Opened Oil Question

Messages
73
Location
Arkansas
Good morning, Gentlemen.

Quick question. If I open an oil container, for instance--a 5qt jug, and do not use it all and put the cap back on. How long is that opened oil good for generally speaking? How long is it go to go in a vehicle? Thanks!
 

Zee09

Site Donor 2021
Messages
3,166
Location
Fairhill Maryland
I agree with Demar on the oil.

Windshield cleaner...bad news.
Funny I went to fill mine. Opened up a never opened bottle and it was gritty fluid. Three years old.
I got another from the garage and as I lifted to poor it the handle broke away and it all went on the driveway..lol
So throw that out yearly..
 
Messages
1,917
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Good morning, Gentlemen.

Quick question. If I open an oil container, for instance--a 5qt jug, and do not use it all and put the cap back on. How long is that opened oil good for generally speaking? How long is it go to go in a vehicle? Thanks!
I always use the oil in the open container at the next oil change so the issue doesn't arise for me.

But as far as residual life is concerned, I have to think it would be a very long time - years at least. I'm not even sure that it would be any different from what it would have been if it was still sealed. The only new issues I can think of would be the small amount of increased oxidation from access to a greater mount of air and the water vapor in that additional air. And I wouldn't expect either of those issues to be measurable or at all meaningful. Other than that why would oil life be any different simply because the top of the container has been removed, whether or not some oil was taken out?

That assumes the cap has been put back on properly (meaning the container is sealed) of course. If it isn't the remaining oil will likely have dirt and bugs in it and all bets would be off.
 
Messages
297
Location
AR
I always use the leftover oil at the next oil change so I don't have it sitting for years on the shelf.

If its too long I'll put it in an old oil hand pump and use it around my farm.
 
Messages
707
Location
South Carolina
I agree with Demar on the oil.

Windshield cleaner...bad news.
Funny I went to fill mine. Opened up a never opened bottle and it was gritty fluid. Three years old.
I got another from the garage and as I lifted to poor it the handle broke away and it all went on the driveway..lol
So throw that out yearly..
Oh lordt. I used a 20+ year old bottle if kmart washer fluid in my 18 Taurus. Hope it dont hurt it.
 
Messages
6,880
Location
Wet side WA
It will last as long as you need for you to use it up in your next OCI without any doubt. But the real life of oil is very argumentative on here my personal feeling it would last a minimum of 5 to 10 years after opened in a some what controlled temperature environment.
 
Messages
167
Location
Arizona
Oil breaks down from temperatures high enough to make it smoke, so staying in an opened bottle that's been closed again at room temperature won't do anything except expose it to a negligible amount of oxygen. If it can be in an engine for over a year and still have a good VOA, I'm sure it will last decades in a bottle. Just give it a shake like pharden said.
 
Messages
1,258
Location
Muncie, Indiana
Oil should last forever, only automotive fluid I wouldn't use after it's sat open is probably brake fluid. Maybe give the oil a good shake if it's sat for a few years in case the additives have started to fall out of suspension.
 
Messages
400
Location
KY, USA
If the cap has been on it and no dirt or other contaminants have been able to get to it I'd use it 20 years from now. I often use on an open quart of oil for a few years that I use when filling squirt cans or I need to add oil to my mowers. I've got unopened oil in my garage (not temperature controlled) that has been there for 25+ years that I use when I do oil changes in my cars. As long as the cap has been on it where no dirt/trash can get in it will be fine. Lots of people worry about leaving oil in the crankcase of a car that isn't driven much for more than 6 months or a year. I've got a '97 Ford that only has 41K miles on it I change the oil every 5K miles, often several years between changes. What's the difference in the oil sitting in the oil pan and sitting in plastic bottles on a shelf in my garage. When it is driven it's driven far/long enough for the oil to reach full operating temperature, usually at least 15 miles. My mom has a '99 Grand Marquis. I keep up the maintenance on it and am using oil in it that was in her garage when my dad passed away in 2010. I suspect it had been there several years prior to his death. The oil is Amoco and I don't recall seeing Amoco in that type bottle since I got married over 30 years ago. I've still got a few quarts of 20w50 Castrol GTX in my garage I used to use in a motorcycle that is in the old cardboard cans. I know it was bought sometime in the 1980's and wouldn't hesitate to put it in my cars if it wasn't such a heavy weight and still may use it sometime when I think of it in the summer.
 
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Messages
11
it should be fine. it is is not in contact with contaminants such as fuel, or dissimilar metals, or high heat temperature break downs. there is nothing causing any of the additives to go bad. sp basically indefinitely the additives may fall out of suspension but a quick shake of the jug will cure that.
 
Messages
6,880
Location
Wet side WA
My current oil in the Corolla is about 6 years old. Its been in the car for six months now car hasn't fell into the ground or caught on fire. I do try to get my oldest oil in the stash used up first most of the time. I don't lose any sleep over it.
 
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