It’s an age-old question for diesel truck drivers and anyone else who drives a diesel-powered vehicle. ‘Does diesel fuel have a shelf life?’ In actuality, there is no such thing as an expiration date for diesel, but the longer you store it, the worse it performs.
In reality, keeping diesel without properly treating it can cause a slew of problems, not just for the fuel but also for any vehicle into which you chose to put it later. We’ll go over exactly what happens to untreated diesel fuel when it’s stored for a long period, as well as how you may avoid these bad consequences by simply treating the diesel before it’s stored.
Diesel fuel’s performance deteriorates when it sits in storage for extended periods of time. When the fuel reaches the final stages of the process, we call it “diesel fuel gone bad.” It may be too late to save your stored diesel fuel if you notice these things occurring to it. However, there are a few things you can do to extend its life, which we’ll go into later.
- As a result of being exposed to environmental variables, chain reactions occur: Light, water, and heat are the most prevalent environmental variables that have a negative impact on diesel fuel. If the diesel fuel is stored in a location where any of these things might affect it, the molecules in the fuel will produce chain reactions that will cause the fuel to slowly but steadily change from an oil to a varnish.
- The gasoline darkens, and the gums get swollen: As a result of the chain reactions that occur between environmental variables and the molecules of diesel fuel, the fuel thickens and darkens, turning into more of a gum or sludge.
This process alters the molecular structure of diesel fuel, and because most modern diesel fuels do not contain the same amount of sulfur as older diesel fuels, bacteria begin to thrive in the fuel, forming biomass. This can result in acids that completely degrade the fuel over time.
- The sludgy fuel won’t burn properly, resulting in black smoke: This thicker, darker dieselfuel won’t run as smoothly as a diesel fuel that hasn’t been influenced by external factors, resulting in black smoke and engine sputtering, which is never good for your car.
- Internal vehicle damage due to lubricity: Because this diesel fuel no longer has the lubricity it once did, the acidic nature and thickness of the fuel will begin to negatively affect the fuel pump, diesel injectors, and engine, and you may not be able to start your engine if the problem is severe enough.
You may be wondering if there is any solution that will allow you to keep diesel fuel without it becoming a sludgy mess now that you know what it means when you hear it has gone bad.
The solution is significantly more straightforward than you might have assumed. You can ensure that your stored diesel fuel is safe at all times by using a diesel fuel stabilizer. Although there are numerous brands and formulations to pick from, we recommend Opti-Lube, which is the world’s #1 rated additive that more than doubles the shelf life of diesel fuel.
Despite the fact that diesel fuel does not have a specific expiration date, the performance of stored fuel might be harmed over time if improper storage and additives are not used. If you intend on storing fuel or not driving your truck over the winter, it’s important to use a reliable additive like Opti-Lube and take precautions before it’s too late.
We at Gem State Diesel understand the damage that gummed-up diesel fuel can cause to a vehicle, which is why we’ve decided to offer this knowledge and show you how we maintain our fuel working at its best no matter what. After all, it’s always better to be cautious than sorry, especially when dealing with something as precious and impressive as a diesel engine.
What is the shelf life of diesel oil?
According to studies, diesel fuel #2 becomes polluted and degrades within 28 days of being stored. Diesel fuel can only be stored for 6 to 12 months on average, while under ideal conditions it can last up to a year. In general, to extend the life of stored diesel fuel quality, it should be:
The term “diesel” is used in NFPA 110 “1.5 to 2 years of storage life.” According to the Standard, “Tanks should be sized so that gasoline is utilized within the storage life of the tank, or provisions should be provided to replace stale fuel with fresh fuel.” A-5-9, NFPA 110
Does diesel engine oil degrade over time?
Is It True That Motor Oil Degrades Over Time? Yes, in a nutshell, to this question. As a result, oil deteriorates over time just by remaining in the engine. It gets less viscous with time, making it less effective at maintaining optimum lubrication between moving components.
Does unused oil go bad?
The type of oil you use and how you store it will determine how long your motor oil lasts.
Conventional oil (sometimes known as mineral oil) is less refined and has a shorter shelf life.
Synthetic oil and synthetic blend oil, on the other hand, contain synthetic additives that work better at high temperatures. This also means that they will last longer than regular engine oil (where the base oil is made up of crude oil and is therefore not very stable).
Unopened Motor Oil
Unopened motor oil (both traditional and synthetic blend) will, in most cases, endure a long period if kept in a sealed container.
When left unopened, motor oil stays excellent in the bottle until it expires. This will allow you roughly 2-5 years before the unused oil becomes unsafe to eat.
Fresh oil, on the other hand, will degrade with time and lose its oil additive characteristics, reducing the oil’s useful life.
Half-Opened Motor Oil
While the oil life on your motor oil bottle may say 2-5 years, this is primarily for unused oil.
