Engine oil is fairly essential for the proper functionality of engine assemblies, serving to lubricate moving parts while also reducing heat through thermal transfer. To ensure that engines remain safe and efficient, one will need to conduct regular engine oil servicing to replenish levels as quantities get low. While one may think that consistent servicing to keep engine oil quantities topped off will make things easier, it can lead to over-servicing which is a condition where an excessive amount of oil is supplied. As this can result in a variety of issues, ranging from part stress to higher costs, it is important that one knows the risks of over-servicing and how to avoid it.
As an excessive amount of oil is supplied to an assembly, one of the first issues that will occur is high-pressure stress. This is a result of the excessive pressure from the oil being squeezed within a limited space, causing stress to be placed on gearbox seals. As gearbox seals continue to degrade, they will eventually fail. Failed seals are a big concern as oil will leak out into assemblies or cause visible streaks across the cowling. When such leaks occur, the aircraft will have to be grounded so that servicing may be carried out. While streaks across the cowling may not be particularly hazardous, they can still cause various issues like surface deterioration. As a last common issue, any leaks or over-servicing problems will cause unnecessary downtime and expenses that are best avoided through proper practices.
When it comes time to begin service, no oil should be added after shutdown until the present oil has enough time to stabilize. Oftentimes, this wait will range between 15 to 45 minutes, and one may refer to their model’s maintenance manual to determine the exact timing. Additionally, oil levels should only be filled based on the recommendations of the maintenance manual so that issues with over-pressurization do not occur. As serving engine oil can be somewhat complex for those who are newer to working with such assemblies, there are always ample video walk-throughs available on the internet that can guide you based on the specific model in question.
As varying engines may differ in numerous ways, it is always recommended that you familiarize yourself with the “personality” of your engine. What this means is that it is important to know how accurate or sensitive quantity gauging is, how fast consumption occurs, and other factors that may help you to better determine when it is time to conduct servicing. Once you have replenished enough oil to reach proper levels, you should always finish by checking the servicing cap O-ring to see whether or not it is in working condition so that a replacement can be made if needed. Aside from such steps, you should also always maintain a log of engine oil consumption for reference.
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