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Using old oil

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by 51OWR, May 18, 2012.

  1. I am looking at doing an oil change on my 848 and my father in law just gave me a sealed container (never opened or used) of Shell ultra oil (motorbike specific) that he has had sitting around for about 2.5 years. From what I can see there is no expiry date on the oil, so I am assuming it is OK to use as long as I shake it up a bit.

    What are your opinions on this and will it be safe to use, or will I be safer just going to buy some new oil?
  2. It won't hurt the engine at all as long as its the right specification for your bike.
  3. Turns out its the specific oil recommended by ducati for their bikes, so looks like im good to go! Thanks!!!

    Was just a bit concerned the age of the oil and it being synthetic might have caused some expensive problems.
  4. If it was 20 years old, I'd start to wonder, but 2.5 should be fine.
  5. Should be allright,the viscosity wouldnt have broken down that much.
  6. It's oil. It's been in the ground for millions of years. A few years on the shelf won't hurt it.
  7. Oil does have an expiry date, should be marked on the bottle somewhere.

    Antioxidants in the oil will oxidise over time, which shortens the service life, however if sealed in a cool place away from sunlight this would be a very slow process.

    I wouldn't imagine that 2.5 years would make much difference.
  8. It is a Ducati-the engines are made of chocolate.
    Buy some new oil ya tight arse.
  9. Oils in the 80s and below actually use to break down after a few months on the shelf. These days its not so....The oil would be fine....
  10. OK so OP has his answer, so here's another question along a similar topic: what uses have you heard for used oil - the stuff you drain for an oil change?

    I've heard of people in the old days using it as chain lube, but I dunno about any acids that may have formed and what they might do to your O-rings...
    I also recently found a motorcycle trade rag (in the backpackers at Eden, would you believe?!), that advertised workshop heaters fueled by used motor oil...

    Myself, I decant it into old 2l juice containers and then to landfill...
  11. I use it for blacking metal parts, or put it in the mower...
  12. I hope your joking about landfill!!!

    Take it to your local mechanic, who will have a collection drum, where the oil will be recycled.

    same goes for spent coolant and brake fluid!!
  13. Chain lube? LOL, have fun with that, you will be covered in it.....Used oil actually has nothing wrong it it apart from the fact its dirty. Hence why the recycle it now.

    Oil goes into an engine to lubricate, clean and transfer heat away from moving parts there for cooling it. Additives are put in the oil, there are alot of them and alot of different ones. The oil itself does not break down. The additives do hence why you need to change it. The additives break down and stop cleaning, protecting, lubricating.

    They get the oil and clean it through a pretty strict process. The oil is 100% clean again. Then they add the additives and it as good as when it was first made.

    Most mineral car oil on the market these days in recycled....Not sure about bike oil.

    Then again. Bikes run fine on car oils as long as there are no friction modifiers. Most of the Penrite Oils can be run in a bike. My friend uses them in his CBR and his dead set on them now and wont change. Penrite came second in oil tests in a test a few years ago next to Royal Purple, and did not loose by much.

    This is an article from a old motor bike mag in America.....

    Castrol GTX is rubbish by the way. I am not a oil guru but have had a obsession with researching oil for years. Yes my family thinks im weird....

    Are there any "real world" examples of long motorcycle engine life using automotive oils? There is a good one in the June 1996 issue of Sport Rider magazine in a report called the "100,000 mile Honda CBR900RR." The owner used conventional mineral Castrol GTX oil, 10W40 in the winter, 20W50 in the summer. He changed it every 4,000 miles, changing the filter every OTHER oil change. No valve clearance adjustments were required after the initial one at 16,000 miles. And a dyno test against the same model with only 6,722 miles showed torque and horsepower virtually identical. The 100,000 mile bike was even used for some racing. In a subsequent follow-up, the same CBR had passed 200,000 miles and was still going strong! Plus, many motorcyclists have emailed me with their very positive results using nothing but automotive oils for years in a variety of rides. Oils have changed over the past 10 years, but that just means we need to be more careful in our choices.
  14. I use old oil for metal blacking and as a wood preservative. I'm also intending to work out how to burn it cleanly to fire a metal melting furnace but that's on a fairly long to-do list.