Regardless of whether you’re using synthetic or conventional oil, once the bottle is opened, dirt and moisture will contaminate the oil. This can reduce the efficiency of the oil as a lubricant and the engine’s overall fuel efficiency.
A half-empty container of motor oil is also susceptible to oxidation, which can cause the oil’s viscosity to rise. Sludge and sediments will form as a result of the oxidation process.
Oil Left In The Engine
You won’t have to worry about motor oil going bad in the engine if you drive your car regularly and have a predetermined oil change interval.
When storing your car for more than a month, make sure the old oil is entirely drained.
Oil that has sat in the engine for a long time will have the same fate as oil that has been stored in a half-opened bottle. It’s likely to oxidize, resulting in sedimentation at the bottom. In the engine, oxidation can lead to the development of acids, which can cause corrosion of particular parts.
Does engine oil have expiry date?
Engine oils do have a shelf life. Engine oil should not be used for more than 2-5 years before it expires and causes damage to the engine. If the container has not been opened and stored at reasonable temperatures, engine oils will remain stable in excellent conditions during that time.
Can I use old diesel fuel?
It’s unlikely to take as long as you imagine. After you put fuel in a container, it only takes a few months for the quality to deteriorate much less if the fuel is tainted in any way.
Petrol has a six-month shelf life when stored in a sealed container at 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and just three months when stored at 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The more heat it is subjected to, the faster it will blow up.
You’ll be able to maintain the container for even shorter time if it’s not well sealed, and there’ll be an elevated fire risk owing to combustible vapours escaping.
Diesel, on the other hand, can be utilized for six to twelve months before becoming ‘gummy,’ which can clog filters and cause engine problems if used.
Should I change oil even if I don’t drive much?
Getting an oil change is generally recommended after 3,000, 5,000, or even 10,000 miles have passed since your last one (always consult your car owner’s manual for precise mileage recommendations, which vary by vehicle). But what if months pass and you still haven’t reached those mileage goals? Even so, you should get your oil changed.
Even if you haven’t driven the thousands of miles that are generally advised, it is recommended that you get your oil changed at least twice a year. Oil, like anything else, degrades with time, and having oil degrade in your engine for months on end isn’t good for your vehicle. If it’s been more than six months since you’ve had your oil changed, schedule an appointment right away.
Can I change oil every 2 years?
Simply put, manufacturers recommend changing the oil in a gasoline engine every 10,000 to 15,000 kilometers, or once a year for “normal” (frequent but not intensive) use, or once every two years for less frequent use.
Diesel engines, on the other hand, should have their oil changed every 7,000 kilometers, or around once or twice a year.
Vehicles that are newer require less maintenance than older vehicles that have logged a lot of miles. If you’re not sure, examine the car’s service record or, if your vehicle has one, the maintenance dashboard indicator.
Should I change engine oil every year?
Some people swear by the “every 3,000 miles or 3 months” rule, however developments in engine technology and oil have rendered that advice obsolete. Many automakers recommend oil changes every 7,500 or even 10,000 miles, as well as every 6 or 12 months for time.
Ibbotson claims that “your owner’s manual has more detailed information about your car than any mechanic.” “Don’t be persuaded to replace your oil too frequently. If you follow the instructions in the manual, your car’s engine will keep lubricated and run properly.”
If you get your oil changed every 7,500 miles instead of every 3,000 miles over the course of two years and 30,000 miles, you’ll save $360.
It’s not just about the miles: even if you don’t drive your car often, your oil has to be changed regularly. Even if you drive fewer miles per year than your automaker recommends changing the oil (say, 6,000 miles vs. 7,500 miles), you should still get your oil changed twice a year.
Why? Oil loses its effectiveness as it ages, and if the engine isn’t warmed up enough, excess moisture that accumulates in the engine isn’t eliminated, resulting in shorter engine life.
What can I do with leftover engine oil?
Utilized engine oil is any engine oil that has been used within a vehicle. Because the oil comes into contact with metal particles, dirt, water, and other contaminants throughout its use, it can get contaminated. Oil is designated as a hazardous material because of this, as well as the fact that it may contain other additives like rust inhibitors and stabilizers.
Taking your oil to a recycling center or a business is usually free of charge. However, in certain states, such as California, they will pay you when you drop off your oil. It’s worth noting that this is typically less than a dollar per gallon, but it’s still a nice perk.
The easiest approach to keep spent oil safe is to keep it in an airtight container with a screw-on cover. After that, you can take it to your nearest recycling facility, an auto-store that accepts recycling, or even arrange for a pick-up.
If you want to get creative with your old oil, keep in mind that it still has a lot of life remaining in it and can be put to various uses. Many people on Craigslist are always taking oil for exactly this), storing it around the shop to loosen rusted nuts, mixing it with diesel fuel for penetrating lubrication, filtering it yourself for re-use in chainsaws, coating machined items left in storage, and many more!
As previously said, here is a list of oil and hazardous waste recycling centers, as well as environmental information, organized by state. To find places near you, simply click on the state’s link.