Winter Oil? Do you guys switch to a "Lighter" Oil in the winter?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by John in Hattiesburg, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. John in Hattiesburg

    John in Hattiesburg Filing Flight Plan

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    Do you guys switch to a "Lighter" Oil in the winter?
    if so what brand and weight?

    I'm flying behind a Conti 0-300 filled with Aeroshell 100 in Mississippi where winter temps occasionally approach 20-30F

    any suggestions appreciated
     
  2. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Didn’t we JUST do this?

    X/c all the things, add cam guard if you don’t fly often.
     
  3. Shuswap BC

    Shuswap BC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Aeroshell 15w50 year round.
     
  4. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    XC and camguard. Perfect cocktail
     
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  5. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Cleared for Takeoff

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    Same
     
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  6. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Aeroshell 100+ year round. But I probably don't get any "winter" by some of your standards. ("Really, it got below freezing *three* times this year?")
     
  7. John Myers

    John Myers Pre-Flight

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    I see the benefit of multigrade when the temps drop, I don’t see much benefit in the single grade when they don’t. Continental advises against switching oils in their latest SIL: http://www.tcmlink.com/pdf2/SIL19-04.pdf

    Continentals letter is light on data, but I think the idea is certain oils are different at cleaning certain deposits etc. than others, and switching can loosen things that cause issues.

    Pillips, plus camguard if you don’t fly often, seems to be at worst a good option and at best, the best. So time better spent on other things, is my view.
     
  8. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I switch to three-in-one machine oil in the winter time. I also add three quarts of automotive antifreeze to keep the oil from freezing.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
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  9. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Also, don't forget to switch to winter air in your tires. Summer air does not have the spec to handle harsh winter conditions.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  10. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Aeroshell synthetic on the left, Phillips XC on the right. Dark is 50 hour versions of each. Test tubes were placed in a freezer.

    429EA389-003D-4099-AD65-4D75463D38B9.png

    I took this pic at OSH ‘18 at the Aeroshell seminar, so you figure out how much bias there is or isn’t.

    I find myself a 30+ year student of oil. I work in the petrochemical industry. Take it for what it’s worth, which is about a cup of cheap coffee.

    Fly safe.
     
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  11. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Same same.
     
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  12. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Lesson #1. Don’t keep your engine in a freezer.
    Lesson #2. If you do, learn how to preheat.

    Wisdom from parking outside in Alaska for the past 25 years. Cold starting is usually limited by temps where you won’t frost plugs when it fires. At temps you’re going to start the above demo is useless. Smoke and mirrors.
     
  13. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That Cont bulletin is interesting, I have never seen anything before that cautioned against switching oil brands, they are all supposed to be compatible or at least so we've always been told.
    As for single vs multigrade, especially in cold weather I think multi is vital. I was told that as a demo a test engine, not in an airplane was started without preheat and using single weight 100 or 120. The had one of the valve covers off on the top of the engine and it took a over a minute for the oil to be pumped to the top end and began to lubricate the cam followers.
     
  14. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Blue bottles 24/7 365
     
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  15. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, it’s pretty amazing how tough engines are in general. In automotive engines, flow to the end of the oil train doesn’t happen immediately either. It’s not immediate destruction, but more a wear that occurs over time.
     
  16. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Maybe in BC, but give Aeroshell 100 for me in Mississippi in summer. The a multi grade in fall and winter.
     
  17. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Same same same
     
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  18. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    I thought synthetic oil is bad for our engines?

    Aeroshell 100 during warmer months, XC during colder months.


    Tom
     
  19. Aaronk25

    Aaronk25 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ya straight weight is outdated, old technology. The multiweight protects better even at higher oil temps. It also flows quicker at cold start.

    The only reason to use a straight 50w is storage. That is the ONLY REASON.


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  20. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Doesn’t matter. No consensus, no independent data or stats. Run thinner oil in colder weather. Run oil or additive packages recommended by engine mfgs. My opinion.
     
  21. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Goes with the blue box 24/7 365.
     
  22. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It’s a really good idea to swap out nav light fluid seasonally as well.
     
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  23. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Straight up synthetic did not play well with the lead. The current stuff is a mix.
    https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/eppages/aeroshelloils2.php
     

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  24. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Strobe fluid too
     
  25. Dana

    Dana Cleared for Takeoff

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    Just use automotive blinker fluid, it's the same stuff without the fancy label and a lot cheaper.
     
