Bottle sediment; what is it, and should we worry?

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5,917
Location
Waterloo, ON
Here's something I have wondered about for 30 years; what is the sediment that is on the bottom of a quart/liter bottle of oil. It cannot be seen in a black plastic bottle, but in most others it is visible. Seems to be more of it if the oil has been sitting around for a while. I always thought that it was the impurities from the refining process, but now wonder if it could be additives that have come out of solution. Any thoughts?
 
Messages
265
Location
NY
Good question as I was thinking about the same thing. At work all of our Q.S. clear bottles show this when tipped over, also the Castrol after you poured it in. So I'm wondering the same thing [Confused] Hopefully someone can give us some info on this [Smile] Also with the clear bottles(which suck BTW...they crack very easy if dropped) if I shake them up the sediment starts to mix with the oil...this just doesn't look right to me...almost looks like some form of solids, but maybe I'm wrong [I dont know] [ November 05, 2003, 10:38 PM: Message edited by: BIGJ552000 ]
 
Messages
666
Location
Triad, NC
I believe its part of the additive package falling out of suspension. This happens especially when bottles sit for a long time. I always shake my oil bottles vigorously upside down before pouring the stuff in the engine. [ November 05, 2003, 11:10 PM: Message edited by: Alex D ]
 
Messages
265
Location
NY
So IF I forget to shake my oil, it will not have it's additive package or atleast a very weaker one because of this? If this is true I WILL NOT buy these oils. I shouldn't have to SHAKE my oil prior to using it. I know it's because of sitting around for awhile which if I had a car with this oil and was stored for 5-6 months it would do the same thing...this is horrible oil IMO [Thumbs Down!]
 
Messages
666
Location
Triad, NC
I don't think it is oil or brand specific ...... I have seen it with all oils from "el cheapo" $0.75 oil all the way to Redline. My Redline 20W-50 was the worst (prolly because of the white bottle and nothing else ... or because it has a heavy additive package) ... I should say second worst, because I remember my dad having bought several cases of 20W-50 motor oil in the late 70s. That was still SE oil then and those bottles were white plastic so you could see quite a bit of sediment in the bottom. That was the first time I ever noticed. Since then I always shake my oil bottles good before pouring in.
quote:
Originally posted by BIGJ552000: So IF I forget to shake my oil, it will not have it's additive package or atleast a very weaker one because of this? If this is true I WILL NOT buy these oils. I shouldn't have to SHAKE my oil prior to using it. I know it's because of sitting around for awhile which if I had a car with this oil and was stored for 5-6 months it would do the same thing...this is horrible oil IMO [Thumbs Down!]
 
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8,467
Location
Colorado
It would disturb me to see sediment in the bottom of oil containers. Should not the oil additives stay in suspension? And if the additives are settling out over a long period of time, that is disturbing to me also. I once read in a PM magazine that Pennzoil said that motor oil has at least an 18-month shelf life. I prefer to use motor oil that is as fresh as possible. Would you buy old meat? I don't know how good of a motor oil Quaker State is. I have seen very few UOAs at this site of this oil. But one thing I do like about Quaker State is that they put a year of production on the oil containers. I think this should be required by law for all brands. If you buy motor oil that has been setting too long on a store shelf, it may not even meet current requirements. It might be SJ, for example, instead of SL.
 
Messages
486
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Chevron Supreme and Havoline both have month, day, and year printed on the bottles. Not quite sure exactly what that date indicates though. Packing date, bottling date, or date the container was made (silly) or. . .
quote:
Originally posted by Mystic: But one thing I do like about Quaker State is that they put a year of production on the oil containers. I think this should be required by law for all brands.
[ November 06, 2003, 12:45 AM: Message edited by: razel ]
 

Bluestream

Thread starter
Messages
5,917
Location
Waterloo, ON
I have just sent the same exact email question about this sediment to the following companies: Shell, Quaker State, Redline, Petro-Canada, and Chevron. I will post their answers as when they come back. We'll get to the bottom of this! (excuse pun) This may take a few weeks, so please be patient. [ November 06, 2003, 12:41 AM: Message edited by: Bluestream ]
 
Messages
89
Location
Niagara Falls, Ont.
Thanks Bluestream! I've never noticed this, but obviously, I (we) all find it a little bit unnerving. One would think that if it's in the bottle it's meant to go in your motor; I doubt it could be anything which could harm the engine. I agree with BIGJ... it's BS that we should have to 'shake' our oil, but hey, if that's what we've got to do, then that's what we've got to do, right?! I still have the dealer do my oil changes, and I'd like to think that the oil I supply them is the oil which makes it's way into the crankcase. I guess I'll have to pre-shake it for them.
 

Al

Messages
19,200
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Well-I don't shake my oil bottles. Things that settle out don't belong in the oil in my humble opinion. Surely there must be some on this board out there that has experience with the manufacturing of oil and what the stuff is ??? Its been asked before and I don't think we got good answers then [Frown] [Frown]
 
Messages
423
Location
Boston, MA
I would think that anything you can see would be large enough to be filtered out by the oil filter but should not have been there in the first place! Unless they are vary small particles that are clumping together. Also sounds like a bad thing to me!
 

Bluestream

Thread starter
Messages
5,917
Location
Waterloo, ON
First reply is in from Shell: "Thank you for your e-mail inquiry. The substance that appears at the bottom of the oil bottle is cause by trace amounts of moisture in the oil. Because of different temperature and humidity changes, moisture can develop in the oil and mixes with some of the detergent additive. The detergents in the oil emulsify this moisture and, if the bottle sits for a period of time, cause it to settle to the bottom. This is not unusual and will not affect the quality or performance of the oil. As soon as the engine reaches operating temperature, the moisture will evaporate through the crankcase ventilation system." Sincerely,
 
Messages
1,533
Location
Ephraim
quote:
Originally posted by Al: *-* Surely there must be some on this board out there that has experience with the manufacturing of oil and what the stuff is ??? -*-
The stuff is the additive package. There are several reasons why it can be there. It could be there because there was TOO much additive package placed into the oil to maintain suspension. It could be that the additive package has been in the oil too long and is falling out, and this can depend upon the oil... some in a few years and others in a decade or two. IMO - that's what you have filters for. Don't worry. Man, do not worry "K", just don-t worry. Pull your oil sample and go along like nothing happened...
 

Bluestream

Thread starter
Messages
5,917
Location
Waterloo, ON
This is the reply from Chevron: "No need to shake bottle. Occasionally a small amount of calcium carbonate will precipitate from fresh oil on standing. This will not impact the oil's performance in any way. The precipitate need not be transferred with the oil, but doing so will cause no harm."
 
Messages
263
Location
tx
Hey I just noticed this too - in Redline MT90 gear oil - the bottoms of the white bottles had some sort of sediment - everyone one of 'em after I emptied them all (about 8 bottles recently) Darn good question. If you have to shake the bottles up before dumping in - then what happens when left to sit a while in an engine or transmission or whatever?
 
Messages
903
Location
CA
I've seen this in Redline oil, MTF and their AFT. It's always bothered me a bit, but I just shake and serve and be on my way. Today I saw the same thing in M1 5-40 that I was pouring in a couple of different engines. I've never noticed this before in Mobil 1 products. Do the M1 5-30 oils do this?
 
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