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Using old oil?
#38347 Tue Sep 23 2008 01:51 PM
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I know this has been asked before, but I couldn't find the post. I received this e-mail from someone on an Olds mailing list. What would you guys suggest? Or can anyone post the link to the thread where this has been discussed?

Hello again Folks, a good friend of mine found about 30 qts. of oil in his fathers garage. all have never been opened but some of them may be 10-15 years old.. With the price of oil around $3 a qt. he would really like to use it but do you think it's still good after all this time

Thanks!

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Re: Using old oil?
#38348 Tue Sep 23 2008 02:35 PM
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Oil doesn't wear out or get stale. It's been in the ground for thousands of years before it was refined. It can only get dirty or break down from heat when it is used.

Put it in the car, the tractor, the generator or whatever.


C Cragg
Re: Using old oil?
#38349 Tue Sep 23 2008 03:07 PM
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I wouldn't put it into my engine. I understand the price per quart but I also understand the price per engine.
The only thing I could suggest is poor it into a clear container and see if there is sediment on the bottom.
Just an opinion

Re: Using old oil?
#38350 Tue Sep 23 2008 03:14 PM
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Tara, before your friend opens any of those Quarts Make sure they ain't Husky or Power~Lube Quart Cans or something else Rare!!!


Jason @ Esse's Garage.


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Re: Using old oil?
#38351 Tue Sep 23 2008 11:20 PM
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Motor oils contain additives to meet specific engine requirements. Although they don't break down with age, they may not meet manufacturer recomendations for todays engines. I personally would be afraid to use them, the savings is not worth the risk.
They should be able to research the specs for the oil on the web. Those numbers should be in the labeling on the top of the can.

When I drain old oil cans, I sell the oil for a couple dollars a gallon to some friends to lube chains and such.
Chuck

Re: Using old oil?
#38352 Wed Sep 24 2008 03:07 AM
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10=15 years isnt a very long time is it? I must be getting old. I wouldnt be afraid to use if the weight matches the spec for the vehicle your using it in.

Re: Using old oil?
#38353 Wed Sep 24 2008 05:54 AM
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Hi Tara- in most cases He should NOT use this oil in a new vehicle- Clearances in todays cars are much tighter than 15 years ago- good chance his crankshaft will end up in the street--- I always hear from people with full cans 20-40 years old that can has to be worth 3-4.00 just for the oil- really worthless- A few times when I drained unopened cans I save it for a couple farmers with old tractors that burn a lot-they use most anything- just my 2 cents- thanks Don

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Re: Using old oil?
#38354 Wed Sep 24 2008 06:00 AM
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Look at the viscosity and 'SAE'code(s) on the can and compare that to the manufacturers recommended viscosities and SAE specs listed in your vehicles owner's mannual.

This will tell you if the oil is 'recommended' for your vehicle.

The SAE specs do change - but there haven't been any drastic advancments in the last 10 - 15 years with the exception of the new synthetic oils.

It is usually minute changes in the additives.

I'd slowly use it up a quart at a time per oil change along with 'new' oil.

In all my years of driving and building vehicles, I've never seen an engine failure due to the oil itself. Only failures due to not putting oil in the engine!

Later . . .

Jim

Re: Using old oil?
#38355 Wed Sep 24 2008 09:03 PM
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Put it in a 10 year old car, it won't know any different.


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Re: Using old oil?
#38356 Thu Sep 25 2008 05:43 AM
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Tara, looks like your question has got a lot of us thinking.
I am a former ASE auto tech, and my first thought was it should be no problem to use it.
But......I did a quick search and came across this website, called the "oilbible"
Here is an exerpt from their site, hope it helps.

"Engine Oil Shelf Life.
I couldn't decide whether to put this in the FAQ or the main page, so it's in both, because I get asked this question a lot. Typically, the question is along the lines of "GenericAutoSuperStore are having a sale on WickedlySlippy Brand synthetic oil. If I buy it now, how long can I keep if before I use it?"
In general, liquid lubricants (ie. oils, not greases) will remain intact for a number of years. The main factor affecting the life of the oil is the storage condition for the products. Exposure to extreme temperature changes, and moisture will reduce the shelf life of the lubricants. ie. don't leave in the sun with the lid off. Best to keep them sealed and unopened.

Technically, engine oils have shelf lives of four to five years. However, as years pass, unused engine oils can become obsolete and fail to meet the technical requirements of current engines. The specs get updated regularly based on new scientific testing procedures and engine requirements. But this is only really a concern if you've bought a brand new car but have engine oil you bought for the previous car. An oil that is a number of years old might not be formulated to meet the requirements set for your newer engine.

If your unopened containers of engine oil are more than three years old, read the labels to make sure they meet the latest industry standards. If they do meet the current standards, you might want to take the extra precaution of obtaining oil analysis before using them. An oil analysis will check for key properties of the oil and ensure that it still meets the original manufacturing specs. Of course the cost of getting an analysis done on old oil is probably going to outweigh going and buying fresh stuff. So it's a double-edged sword.
As a general rule, the simpler the oil formulation, the longer the shelf life. The following is a guideline under protected conditions:

Product Shelf Life
Base Oils, Process Oils 3 years
Hydraulic Oils, Compressor Oils, General Purpose Lubricating Oils 2 years
Engine Oils and Transmission Oils 3 years
Industrial and Automotive Gear Oils 2 years
Metal Working and Cutting Oils 1 year"

Re: Using old oil?
#38357 Fri Oct 03 2008 08:49 PM
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Very good advice above. If you decide to use the old oil, put it in an engine with some wear, or that you do not care about. I use old motor oil in my generator, and some of it was 20 years old. On the other hand, hopefully none of it is in old oil cans- I would never open one of those up!


Antique? It's new to me.
Re: Using old oil?
#38358 Sat Oct 04 2008 12:01 PM
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OLD OIL: I have been selling and using oil from a closed oil company dated from the mid 80's to early 90's. I have had no problems and the farmers keep coming back for more. This oil works better in my 50's & 60's Chevy motors than the new oils. Many owners of older cars using new oil are having their cams go flat because the new oils lack friction lubrication. And they are having to use racing oils in their older engines to meet the friction needs and the racing oil prices are much higher.
Just look at the API Service Code to make sure it is ok top use with your engines. I was told that you should use API SL or lower code oil for NON roller tappet & cam engines.


Wayne
Re: Using old oil?
#38359 Sun Oct 05 2008 06:08 PM
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if you have a Diesel pickup put it in the fuel tank and drive on. cummins says about 5% ratio mixture.


mona mike
Re: Using old oil?
#38360 Mon Oct 06 2008 01:21 PM
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I use old oil as chain oil for my chain saw. Even used some that I drained from the oil pan after 5000 miles.


US Air Force Retired, 1981-2007

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