motor uses to stay clean. And of course it cools and lubricates the motor too. :bonk:

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if you put in new fresh oil RIGHT BEFORE you winterize the engine... why would you need to change the oil once you break her out for the spring? you would think since the engine was NOT run the oil inside should be good from sitting all winter/year long right?

See the 2 posts below, they both are right on the money!

Its good right up until dinosaurs start to hatch, then you better toss it! :smirk:

In all seriousness I have had blend oils (Castrol) sit for 4-5 years and used them with no issue. Open or closed shouldn't make much difference as long as there was no contamination. There isnt any aromatic "fumes" that can escape.

You should drain the "new oil" out after sitting for a winter because combustion bi-products mix with moisture to produce sulfuric acid. Its exactly the same chemical reaction that causes "acid rain" in our atmosphere. Even though the oil in the winterized motor is "fresh" it is still mixed with the remnants in the engine and is now contaminated and acidic. This is why I recommend using the cheapest oil you can find as a "winterizing" or "storage" load. Start the stored engine up on the "fresh" oil after taking it from storage and let it warm up, then drain it out. This will remove the acidic oil and any accumulated moisture...

^ this, and...

Motor oil is designed to hold contaminants in suspension until it is drained, at which time most of the contaminants go bye-bye out the drain hole. Of course there's always a few ounces or more (depending on engine design) of used oil that remains inside the motor. This bit of remaining used oil will immediately contaminate the new oil that is added -- even if just a small amount of contaminants, they're still in there. That is why oil that's never really been run in an engine very long should still be drained out after long-term storage. (As well as moisture in the oil absorbed over time as stated above.) Think of new oil as a substance that absorbs bad stuff that your motor uses to stay clean. And of course it cools and lubricates the motor too. :bonk:

I don't worry about it I live in Tx and pretty much can ride year round (few weeks in Feb might get into the mid 20's). I used to have to store my stuff for deployments (don't have to worry about that anymore) and would change all fluids before and after, brakes, cooling, eng.

But hey, you do what you want with your stuff. I know I do things that other people shake their head at.

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