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The onset of winter brings shorter and cold weather conditions that should prompt every pilot to think about their engine and the oil they use. The cold weather can present a range of challenges for aircraft, including the thickening of engine oil. Choosing the right oil can prevent this process, particularly the one that contains corrosion inhibitor and anti - wear additives. It is ideally suited for pilots who intend to fly through the winter, but do not manage to fly as regularly as every two weeks. For engines that are to be kept dormant for even longer, specific products have been developed for aircraft that are to be kept in storage for four months or longer. In some particularly remote areas, communities rely on air transportation, both for travel and for the supply of key resources - it is vital that aircraft continue to fly even in exceptionally cold weather. Equally, for many aircraft owners, the cold weather can mean more infrequent flying, and engines therefore lying dormant for longer periods. Colder weather causes an increase in condensation - this is a risk for dormant engines as the water combines with engine oil and by - products from the combustion process to form an acidic environment for the engine components. Preparation is therefore key to protecting dormant engines.
In the air : protecting aircraft flying in colder temperatures.
The second issue is choosing the right grade of oil for colder temperatures . The blizzard - force winds and cold temperatures can make oil thicker. All oils become thicker as the temperature is reduced , but the differences between grades become larger the lower the temperature. When the oil flows too slowly on start - up , it may fail to reach and protect critical components. Issues with oil circulation during start up is ultimately one of the main causes of engine wear. Engine oils with low viscosity are therefore well suited to cold temperatures - the aim of using a " thinner ' oil in colder weather being that the oil achieves the correct viscosity to provide the optimum lubrication when the engine is at operating temperature . Every pilot and aircraft owner ultimately wants to avoid unnecessary engine wear and unscheduled maintenance , which can compromise precious flying time. No matter how often the aircraft takes flight, choosing the right piston engine oil is a simple practical consideration, but one that can be vital to the health of an engine during the winter months. We ' ve put together some key tips for looking after your engine at every stage of flight Single grade oils are perfectly suited for the winter months. Multigrade oils can also protect critical engine parts on start - up by reaching full pressure as much as 25 seconds faster, compared to a competitor ' s multigrade mineral oils, helping to prevent damage in even the coldest of temperatures.
On the ground : protecting dormant engines and infrequent flyers.
One of the most fundamental issues in the winter months for many private pilots is overcoming the infrequent flying patterns. Engines are often left idle, and water from the atmosphere can build up inside. Used oil can be acidic, and when this combines with the water, it can cause corrosion. This in turn can lead to pitting of engine components. The problem is compounded by the formation of rust particles in the oil, which can cause further wear and damage during the next engine start.
All year - round performance.
No matter in what capacity a piston engine aircraft is being used , whether it is for air taxi operations or for use by private pilots, ensuring that the engine oil performs well whatever the weather is paramount. A high quality multigrade engine oil can perform well under all temperatures - whether it 's the blistering - 37°C cold or the scorching + 49°C heat. This means that when using a premium semi synthetic multigrade ashless dispersant oil, there's no need to change oil with the season , and the oil selected by pilots during these winter months can be used throughout the year . This is a typical problem that might seem difficult to avoid during a season where pilots have less control over how long they leave their engines