Ask Sarah: Is My Lube Still Good?
By Sarah Forst
I got 8 quarts of Royal Purple 5w-30 and it’s been sitting for at least a year and a half. Is it still good?
Thanks -Will C.
The simple answer- most likely. A year and a half should be fine as long as the oil is sealed and unopened. Most engine oils and other liquid lubricants (not greases) will be good for 2-4 years if not opened, but only around 6 months if opened. Of course, this is all relative to how the lubricants have been stored. Exposure to extreme temperatures or temperature changes, moisture, or sunbathing will dramatically shorten the life span and quality of the oil.
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Give the oil a good martini shake (sans the ice!) to blend any additives that may have settled in the oil. You can also visually inspect a lubricant for signs of instability. If it has any of the following issues, throw it out like yesterday’s trash:
1) Color change or variation
2) Solid matter or settling
4) Gelatinous viscosity
5) Milky appearance- a sign the oil has absorbed moisture