The Dirty Truth About How Often You Need Your Oil Changed
Motor oil can deteriorate by becoming contaminated, the additives depleting over time or both. How oil becomes contaminated Base oils are the backbone of the finished lubricant that ends up in your engine. They can be conventional, synthetic or a combination thereof. Mar 13, · When you add too much oil, the excess oil will go towards the crankshaft, and as the crankshaft rotates at a high-speed, the oil is mixed with the air and ‘aerates’ or becomes foamy. This foamy texture of the oil acts like a bad lubricant, and the oil is not pumped effectively.
I have a Silverado with less than miles and is now a year old. On Star says I need to change the the oil now. Is it really needed? I also have a tractor with low hours and the oil is how to cut laminate flooring with a miter saw years old same type question. Yes, the GM oil life monitor puts the various factors in to estimate oil life. Once a year is my maximum time. What hzppens the tractor owners manual say.
Instead it is a matter of the oil likely being diluted by water vapor a normal byproduct of combustionas well as the potential for oil sludging to take place. The problem with a vehicle that logs only 3, miles in 1 year is that—in most cases—those miles are accumulated mostly with short-distance local driving.
That type of driving does not allow the engine and the oil to become hot enough to evaporate the water vapor, and the oil becomes diluted over time.
The process of dilution of the oil, coupled with an engine running on a richer than normal mixture when it is not fully warmed-up, can create the perfect storm for the formation of sludge, internal corrosion, and resulting engine damage. Even if you are skeptical of an oil change being necessary at this point, the reality that you will void the warranty on your engine by failing to change the oil on the recommended schedule should prod you into action.
If you made only a few long trips to total miles, your oil might be ok and you could stretch oiil change interval to two years. No, oil does not break down just by sitting in your crankcase. But you have been given a number of reasons favoring an annual oil change nevertheless.
A change may not be totally necessary at this time but it is a sensible precaution. Engines…and tractors…are expensive. Oil is cheap. Kept fresh it can do a much better job. I used to have a car that I drove about the same 3, miles per year as you.
I changed its oil once a year, despite the fact that the specified oil change interval, in miles, was 7, The reasons why have already been listed by others.
Happenz mechanic for our low-mileage classic says the oil should be changed at least happwns six months any time after ho car is driven, since some of the additives added by the manufacturer will probably be less effective after six months once they are exposed to engine operating stresses. Unlike modern oil, modern ethanol-based fuel is worse than it used to be and that may be even more of a problem for cars which are not driven very often.
I drive my car about miles a year. So I change it every 6 months. However, I change the oil filter engnie a year. Oil definitely does break down…Ever see an engine with Sludge what happens to engine oil over time it?? Fresh engine oil is a clear, free-flowing liquid blend of base stock and additives that contains no fuel, water, coolant, dirt, or other contaminants.
When regular engine hqppens changes are neglected, normally free-flowing lubricating oil breaks down, becomes contaminated, ceases to flow, and is transformed into a thick soup of waste products. I took some time to do a search on the subject and discovered that oil compabies recommend a how to kill aphids on tomatoes of 5 years as a shelf life for unopened motor oils, including synthetics.
I was unfortunately unable to find anything on the reasons. In short, it appears that even unopened oil experiences changes over time. With that kind of mileage I would change it every 6 months at the latest.
That type of driving can easily contribute to oil sludging. Caddyman is correct about the cause of oil sludging. Often this is something that worsens progressively due to the crankcase ventilation system. Car owner does not have PCV system serviced for whatever reason how in what year was thanksgiving declared a national holiday actually dooil is contaminated more, PCV system clogs even more, oil is contaminated even faster, PCV…yada, yada, yada.
As the VW service people explained to me at a school one time, engine oil like transmission fluid or power steering fluid does not break down. The additives in the oil or fluid do break down an contamination not related to additive breakdown can occur. Place a spoon of tap water into a pan of wgat motor oil and allow it to sit for a few weeks to see what happens.
Oil DOES break-down…And when it does break-down it produces contaminates that will turn the oil into sludge. Today, the plastic bottles they package what happens to engine oil over time in will break down before the oil inside will…The oil itself is about 10 million years old when you buy it…. Before engines or heads could be rebuilt, they had to soak 24 hours in a big tank of boiling lye…Man, that was NASTY business….
Does motor oil break down over time with little mileage or engine hours? It should be changed. Water or other contaminates in the oil will also turn the oil into sludge.
If the oil is too old, it will have built up high levels of particulates that may have clogged the oil filter. A clogged oil filter will not let oil pass through as it should, and this can affect the engine’s ability to maintain consistent speed. It may not be a hard sputtering, but you should be . Feb 22, · When the oil is used in your car engine, it’s more prone to all sorts of factors that can affect it while it’s still stored in a container. The mechanical action of the engine will lead to higher temperatures, which can lead to the oil thickening over time. Mar 02, · All of the long-term effects of driving a car that’s overfilled with oil are serious. Insisting to push your vehicle’s engine to the limit can result in total failure, and will end up costing you loads of money and wasted time on repairs down the line.
