Does engine oil get thinner over time?

I was draining old oil from my engine and it appeared very thick and dark. I assumed older engine oil would get thinner as it aged, so I was confused by how viscous the oil was. Is engine oil supposed to get thinner over time?

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Answer provided by
Kara Vanderbeek
Answered on May 03, 2022
While many people assume that oil gets thinner after extended periods, the opposite is true!
Engine oil actually becomes thicker over time as a result of oxidation.
Depending on such factors as the temperature, moisture, oxygen levels, engine condition, and catalytic reactions, the oil will oxidize at a specific rate. As a result, the oil will become thicker and darker.
While this is a natural process in engine oil, it’s still important to have your oil changed on a regular basis to ensure the optimum performance of your vehicle.
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