Is There a Lubricant Shelf Life?

29 Nov 2016, Posted by McPherson Oil in Oil Tips

Engine Lubricant | McPherson OilMost lubricants typically last about a year in ideal conditions. After that, lubricant can deteriorate depending on storage conditions and actual testing is recommended to make sure that it is still good. Proper storage could extend life of private label lubricant from one year to five years.

There are a number of factors that can accelerate lubricant deterioration. Speed of shelf life deterioration is really determined by the environment of the “shelf” where the lubricants are stored. Following are a number of factors that affect lubricants during storage.

Factors Affecting Lubricant Shelf Life


Extreme temperatures are not good for lubricants. Cold causes sediment formation and becomes detrimental when temps dip below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat greater than 110 degrees Fahrenheit damages lubricant. Ideal storage temps are from 32 to 77 degrees.

Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide

Both oxygen and carbon dioxide can react with lubricants. This affects viscosity and the consistency which can make the oil unfit for an engine or the application it was formulated to protect.

Water and Light Affect the Shelf Life of Lubricant


Water promotes microbial growth in the lubricant where the oil and water meet. Microbes will eat away at metal surfaces that they come in contact with. That means oil with microbes growing in it sabotages the very engines it was meant to protect.


Light can weaken the effectiveness of lubricants. This happens most often when they are kept in their clear plastic containers. Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight causes the oil to degrade and this will require you to replace the oil more often.

Extending the Life of Your Oil Lubricants

Extending shelf life should be a top priority for anyone using oil lubricants. Lubricants do best when they are stored indoors in a cool dry area. Be sure to keep containers dry and lids tightly closed to avoid contamination. Also, clean tools for handling and removing oil before you use them.

McPherson Oil’s Proteck private label lubricant is engineered to meet the highest performance standards and deliver exceptional value. Proteck is available for both passenger cars and diesel engine vehicles. Contact us today to find out more about Proteck oil lubricant products.