Buying some motor oil, and just aren't sure how long it's going to last sitting in your garage? Maybe your car has been just sitting a while? Find out how long motor oil can last before it's time to move on. Have you ever been searching around the back of your garage or in the trunk of your car and found an old bottle of motor oil you forgot all about?
The question remains: Is the newly discovered old oil any good? Can it still be used, or has it gone bad? Does motor oil expire to begin with? And how can you know if the oil completely went bad, or can still be used? How long is the shelf life of motor oil? For example, Mobil expects industrial or motor oils to last for five years if stored properly in the original container. Meanwhile, Total, another leading manufacturer, says motor oil should be disposed of after only two years if not used.
So, while many motor oil companies shy away from saying their oils do actually expire, they do say we should dispose of oils in a responsible way after a few years.
This also only applies to oils which have remained unopened in their original containers, stored at the correct temperature. Temperature extremities can affect your motor oil, even when unopened. 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. Either form of the oil thickening can result in engine damage that can run thousands of dollars to repair. So, ask yourself the following question: is it really worth saving a few dollars just to use old oil?
When the original container has been opened, contamination from water condensation or dirt is more likely to occur. Oxidation can be another possible cause of degradation in a container which has been opened. When molecules in the air react with the molecules in the oil, it can increase the viscosity which forms sludge or sediment. Oxidized oil can also be more acidic , which may rust and cause corrosion to any metal surface it comes into contact with.
It can be hard to tell whether your motor oil has expired before pouring it into your engine, but there are several steps you can take. First, look to see if there is an expiration date on the bottle. Again, if you know the bottle of oil is more than five years old, dispose of it rather than risk the damage it can cause to your vehicle and its different components.
A significantly darker or black oil can indicate oxidation, while a haziness or milkiness can be from contamination of water or dirt. The consistency of the oil can be another good indicator that you should keep an eye on—oils that are solid, thick, or very sticky are less effective than a thin oil which pours easily.
If you notice any separation in the oil or deposits on the bottom of the container, you should replace it and not use it. Just shaking the container will not redissolve the deposits in the oil. The mechanical action of the engine will lead to higher temperatures, which can lead to the oil thickening over time. The oil will also be more prone to contamination from soot or microscopic slivers of metal as it circulates around.
Other engine issues like a faulty cooling system or water pump can lead to water getting into the oil, affecting its viscosity. With a blown head gasket , your oil will take on a milky, almost cappuccino texture and should be replaced as soon as the gasket is resealed. Oftentimes, environmental factors like icy cold weather can also cause the oil to form a sludge, which may eventually prevent it from flowing around the engine.
Some synthetic oils will have additives which can prevent oxidation or reactions to temperatures, and can last longer before changing. Most mechanics will recommend changing the oil in your car every few thousand miles, but some synthetic motor oils will be sold as 5, or even 10,mile oils. To be sure about this, check with your mechanic how often you should change oil at your next scheduled vehicle maintenance, and ensure you use the most suitable oil for your car and driving conditions.
Synthetic oil lasts longer in your car engine and will need changing less frequently for a number of reasons:. Synthetic oils can still expire when not used for extended periods of time, though, and will need to be correctly stored — as with traditional motor oils. Most of the benefits will actually be for the car when used in the engine. Some additives in synthetic oils will make storing them easier, especially the temperature-fighting components.
If you are still unsure about what all of this means for how long you can keep motor oil before it expires, this short video looks to debunk some of the myths surrounding motor oil. To sum up, most motor oils have no specific expiration date, rather recommendations for how long you can store it.
These guidelines also include rules about where you need to store it, at what temperature, and how often you should change it in your engine. If the container is opened, ensure you store the oil in a cool, dark place away from moisture and dust. From childhood go karting and motocross, to collecting and obsessing over scalextric, matchbox and radio controlled cars, I've always had an obsession with cars.
Learning through manuals, books, trial and error, and more knowledgeable family members, I've also enjoyed tinkering with the mechanics and electronics of any vehicles I've owned.
Now, over 3 decades later, I've started this site as a place for me to share my knowledge, to teach others how to care for and maintain their vehicles themselves, so they can get the most out of their vehicles and save a pretty penny compared to always seeking out professional help.
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Cleaning Maintenance Tools Accessories Electronics. Kyle Palmer Last Updated: March 15, How Long Does It Last? Facts vs. Written By: Kyle Palmer From childhood go karting and motocross, to collecting and obsessing over scalextric, matchbox and radio controlled cars, I've always had an obsession with cars.
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