How long does engine oil last? It’s a critical question as engine oil doesn’t last a lifetime. After a specific time, changing the lube oil is crucial. Too old engine oil can’t minimize frictions efficiently and maintain stable engine performance.
Different car manufacturers set different timeframes to change engine oil. But, it is better to remove old motor oil after driving 3,000 to 7,500 miles. The internal can be anywhere from 3 to 6 months. It depends on your driving conditions and lubricant quality. Most engine oil have a self life of 5 years. You should use motor oil within this time from manufacturing date.
Here, we are going to talk in more detail about engine oil lifespan. We will also discuss why motor oil goes quickly. Let’s dive in!
How Long Does Engine Oil Last In Car?
Usually, engine oil needs to be changed after 3000 miles of driving. However, according to most Automotive technicians, modern motor oil is effective enough to go 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
If full-synthetic motor lubricants operate your vehicle engine, it can go up to 15,000 miles. The lifespan of motor oil in a car depends on oil quality, oil type, vehicle age, and driving conditions.
Engine Oil Change for Older Vehicles
Changing oil for older cars requires you consider the mileage. You need to follow two timetables for changing motor oil. The first one is the typical maintenance schedule, and the second one is a severe condition.
An old car may need early oil replacement if you drive it in cold, hot, or dusty conditions. Oil change intervals may also become shorter when the engine involves frequent stops and starts. Regularly taking heavy loads can be another reason too.
Engine Oil Change for Newer Vehicles
Latest cars come up with oil-life tracking systems. It automatically notifies you when you need to change the oil. This allows you to prevent severe conditions. The system will reduce the oil change interval if you operate the car under extreme conditions.
Make sure to change them regularly as per the system and instruction manual recommendation. The oil level also should not go down beyond the standard level. If it does, it will cause additional pressure on the engine parts. It may damage many engine components.
Does Motor Oil Expire?
Does oil expire? Yes, motor oil has a particular shelf life. It depends on the quality & type of the liquid and your storing approach.
Generally, two types of engine oils are available: mineral oil and synthetic oil. Mineral or conventional oil contains many impurities or unwanted elements. They don’t last long.
Contrastly, synthetic oil has only synthetic additives. It can perform efficiently in severe weather conditions, such as high temperatures. Plus, this lubricant has better mileage and fuel economy.
Hence, the shelf life of synthetic oil is higher than mineral oil. It can provide better engine protection and improve the overall engine performance.
As we mentioned earlier, the shelf life for motor oil also depends on your storing approach. Its lifespan will vary depending on whether you open the container. Or it is still unused. By using oil additive, you can also get better performance.
Unopened Motor Oil
Whether conventional or synthetic oil, unopened engine oil lasts for an extended period. Outside air and contaminants can’t enter inside the bottle. It is in a sealed condition.
Hence, the motor oil remains in good condition until the expiration date. Typically, they stay in an undamaged condition for 2 to 5 years.
Use the lubricant between these time frames. But don’t open the container too early. Unfasten the lid only when you want to add the intact oil.
Used Motor Oil
An engine oil shelf life can be anywhere from 2 to 5 years. But it is only applicable to new oil. The quality of the oil will degrade over time after opening it.
Most automotive experts recommend using opened lube oil within one year. The more time you delay, the less effective it will be.
Whether using conventional or synthetic lubricant, various contaminants will affect the oil efficiency. Using too old dirty oil won’t give the necessary support for the moving engine parts.
Besides, used motor oil is prone to get affected by oxidation. Sediments and sludge are likely to develop because of the increased viscosity in the lubricant.
Why Does Engine Oil Go Bad in a Car?
Does engine oil go bad? Motor lubricants are supposed to last for a reasonable period. But they may don’t last the expected period. Here are some reasons for lubricant going bad.
Dirt and Debris
Can engine oil go bad from gunk, debris, dirt, and other contaminants? If you drive the vehicle too dirty conditions, it can affect the oil pureness.
Dirty engine oils are supposed to replace soonest. Otherwise, it will compromise the engine performance and even cause weary issues for engine moving parts.
Have you checked your engine oil expiry date? The oil lasts for a specific time. Changing engine lubricants after a particular period is crucial.
If your engine oil has recently expired, it will go bad gradually. Your engine performance won’t be up to the mark.
Cheap Quality Oil
Cheap quality motor oil goes bad quickly. Most of them don’t meet the required specs. Car owners use them to save a few bucks. But they ultimately increase fuel consumption.
More importantly, using an incompatible engine may make the warranty void. Plus, it may cause damage to various parts of your machine. This will ultimately increase the repair cost.
Unused Motor Oil
Does oil get old if you don’t drive the car? Yes, a motor lubricant may degrade its quality over time if the oil sits for an extended time.
Generally, experts recommend changing the oil after 12 months, even if you don’t drive it. Make sure you replace the oil whether the maintenance period comes or not.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can Engine Oil Last 2 Years?
Changing oil at least once every 6 months is the best approach. But if you use only synthetic oil and drive the car less frequently, you can change the lube oil every year. However, weather conditions and your driving approach will determine the lifespan of the oil.
2. How Long Can An Engine Go Without Changing Oil?
The lastingness of engine oil depends on its type and quality. Regular oil needs to be replaced at least once after 3,000 to 7,500 miles. But you can drive your car with synthetic oil for up to 10,000 to 12,000 miles.
3. What Happens If Engine Oil is Not Changed?
Not changing the oil after the recommended interval can damage the different parts of the engine. Initially, it will slow down the engine performance and consume more fuel. Ultimately, you may need to change the entire machine if the situation becomes worst. Thus, change lube oil and oil filter at regular interval for getting smooth performance.
4. Is it OK to change oil once a year?
Changing motor oil once a year appears OK if the lubricant does not become excessively dirty and you don’t go for everyday short trips. But oil change interval should not exceed 6 months.
5. Should I Change My Oil By Date Or Mileage?
You should change your oil by either date or mileage that comes first. If you regularly go quick tips, then driving 5,000 miles may even be complete within 3 to 6 months. Thus, you have to change the oil quickly.
Are you still wondering how long does engine oil last? Replacing the old motor lubricant after a particular time is vital for consistent engine performance. Otherwise, you may face various issues in your car while driving.
If it continues for a long time, it may lead to severe damage to your engine parts. Hence, always track your motor oil level and its quality. Don’t delay changing it when it is not working appropriately.