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Motor Oil Expiration Dates

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Old 03-08-2011, 10:03 AM
smashclash smashclash is offline
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Motor Oil Expiration Dates

So I recently came across an article that said motor oil which has been opened is only good for 3 months. Motor oil that is unopened is good 2 to 5 years.

I know they recommend changing oil every 3K miles or 3 months (whichever comes first) but I didn't realize it was due to expiration. And I have a lot of unopened oil that is several years old that I buy at the parts store when it's on sale that I plan on someday using in my truck. But this 2 to 5 years crap now has me a bit concerned.

Curious what the opinions of this are.


Also, my truck is not my DD. I've had it close to a year and have not yet put 1K on it. I changed ALL fluids when I purchased it. I'm wondering if it's worth changing the oil and filter now that I'm approaching 1 year even though the mileage on the oil is still very low.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:12 AM
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I think yearly oil changes are fine for rarely driven vehicles. It would be interesting to send a sample off for analysis or do some kind of PH test though.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:17 AM
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Can you tell us where to go read this article ourselves?

I also put about 1,000 miles per year on my truck but I change the oil & filter twice per year.
I'm not sure it's necessary to do that but I feel better doing it that way. From what I know,
it's the additives that affect longevity.

Best place IMHO is to read in the Oil & Lubrication forum here where you'll see references
to API (American Petroleum Institute) specs & ratings and such.

Oil & Lubrication - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:21 AM
smashclash smashclash is offline
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the article was posted off of yahoo.com a few months ago.
Expiration Dates

Valvoline.com > FAQs > Motor Oil > General Motor Oil
Quote:
#

Does motor oil have an expiration date? How long is it generally good for?

Valvoline motor oil does not have a documented expiration date. Under optimal conditions, the product is stable for an extended period of time and can be used as long as the American Petroleum Institute (API) rating on the label continues to meet or exceed the requirements listed in your owner's manual. If the rating is still current, shake the container before use to blend any additives that may have settled.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:36 AM
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I agree with the Valvoline FAQ (no documented expiration date), those people are LOTS
LOTS LOTS more credible than a Web site calling itself organizeyourlife.org that seems to
spew a lot of information being portrayed as fact but with absolutely zero references as
evidence. IMHO they're not at all authoritative, just like late-night cable TV infomercials
selling magic pills to enlarge certain male body parts, or medical clinics in Mexico claiming
they can cure Polio victims with stem cell pills....
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctubutis View Post
I agree with the Valvoline FAQ (no documented expiration date), those people are LOTS
LOTS LOTS more credible than a Web site calling itself organizeyourlife.org that seems to
spew a lot of information being portrayed as fact but with absolutely zero references as
evidence. IMHO they're not at all authoritative, just like late-night cable TV infomercials
selling magic pills to enlarge certain male body parts, or medical clinics in Mexico claiming
they can cure Polio victims with stem cell pills....
Wait a minute, you mean people post things on the internet that arent true??
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctubutis View Post
I agree with the Valvoline FAQ (no documented expiration date), those people are LOTS
LOTS LOTS more credible than a Web site calling itself organizeyourlife.org that seems to
spew a lot of information being portrayed as fact but with absolutely zero references as
evidence. IMHO they're not at all authoritative, just like late-night cable TV infomercials
selling magic pills to enlarge certain male body parts, or medical clinics in Mexico claiming
they can cure Polio victims with stem cell pills....
i agree with you but i wish they had a better time definition than "extended period of time."

and if you take anything from this thread it should be that you should give your oil quarts a few shakes before you open them up and put them in the engine. That had never occurred to me prior.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:58 AM
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To my knowledge, "extended period of time" amounts to decades. Oil is a natural substance
that can't "go bad" by itself, but the additives may or may not be the same.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bashby View Post
Wait a minute, you mean people post things on the internet that arent true??
Say it ain't so! I thought everything posted on the innerweb was 100% true........
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:25 PM
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I believe the oil going bad that has been opened, or is in your vehicle for a length of time, comes from the belief that the additives seperate while it sits. Sort of like italian salad dressing turns into layers on the shelf. A good shake makes it all better again, as was already stated with unopened bottles. Very hard to do with it in your engine. Start the truck regularly and let it get to operating temps, should mix the oil, so this shouldn't be a problem.

Oil can also absorb water over time, but then again if you start the vehicle regularly, and bring it up to operating temps, that shouldn't be a problem either.

Now that oil going bad in an unopened container comes from the API service ratings changing about every five years or so. When our trucks were built, Ford recommended API service Rating SF. It's went from API SF from 1981 to SG, SH, SI, SJ, SL and it's currently SM as of the current date 3/11. The idea is the higher the API rating, the better the oil. SL is a better oil than SF, so SL oil is recommended now etc...

SM oil is an exception to this rule for many people, as they removed a lot of zinc and other additives to get the catalytic converters to go 100,000 miles before a change is needed. There are a lot of people who claim SM oil is inferior to SL, especially for older vehicles like ours. Cam lobe damage has been reported from SM oils etc... More on this in the Oil and lubrication Forum that CTBUTIS posted the link to.
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 81-F-150-Explorer View Post
I believe the oil going bad that has been opened, or is in your vehicle for a length of time, comes from the belief that the additives seperate while it sits. Sort of like italian salad dressing turns into layers on the shelf. A good shake makes it all better again, as was already stated with unopened bottles. Very hard to do with it in your engine. Start the truck regularly and let it get to operating temps, should mix the oil, so this shouldn't be a problem.

Oil can also absorb water over time, but then again if you start the vehicle regularly, and bring it up to operating temps, that shouldn't be a problem either.

Now that oil going bad in an unopened container comes from the API service ratings changing about every five years or so. When our trucks were built, Ford recommended API service Rating SF. It's went from API SF from 1981 to SG, SH, SI, SJ, SL and it's currently SM as of the current date 3/11. The idea is the higher the API rating, the better the oil. SL is a better oil than SF, so SL oil is recommended now etc...

SM oil is an exception to this rule for many people, as they removed a lot of zinc and other additives to get the catalytic converters to go 100,000 miles before a change is needed. There are a lot of people who claim SM oil is inferior to SL, especially for older vehicles like ours. Cam lobe damage has been reported from SM oils etc... More on this in the Oil and lubrication Forum that CTBUTIS posted the link to.
does it say somewhere on the oil container "SL, SF, SI, etc.?" If so, where?
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:47 PM
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There's usually a little badge on the back label that looks something like this:




FWIW I was checking out this new "bio-based" oil that they're selling at Walmart here, it's rated SN I think. I don't know anything about it though, just what the bottle tells me.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:54 PM
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If motor oil expires, I'm screwed. I still use oil in the paper cans on my older vehicles.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
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If motor oil expires, I'm screwed. I still use oil in the paper cans on my older vehicles.
Dont see them too often, I bet a lot of younger guys have no idea what you're talking about.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:08 PM
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Speaking of oil...

I found this site last month, and I'm still digesting the information presented there.

Welcome

Tell me what you think...
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