  26. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    FBO uses a multi grade year round. Either Shell 15w50 or Phillips XC 20w50. It’s important to note that even with a thinner oil viscosity, preheating is still the primary driver to keep your engine healthy during the colder months.
     
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  27. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    The typical fridge freezer is at -10°C. A deep freeze is at about -18°C. In my classes I demonstrated that thick oil after it had been in a fridge freezer overnight. -10°C. The viscosity difference between 80 or 100 and 15W50 was stark. We often did cold starts without preheat at -10 with the 15W50.
     
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  28. GMascelli

    GMascelli En-Route

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  29. Shuswap BC

    Shuswap BC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Around 5C I plug in my oil sump heater for 2 hours or so. -10C or colder around 4 or more hours.
     
  30. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

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    I like 8 hours with her wrapped up and cylinders are 80 plus with only a sump heater... Time is dependent on our equipment but the most important thing is to achieve what I call a “deep preheat”, as in not just thin oil but the entire engine warmed...
     
  31. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    If not for the thinning of the oil, then why?



    Tom
     
  32. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Multi-grade oil flows well at temps 0F and below, so it’s not necessarily the fact that the oil is too thick to flow and unable to create proper lubrication before the engine warms up. As I’ve been taught, the biggest reason for engine preheating is due to bearing clearances when the temps are cold and the metals contract. I wrote this in the other thread that’s going, so I’ll copy it here.

    The colder the temp is, the smaller the clearance between the bearing shells and the crankshaft are. If there’s not enough clearance, then there’s no room for the oil, regardless how high the oil pressure reads. The chances of metal to metal contact are much higher at this point. Go out and try to rotate the prop in cold weather and you’ll notice how hard it is to do. It’s obviously not because you’re running thick oil, (if you’re using a multi-grade), it’s because that clearance between the crankshaft and bearings are tighter than at a higher temp. So, you’re really heating up the engine to assist in metal expansion, to allow the oil to properly lubricate the crank journals etc., in the early moments of the start.
     
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  33. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    Lesson learned....always preheat the oil below 40 deg F. lol ;)

    ...and your flavor of oil won't matter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  34. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Back when I ran the Gopher engine I used straight 50 in the summer and straight 40 in the winter. It was always a little dicey when the weather got warm and I still had 40 in.

    I've never run other than 15W50 in the Continentals.
     
  35. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    I run XC20W-50 with CamGuard year ‘round, but I’m pretty limited on how far into the colder months I can fly by how much snow is on the runway. Funny thing, though- it gets darker a lot earlier in the cold months, but that’s not my oil. ;)
     
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  36. John in Hattiesburg

    John in Hattiesburg Filing Flight Plan

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    Looks like the general consensus here is multi-grade for the winter.... but 2 different camps on brand...
    The bargain blue bottle Phillips X/C 20W-50 ($5.85/gt) seems to have more fans than the more spendy AeroShell W15W-50 ($8.80/qt)

    Is either better for my 63 year old Continental vs a Lycoming?
    15W-50 vs 20W-50?
     

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  37. Aaronk25

    Aaronk25 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The 15w-50 semi synthetic oil has no business being in a leaded fueled airplane. The synthetic component just doesn’t do a good job suspending the lead bromine sludge. Also interesting that many top mechanics such as mike Busch seem to see high degree of cam/lifter pitting with this oil. I think it runs off quicker due to synthetic makeup.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  38. Shuswap BC

    Shuswap BC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ran many many engines on it, and they all went past TBO and flew on condition, including my current plane which has been on condition for the past 370 hours and still purrrs like a kitten on 15w50 Aeroshell. So it can't be terrible.
     
  39. Aaronk25

    Aaronk25 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Your plane must be flown a lot. The major concern is inactive time, with oil not staying on cam/lifters as long, but I’d also ask did you see how much lead was collected inside your engine?


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  40. Shuswap BC

    Shuswap BC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Every Aircraft Maintenance Engineer that has worked on my planes has commented on their internal cleanliness!
    And of course I fly frequently, no way would I have a plane just to leave it parked out in the field somewhere. But some months it might get less than 10 hours, I feel neglectful when it sits. Some years are slack and I only fly around 200 hours, most years are 250-350. In my 31 years of flying, many different planes, the only in flight engine issue I've had was a mag going out. Sure it lost some power, but flew her home fine, landed safely, and was a nothing burger. So I will continue to use the oil that has treated me extremely well year after year.
    But don't spread rumors it is bad stuff, because it is great!