February 1999 Issue

Oil’s Secrets

Oil analysis can hint at engine health, but donít expect miracles

While it may not have the sex appeal of politics or religion, oil analysis will spark some lively debate if you put together a group of pilots or mechanics. Some people shrug it off as an expensive exercise in futility that tells little about the inner secrets of engine wear. Others swear to their engineís health if they get good sample results and get ready to shoot it if they donít.

In fact, the true value of analysis is somewhere in the middle. It canít tell you how long your engine is going to live and itís far from a sure-fire way to predict catastrophic failure. On the other hand, experienced eyes can spot wear trends that can catch minor problems before they turn into big ones. Whe...

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Aviation Safety

The monthly journal of risk management and accident prevention, is packed with useful, timely information on basic and advanced technique, accident analysis and, most important, practical articles on how you can develop the judgment that will keep you in the air and out of the NTSB's files.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.