How Long Does Oil Last in a Car Not Driven?

November 11, 2023

Oil is crucial to the health of your engine. It lubricates key parts like the crank shaft and connecting rods, which control the pistons in each of the car's cylinders. It also helps remove harmful particles from the engine and protects the engine from overheating. But when a car is not driven, it can lose its lubricating properties over time. This is why it's important to change your engine oil regularly, even if you only drive short distances.

The good news is that you may be able to extend the lifespan of your engine oil even longer than expected. The trick is to keep up with regular oil changes and watch for signs that it's time to change the car's engine oil, such as a dirty or dark dipstick, unusual noises from the engine, or decreased fuel efficiency.

In this article, we explore how long does oil last in a car not driven and some of the factors that can affect oil degradation and shelf life, including storage conditions. We also share tips for changing the oil in a car that's been sitting idle for some time, including referring to your owner's manual for manufacturer-recommended guidelines and using lubrication stabilizers.

The length of time that engine oil can last depends on a variety of factors, including how often the vehicle is used and the car's location. For example, the oil will degrade faster in hot or humid climates, and it will also degrade more quickly if the car is stored outside rather than parked in a garage with a temperate climate. The oil type also plays a role, as synthetic oil typically has a longer lifespan than traditional oil.


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram