Silly unimportant question about oil

I have been carrying a container of oil in the trunk of my car for a few years now. I don't do my own oil changes, and I have the container on hand
in the event that the oil gets a bit low in between oil changes (which has not happened since I replaced the PCV valve 5 years ago).
Anyway, there is no expiry date on this container and I wanted to know if the oil would still be good to use at this point. I ask because it has been in the trunk the whole time, including during some extremely cold winters.
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High Tech Misfit wrote:

it can gum up over time and who knows what's going on with the additive package. but maybe it's ok. it's got to have a reasonable shelf life for the store and a storage life for the consumer...
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High Tech Misfit wrote:

It survived several million years underground before they put it in that bottle...
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High Tech Misfit wrote:

I tend to buy oil by the case when it goes on sale. As such, two or three cases can sit around for a while in my garage before they are used. I have noticed on occasion that there's a small quantity of a light brown sediment that forms in the bottom of the plastic oil bottle. I tried asking a few questions about this phenomena but never received a satisfactory answer. For what it's worth, I just shake up the bottles before I start doing the oil change such that most of the air bubbles in the oil have dispelled before it's poured into the engine. So to answer your question, yes, the oil can change over time but not being an API chemist I can't tell you the significance of it. I will try asking some more knowledgable folks that I know the next time I see them.
Eric
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It's fine. The oil undergoes far greater stress, breakdown and contamination in your engine.
What grade is it? I mean the API specification (SJ, SL, etc.). Look on the back of the label. Not that it matters much; I'm just curious.
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TeGGeR wrote:

It's Castrol GTX 5W-30, API spec. is SJ.
Thanks to all who responded.
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Once ran into a large display of Castrol GTX mis priced - bought 6 cases of the stuff - took me several years to use it all - noticed the same small stream of sediment in the bottom of each plastic bottle after a couple of years.
Only other deal I got on oil was back in the days when oil was in metal cans and 24 to the case - the check out clerk thought there were 12 per case. Didn't work when I went back for 2 more cases. .
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Means it is a few years old. If you get a newer car, be sure that your spare oil is up to spec for the newer car (i.e. if it requires API SL or SM, the API SJ rated oil may not be suitable for it).
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Timothy J. Lee wrote:

I appreciate that advice, especially considering that I may be in the market for a newer car possibly next year. My Accord has been great, but it does not have A/C. And given how extremely hot it has been at times the last couple of summers here, it's at the point where I feel I need A/C. :-)
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High Tech Misfit wrote:

You realize that as soon as you buy a new car with A/C, it will snow all the next summer? ;)
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And if you buy a brand-new snowmobile, it won't snow all winter.
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"TeGGeR" wrote:

During the Blizzard of '78 in southeastern New England where average snowfalls average nearly 40 inches, pickups with snowplows became a very hot item. We didn't get squat for snowfall for the next several years...
JT
(I know that Marcus Murphy is alive and well somewhere..)
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in Texas, they no longer require windshield wipers on new cars.

And if you buy a brand-new snowmobile, it won't snow all winter.
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High Tech Misfit wrote:

If sealed, it *should* be OK. Pour it out into another container, and look at it. IF it looks clean and like normal oil should, use it. You'll be OK.
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Jeez, you worry about a $2 quart of oil ? Throw it out and buy a fresh quart.
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