shelf life

Discussion in 'Oil' started by gunnut, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. gunnut

    gunnut Junior Member

    I've heard recently,during a discussion about full syn,that it actually has a shelf life!How true is this??Thank you
  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    In general, liquid lubricants(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.

    It is important to note that engine/motor oil, and transmission oil industry performance requirements are changing rapidly. The product may be stored three years and still be intact, but may not meet the latest specifications for your vehicle.

    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 Three(3) years
    Hydraulic Oils, Compressor Oils, General Purpose Lubricating Oils Two(2) years
    Engine Oils and Transmission Oils Three(3) years
    Industrial and Automotive Gear Oils Two(2) years
    Metal Working and Cutting Oils One(1) year
    Greases Two(2) years

    The following are signs of storage instability in a lubricant:

    Settling out of the additives as a gel or sticky liquid
    Floc or haze
    Precipitates/solid material
    Color change or haziness

    Water contamination in a lubricant can be detected by a "milky" appearance of the product.

    A sign of grease deterioration is the separation of the liquid oil from the so
  3. Scrounger

    Scrounger Active Member

    I've seen so many comments on shelf life and oil in general over the years and except for a few brands it has never seemed to be an issue at all. Even third parties have looked at shelf life statements by manufacturers and could not find a reason that they had one. Most of the claims have been by boutique oil manufacturers. Who knows, maybe its a desire to sell more oil or put a bit of doubt in the buyer that he needs 'fresh oil'.

    Blackstone Labs did the oldest test where they tested oils from the 70's and 80's and found them still viable and perfectly usable.

    You can read the articles at

  4. YnotBiker

    YnotBiker Active Member

    I always thought "self life" was a practice just to keep the stock moving. Some companies say, "if you don't use the product by a certain date, throw it away and buy another one."