You will naturally head to the car dealership or repair shop when you are in the need of an oil change.
However, you may not find anyone nearby to help you.
That explains why some drivers store some motor oil in their garage.
It may seem like a dangerous practice, but you should have some emergency oil.
So, Can You Store Motor Oil in Your Garage?
Yes, you can. However, you need to be mindful of how you store it. Motor oil is especially dangerous if you have children or pets. For instance, children may light the inflammable liquid with a match stick and suffer severe burns. Or, your pet dog may drink it. As per Our Fit Pets, motor oil is highly toxic to dogs. Therefore, to avoid harming those around you, you need to learn how to store it safely.
Here are six tips on how to store it properly.
1. Choose the Correct Container
Most people are okay with using any container to store their motor oil.
However, you need to ensure that the container you choose is intact. Some people opt to use old containers that they find in their garages.
In most instances, the containers are so old that they have dents or rust.
Usually, people recycle old containers because they think they save money by not buying another container.
Since old damaged containers may have holes, some of the motor oil will spill out.
As a result, you will have wasted your stored motor oil.
Besides wasting your oil, some of it can spill onto your crops and poison the plants.
Sometimes, you may run out of containers and instead store the oil in soda bottles.
These are not the best containers, especially if you have toddlers.
Toddlers may drink the motor oil drinking it is soda.
To avoid such a possibility, choose a neutral container that children won’t confuse with soda or other beverages.
2. Ensure the Container is Thoroughly Sealed
Some people buy motor oil in already sealed containers.
It is advisable not to open them unless it is vital.
However, if you unseal it, you must ensure it is tightly closed.
Also, it is quite easy to forget and leave it open when you use it habitually. Leaving oil exposed is bad for it.
For instance, motor oil gets easily contaminated by dust or water.
If you use motor oil contaminated by dust, it will wear out the engine and cause it to break down.
That happens whenever the engine tries its best to get rid of the dust from the exhausts.
On the other hand, water causes the premature aging of motor oil through oxidation.
According to Machinery Lubrication, the oxidation process occurs in 8 stages. Once the motor oil is oxidized, it becomes too thick.
The thick motor oil will make it hard for you to start this car during the cold seasons.
3. Store the Motor Oil in a Cool Place
Besides water and dust, motor oil is also sensitive to heat.
So, if you must store it in your garage, make sure it is cool. You can make your garage cool by installing ceiling fans or opening its windows.
However, if you store it in a warm garage, the heat will significantly alter its chemistry.
According to Arrhenius’ rate rule, the motor oil will oxidize twice as fast for every 10°C increase in temperature after exceeding its base activation temperature.
As a result of the oxidation, the motor oil will lose some additives since they will escape into the air as vapor.
Another effect of using the heated motor oil is that it will cause sludge in your engine.
The sludge clogs oil passages, which prevent the oil from circulating the entire engine. As a result, the engine will wear and break down.
Lastly, heat increases the viscosity of the oil. Due to its extreme thickness, it will be too heavy to circulate the entire engine.
That means you will use a lot of power to start the car, which is terrible for fuel economy.
4. Create a Storage Area in the Garage for the Motor Oil
Most people do not invest in a proper storage place for the oil.
That explains why some people store the oil on the ground.
However, the ground is vulnerable since people may knock it over. If it weren’t sealed, then the entire oil would be wasted.
Apart from spilling the oil, people may also trip over the containers and injure themselves.
If you have no place to keep the motor oil, you could buy or construct a shelf for it.
Once you have the shelf, you still need to store it well. For instance, do not store it at the edge.
Someone could easily knock it down when they come swinging their arms.
Lastly, ensure the shelf is high out of your children’s reach. That is to prevent them from drinking or sniffing it.
5. Label Your Motor Oils to Distinguish the New and the Old Ones
Eventually, motor oil begins to deteriorate.
After all, motor oil is a product that expires just like any other commodity. Generally, it has a shelf life of five years.
So, when you store a lot of motor oil, you must label them.
For instance, you will label them based on when you began storing them. Labeling will help you prioritize which motor oil to use.
For example, if you are leaving on a trip, you will need to carry the older motor oil.
If you use the new motor oil, the old motor oil will continue deteriorating in the garage.
The only instance you should not use the old motor oil is if they are past their expiry date.
So, besides labeling them, you also need to arrange the containers conveniently.
For instance, you could arrange the old motor oil containers at the back and the new ones at the front and vice versa.
6. Do Not Store the Oil in Previously Used Containers
Another mistake people make is storing the oil in used containers.
For instance, some people will store them in containers that previously held chemicals, water, soda, and other substances.
The logic again boils down to saving money instead of buying a new container.
Remember, the used containers cannot be completely empty of the substance they previously stored.
For instance, a little water left in the container can still contaminate the motor oil. So, for your oil to last, you need to use an unused container.
Have you been storing your motor oil properly in your garage?
Due to poor storage, we unknowingly shorten its lifespan.
As a result, we may visit the store where we bought the oil and complain to the staff.
Imagine the embarrassment when they reveal to you that you stored it poorly.
Since motor oil is susceptible to extreme changes, it is up to you to make your garage an ideal place for it.