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Engine oil shelf life


KyIH
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I would think it would be fine, are you using A barrel pump? See what the condition of the bungs are. And the inside of the top where oil hasnt been touching, if its clean I would definitely go for it. 

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Only thing I was wondering was if in a climate that has wide temp swings would a drum eventually sweat enough condensation into the inside of the drum to contaminate it? Other than that I would say it should be fine almost forever?

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Depends how it was stored, In a climate controlled temps away from any moisture condensation it would be fine

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9 hours ago, KyIH said:

I was recently given a new unopened drum of delo 400 15w40. It has a mfg date of 2008. Is it still ok to use or should I just oil chains with it?

a few years ago I had a chance to buy a large quantity of old oil - 20 plus years. I thought it would be great since its old formula with all the good stuff like zinc in it. But I had the same question as you so I contacted Castrol and they told me 5 years max. 

Rather than type my fingers off this link backs up Castrol 

https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/what-is-the-shelf-life-of-motor-oil

 

 

 a drum of oil is cheaper than a premature engine overhaul

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this explains it well from this source https://www.vehiclescene.com/does-motor-oil-expire/

 

Quote

How Does Motor Oil Expire?

The key lies in the manufacturer’s advice on the storage of the motor oil.

Temperature extremities can affect your motor oil, even when unopened. High-temperature extremities may cause thermal breakdown to occur, which reduces the oil’s viscosity, or its weight and thickness, in layman’s terms.

If this oil is used, it will have a reduced flow rate around the engine, which can lead to an increase in oil consumption, and buildup of debris and damage to your engine.

When engine oil is stored at extremely low temperatures, a sludge may appear, which can block engine passageways. This inevitably becomes too thick to flow easily.

 

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We had an old compressor oil at work from a reputable brand and near the bottom was chunks of what looked like waxes that had separated 

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I was under the impression that it takes engine heat to accelerate the breakdown of the oil

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2 hours ago, bitty said:

I was under the impression that it takes engine heat to accelerate the breakdown of the oil

If oil gets over 300 degrees there will be some degradation but oil doesn’t breakdown it just gets dirty. My Mack at work runs 240 degrees all day long and gets oil changes at 50,000 miles and isn’t using any in that timeframe with 615,000 miles on it. 

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37 minutes ago, KyIH said:

I guess the only sure way to know is to send off a sample. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to send it? 

Local CAT dealers used to offer lab services... but Blackstone is a common lab and I've heard of folks using Polaris.

https://www.blackstone-labs.com/

https://polarislabs.com/

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Drums are sealed so there is no influx of moisture or air as long as the barrel and bungs are good.

On a hot day, there could be pressure in the drum.

On a cold day, there can be a slight vacuum.

So, if you have doubt, scrap it.

I would not be afraid to use it.

But that's just, ME!

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Thanks guys I appreciate your thoughts. I don’t have anything invested in this oil and was planning to use it as chain oil but I may use it in equipment that get oil changes through burning it😆 I still may send off a sample out of curiosity.

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14 hours ago, hardtail said:

We had an old compressor oil at work from a reputable brand and near the bottom was chunks of what looked like waxes that had separated 

Ewww,  chunks, doesn't sound good.  I bought a 24 can case of Farm Service, FS 20 weight oil for my first car.  The cardboard cans had been out for a few years, and this case was still all steel cans.  I didn't think much of it till I pulled my oil spout off the first can and looked into the empty can, there was a brown layer of what looked like grease on the bottom of the can. I scraped some out with a screwdriver, felt like grease too.  Car used a lot of oil, +/- 100 miles per quart, I put the case in the trunk and used it up.  I have seen brown specs,  looked like brown sugar in the bottom of ROTELLA jugs too,  I put a bit of oil in the jug, shake it up and empty it quick.

   Never had an oil related engine failure.

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20 hours ago, bitty said:

I was under the impression that it takes engine heat to accelerate the breakdown of the oil

it does but we are talking 13 years in storage not 100 or 200 hrs of running time

 

for every 18 degrees increase in temp over 185 degrees the oxidation rate doubles for an average oil. That is straight from John Deere. 

 ...... an inconclusive oil thread 😲 who woulda thought 😕😀 

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The black film on the bottom of an oil bottle or bucket is the additive package fallout. Seems like higher end oils have more additives and more fallout. Shake it up good and use it! lol!

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23 hours ago, jass1660 said:

If oil gets over 300 degrees there will be some degradation but oil doesn’t breakdown it just gets dirty. My Mack at work runs 240 degrees all day long and gets oil changes at 50,000 miles and isn’t using any in that timeframe with 615,000 miles on it. 

Wow 50,000 between changes.  Seems like a lot but I'm obviously not a big truck guy.  How many months between changes?  

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Just now, hobbyfarm said:

Wow 50,000 between changes.  Seems like a lot but I'm obviously not a big truck guy.  How many months between changes?  

5-6 months. The Paccar and Detroit engines specify 70,000 mile oil changes. 

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