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MOBIL 1 10/60------Contaminated oil?

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So there I am changing the oil in my Esprit, pouring it slowly into a smallish funnel to avoid any spillage.   Having poured in about 2/3rds of the container I noticed some residue and saw crystals trapped in the funnel.  I filtered some of the remaining oil and the pictures show about half of what I recovered.   Compressed between thumb and finger the crystals  feel like grit and do not seem to break down.   This was a previously purchased new sealed container with a made date of 01/12/16.   I am very disappointed to have poured this stuff into my engine, disappointed that it could have damaged my engine had I not spotted it and quite annoyed (apart from the cost) that I have to do the whole job again (not with Mobil).

Did this  pass quality control? If so a bit of a concern.

Is this a feature of additives in full synthetic oil separating over time?   If so a big warning should be on the container.   Surely oil should not degrade in 5 years.

Mobil,  an American Company, has proved very difficult to contact in the UK.  Phones not answered (one UK 0800 number had me talking to a person in Czechoslavakia), email addresses no longer in use and not monitored. When I did manage a conversation the mantra was basically 'take it back to where you bought it'. Not really the answer as it clearly left Mobil with this problem.  I did fire off an email (with pictures) to their Techdeskeurope and what did they say? Absolutely nothing, no reply.  I also emailed  Customercare  who acknowledged receipt (auto response), but no reply from them either.

In a lot of years of oil changing I have never come across this before.  I think in this case I was unlucky.  The thought of having to filter fresh oil seems faintly ridiculous.




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Looks like it was caused by the length of time the oil was stored. Article says to use oil as fresh as possible. Worth getting the crystals analysed?

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hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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What happens to these crystals if they are warmed (say place your red plastic dish into a larger bowl of boiling water like you're melting chocolate)?

If they dissolve and become fluid again you are probably not going to have to drain and refill.

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Anytime I pour fluids into my cars, I SHAKE the bottle for at least 30 seconds.


No issues (and at one time, I scored a closeout on Mobil1 15W-50 that lasted me 8 years of yearly changes).

Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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Looks like Phil has the answer here, needle crystals.  I did put some in a metal dish in boiling water for 5 minutes but no change.  I guess if Mobil put a warning on the container that this could happen you probably wouldn't buy it.  Just to be on the safe side I have drained it off.  

On a slightly different note the oil I drained and filtered looks good again.  Should I use this in my daily run-around or is it no longer a 'complete oil' with these crystals missing?   Roy.

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Bin it Roy I've used plenty of oils over my 39 years in refrigeration and I've seen plenty of bad oil new out the tin as it were from contaminated with water and dirt to separated oil with additives and remember theses oils have to go as low as - 60'c to +120'C and if there's any issues I bin the lot as I've seen what happens if you don't 

The biggest bill I can remember was £130k on a pumped ammonia system that the customer decided to take as he put it a calculated risk with not wanting to dump 400L of oil and paid an extremely heavy price in the long run that took over 2 years to finally sort out.

Just my view but all the oils I've used over the years Shell has always come out on top with very few issues just my experience 


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