Have you ever asked yourself, “Does motor oil expire?” The short answer is yes, it does. However, conventional oils are expected to expire way before synthetic oils counterparts.
Every manufacturer component has an expiration date, but have you ever thought about the expiration date of your motor oil? Some inexperienced drivers might not pay attention to the fact that motor oils also have an expiration. Still, it's not necessarily an expiration date, and it's more about how long the motor oil was stored and how effective it was stored.
This article provides you with all the details you need to know about your question “does motor oil expire?” In addition, it highlights several methods that help you confirm whether your motor oil is expired or not. Let's see it on for more details!
Does motor oil expire?
The short answer is yes. Motor oil expires over time, and even if it's just sitting inside your engine, it will break down by itself and will not effectively cool down the engine.
Therefore, you will need to follow the manufacturer and owner's manuals to check how often you should replace the motor oil even though you didn't drive your car.
Did you know that if you found an old motor oil insider your garage, even if it's covered, it still goes bad? Therefore, you mustn't attempt to use this in your motor oil to top it off because it leads to other damages and will not help your engine cool down.
By using the old motor oil, you're not helping the engine. You're hurting it. This is because you rely on that you've just changed the motor oil or topped it off with some good oil that you didn't use before. However, you've just added bad oil as bad as the one you have inside the engine, and it's not a permanent solution to resolve your motor oil issue.
How long before motor oil expires?
It all depends. There is no cut stone or a specific number for when the motor oil will expire. It differs significantly, bringing on your oil type. For example, using conventional oil is expected to break down way faster than synthetic oil.
However, it doesn't mean that synthetic oil lasts forever, and it will also come to the point of time where you have to replace it.
Synthetic oil contains certain additives that help it serve you as long as possible without breaking down prematurely. However, conventional oil does not have these additives, and that's why it breaks down way before synthetic oil.
How to check if my motor oil Has expired?
As we indicated before, using expired motor oil is never a good idea and will not help you. Therefore, you'll need to find a way to confirm whether the oil is expired or not.
The good news is that there are some methods that you can follow to confirm whether your motor oil has expired or not. Let's take a look below:
1. Sealed motor oil
Every model oil bottle will have an expiration date, and as long as it's closed and sealed properly, you shouldn't be too worried about it. All you have to do is check the expiration dates and learn how much time you still have before it expires.
Typically, sealed and closed oil bottles should serve you between two to five years, depending on the oil type and quality.
That's why it's always recommended that you never open or motor oil if you don't need to. By just opening it, you're impacting its lifetime, and you're causing it to break down much faster than when it's closed.
Also, if you need to top off your engine oil and you're not looking for oil replacement, consider purchasing smaller quantities where you use the entire bottle at once rather than buying larger quantities and leaving them. Hence, they think in your garage without any use.
2. Opened motor oil
On the other hand, if you've opened the motor oil bottle, forget about the expiration date on the bottle because it won't mean anything. Whether you are using conventional or synthetic oil, it will still have to deal with the oil degradation over time because of moisture and contamination.
Typically, half-opened motor oil should last up to one year, but the longer you wait on it, the worse it gets. Therefore, if you knew that your motor oil was opened six months ago, the quality of this oil will not be as good as another oil that was just opened.
As the motor oil bottle approaches the one year opened, you should not use it because the oil quality inside this bottle does not have the right characteristics and will not protect your engine as it should.
3. Oil in the engine
Did you know that oil degrades over time inside your engine even if you didn't drive your car? Therefore, you still need to perform oil changes as recommended by your vehicle's owner's manual.
Some experts feel that oil degrades faster if it's not in use as it's sitting idle inside the engine rather than as it runs around the engine.
That's why if you left your car for a long time going on a vacation, you should drain the oil completely and discharge it properly before replacing it with fresh motor oil.
Keep in mind that motor oil is one of the most contaminating fluids in your vehicle, and it should not be discharged into drains or waterways. Instead, you should secure it in a certain bottle and dispose of it properly according to the regulations in your area.
Why does synthetic oil last longer than conventional oil?
It's not surprising to know that synthetic oil lasts longer than conventional oil. This is because synthetic oil contains certain additives that help the oil withstand extreme conditions like very high or very cold temperatures. This way, the oil does not degrade as fast as the conventional oil.
