Does Motor Oil Expire? Looking Through The Theories That Follow

Any vehicle no matter how small or big, can’t survive without the right dose of engine oil. It is the life of the engine when the low friction of the engine’s moving parts is in question. While your car may be running smoothly, have you ever wondered does motor oil expire or not? Is it preferable to keep going with the same old oil or a fresh doze is necessary? If yes, then reading on could be helpful in all ways possible.

Does Motor Oil Expire Or Not? The Answer To Your Queries

Whether motor oil is inside the engine or in the container, keeping it unused for a long time period could be a matter of concern. If confused between to change the oil or not to, follow the section below for various theories that follow.

1. Theory 1-Age Is Proportional To Thickness

Keeping the expiry date aside, it is a complete no-no to use old motor oil that has been stored for over the years. The theory depends on oil thickening as the time passes, which is, in turn, not suitable for lubrication. As per the best practices, thin motor oil is the best for maintaining good engine quality.

That is a valid reason that makes motor oil that is fresh and manufactured in recent times, most preferable. Irrespective of does motor oil expire or not, using oil that is old for over a year should be done away with.

Experts advice about does motor oil expire
Clear doubts about does motor oil expire (Photo Source: craftedgarage)

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2. Theory 2-Expiry Date vs. Shelf Life

There may or may not be an expiry date on the motor oil’s container. If there is a date, well and good, you would know for how much time the oil is usable. On the other hand, a shelf-life of the motor oil would help identify the usable life of the motor oil.

Shelf-life is an indication of the quality of the oil that may not waver for over a mentioned time span. Motor oil’s shelf life may vary from brand to brand, but in general, any lubricating oil has a shelf-life of about five years. Refer to maintenance tips to know more on how shelf life is a parameter that matters.

3. Theory 3-In-Engine vs. In-Bottle

Another debate around motor oil expiry accounts for where the oil is stored. In simple terms, whether motor oil is in the engine or the container also decides its usability over time. In case the oil is in the engine, it may get oxidised from engine heat or operational pressure. It may even get deteriorated due to the accumulation of the engine debris. That is the reason why changing engine oil becomes all the more essential.

Truth behind does motor oil expire
Doubts about does motor oil expire (Photo Source: tireplus)

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On the other hand, as far as the motor oil is in its original container, it is safe for usage. Either the container should be sealed, or it should be kept in a cool and dark area where no dirt or moisture is present.

Watch the video to see more Motor Oil Myths & FAQs

Wrapping Up

This is all about the prevailing theories revolving around “does motor oil expire.” No matter what brand motor oil you buy, one should go through the storage instructions. Because prevention has always been better than cure!