Oil Shelf Life

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Hello, good people of BITOG forums.

I work at Advance Auto Parts. We are the superstore that acts as the hub for our district. I noticed that on oil shelves in the back, we have some old bottles of Valvoline All Fleet Plus 15w-40 that are dated as far back as 2004. What are the chances that this oil is still good assuming it is still sealed? Why it's been left there all that time, I don't know. I assume it got put back there and just then got forgotten about. If it's still good, I might pick it all up if I can talk to management and get him to let it go for next to nothing.
 
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A Google search reveals motor oil has a conservative shelf life of 2-5 years. I suspect DIYers have used oil past that date range; mostly those who stash oil. More information is available here: https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/threads/motor-oil-shelf-life.309303/ Check the API/ILSAC/ACEA spec before using. I've used 12+ year old Dexron 3 ATF to drain and fill the automatic transmission of a 21 year old car with no ill effects.
 
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Zee09

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Hello, good people of BITOG forums.

I work at Advance Auto Parts. We are the superstore that acts as the hub for our district. I noticed that on oil shelves in the back, we have some old bottles of Valvoline All Fleet Plus 15w-40 that are dated as far back as 2004. What are the chances that this oil is still good assuming it is still sealed? Why it's been left there all that time, I don't know. I assume it got put back there and just then got forgotten about. If it's still good, I might pick it all up if I can talk to management and get him to let it go for next to nothing.
I have used older. I'd go for it.
 

Cygnus_

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So, after reading your responses and the link that DougR provided, it looks like motor oil doesn't really go bad, it more just goes out of spec relating to newer engines and specs to come out. This All Fleet Plus is SL spec and my Caravan and our Blazer (both listed in sig) need at least SL. I figure that both will handle 15w-40 just fine from mid-spring to mid-fall, and if it comes down to it, I could probably thin it out a bit with 10-20% MMO to run it during the winter. What do you think of that? And our Envoy (in the sig) needs at least SM spec. Would it hurt it to run SL spec oil in it?
 
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I noticed that on oil shelves in the back, we have some old bottles of Valvoline All Fleet Plus 15w-40 that are dated as far back as 2004. What are the chances that this oil is still good assuming it is still sealed? ....
If it's still good, I might pick it all up if I can talk to management and get him to let it go for next to nothing.

The only issue with it is that most customers would likely complain about this age,
but actually it'll most likely be serviceable. If you get it for free and it's appropriate
for any of your cars just take it and use it. Engine oil is designed to withstand the
toughest envirionments - temps beyond 300°F, moisture, acids. Sitting on a shelf is
easy on it.
 
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So, after reading your responses and the link that DougR provided, it looks like motor oil doesn't really go bad, it more just goes out of spec relating to newer engines and specs to come out. This All Fleet Plus is SL spec and my Caravan and our Blazer (both listed in sig) need at least SL. I figure that both will handle 15w-40 just fine from mid-spring to mid-fall, and if it comes down to it, I could probably thin it out a bit with 10-20% MMO to run it during the winter. What do you think of that? And our Envoy (in the sig) needs at least SM spec. Would it hurt it to run SL spec oil in it?
Personally, I would use it in the Caravan and Blazer that require SL spec oil. I wouldn't run SL oil in a vehicle that requires SM. Any vehicle that runs well is worth good money these days. As for thinning 15W-40 for winter use, I have never used MMO. How much All Fleet Plus oil is old stock?
 
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Older mixed fleet oils were allowed to have unlimited amounts of phosphorous typically somewhere in the 1200-1600ppm range, which may not be the greatest choice in aging vehicles where a catalyst failure is a very undesirable cost, also 15W40 is probably not the best choice in Wisconsin, If you can get it for next to nothing or if they'll let you just have it, I'd use it in lawn mowers and small engines, or sell it to someone who has an older pre-dpf diesel.
 
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A relatively long thread on the same subject, there are others if you look around.

 

Cygnus_

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15w40 is fine from late spring to early fall, give or take. As long as it's above 0F it shouldn't be a problem. Ill just make sure to change it back to 5w40 before it gets real cold. Thanks to everyone for their replies.
 
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