Note that synthetic oil is not the same as high mileage oil, which means that you have to pay clear attention to the type of oil you're looking into before deciding whether it's expired or not.
How to extend the lifetime of my motor oil?
As we highlighted earlier, the motor oil will expire at some point in time. So, without using synthetic oil or conventional oil, you'll have to get to a point where it's expired.
However, there are some practices that you can do to extend the lifetime of your motor oil and prevent its premature expiration. Let's look that's a little more of the expert's recommendations:
1. Do not open the bottle if not needed
As we indicated before, if you don't need to open the bottle, do not do so. The more you keep it closed and sealed, the longer it serves you.
2. Keep the bottle away from sunlight
If you had to open the bottle partially and use some of the motor oil, consider saving it in a dry place away from sunlight. Sunlight is one of the worst enemies to any motor oil because it helps it fast because of the UV radiations.
3. Do not change the temperature
If you decide to store the motor oil, consider keeping it at the same temperature level. You don't want to keep moving it from one very hot location to another very cold location. Staying within a consistent temperature range helps the motor oil last longer.
4. Do not remove it from the container
You should not remove the motor oil from its original container for any reason. The container is designed in a certain way that helps the oil last if possible, and if you decide to pour it in another container, you enhance the chances of degrading this oil, which means that it will expire faster than it should.
What are the different types of motor oil?
If you don't already know, motor oils are not the same, and deciding on your motor oil helps you expect how fast it expires. Typically, there are very common types of motor oils that you will encounter in the automotive market:
1. Conventional oil
Conventional oil is the common type of standard of oil that you'll see in almost every vehicle. It doesn't have any specific characteristics, but it is good enough to lubricate or engine.
While conventional oil is cheaper than any other type of oil, it doesn't last long. Therefore, you'll have to replace it more frequently than other types of engine oil. That's why many people who don't like to visit the repair shop frequently prefer to switch to a better type of oil that does not require this frequency of changes.
2. Synthetic oil
Think about synthetic oil as the top and highest quality most oil in the automotive market. It has certain characteristics and specific additives that helps it last longer, and it's designed from different raw material that does not break down quickly.
Therefore, you don't need to change these synthetic oils as frequently as conventional oil. However, you'll have to pay much more than conventional oil because synthetic oil is typically more expensive.
3. Semi-synthetic oil
Since synthetic oil is slightly expensive and not every customer can't afford it, automotive experts add manufacturers decided to and then a new oil somewhere between conventional and synthetic oil. It combines both oils that provide you good characteristics better than conventional oil but not as good as synthetic oil.
The good thing about semi-synthetic oil is the price because you don't have to worry about high price costs like those when purchasing synthetic oil. Keep in mind that you'll still need to change the semi-synthetic oil more frequently than synthetic oil, but it's not as frequent as changing the conventional oil.
4. High mileage oil
Finally, well motive experts designed a new oil type focused on high mileage vehicles. It doesn't have to do anything with the frequency of changing your motor oil. Still, it's more designed with certain additives that enhance the engine's performance and seal certainly expected cracks within the engine compartment.
It is highly recommended for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles.
Does motor oil expire? Final thoughts
Your motor oil is one of the most critical fluids that you must maintain all the time. Not only need to maintain the right oil level, but also, you'll have to maintain good oil quality. Otherwise, the oil will not service the job, and it will deal with internal heating in no time.
One of the unique situations that you might get into is using certain oils that have been sitting in your garage for a long time. When that happens, you must confirm whether their motor oil expired or not. Of course, you might be asking yourself, “Does motor oil expire?”
As we indicated in this article, motor oil expires, and depending on the type of motor oil, some oils might expire before others. Therefore, learning about the four methods that we highlighted to help you confirm whether the motor oil expired or not is extremely useful.
No matter how good your motor oil is, if your vehicle has major mechanical problems and the engine, choosing the best oil does not healthier. In fact, you should focus on other more important problems and check whether it's worth the third pair or not. For example, if you realize that your engine suffers from major problems, you'll have to get it repaired. However, if repair costs are extremely high and they approach the value of your vehicle, it might make the most sense to sell this vehicle and use its money to buy a better car.
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