Lubricants intended for use in aircraft engines require close attention. The weights of these lubricants are extremely important when considering OEM-specifications for the engines in which they may be employed. If an incorrect weight is chosen, or a wrong lubricant type, the improper lubrication characteristics can actually increase wear and damage internal components.
Aviation Oil Weights are either one of two varieties: Single grade and multigrade.
Single-Grade Viscosity Oils may be straight mineral oils (commonly used for engine break-in) but are more commonly mineral oils infused with certain additives intended to provide proper lubrication for extended usage. Single-grade straight mineral oils for aircraft engines are used primarily in the engine break-in process. Single-grade mineral oils with additives are commonly used for lubrication of aviation engines while in flight. Sometimes these oils may not be best for use in aircraft operating frequently in cold weather, due to increased start up times and, as a result, increased wear.
When operating aircraft in freezing temperatures, Multi-Grade aviation oil is almost always used. Engine components are quickly lubricated during startup. Without the unique properties of multi-grade oil, engine wear can occur in the first few minutes of engine startup, before certain oils can actually travel through the engine. Generally speaking, these oils receive their increased performance characteristics from Viscosity Index (VI) Improvers. Sometimes, however, these oils can contribute to engine wear during periods of non-usage. Engine wear, though, is inevitable: deciding which oils to use in which circumstances can only help you minimize this risk, never eliminate it.
When choosing between one and the other, one should consider his or her flying tendencies. If you are constantly flying in cold weather, you may want to opt for the multi-weight oil – when temperatures increase, it may be a good idea to switch to a single-grade oil. If you are constantly flying in moderate temperatures, a single-weight oil may be all you need.
If you need help choosing an oil for your aircraft engine, please call us at 1-855-899-7467.
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