To keep myself awake while watching TV in the evenings, I will read other aviation magazines or pull them up on the internet. One of the main purposes for this is to learn what the latest in aviation lubrication thinking is. The other is for a good laugh.
Recently, I was reading an article on aviation lubrication do’s and don’ts. The author had evidently worked in the aviation industry and had a few good points.
However, he made a statement to the effect that the only two ways to get rid of moisture in the oil was to change the oil or add this additive that, I assume, he was advertising or selling.
I read the article over several times, and he never mentioned the best way, which is evaporation. This is like talking about Dec. 25 and not mentioning Christmas (and I hope you all had a merry one).
The article went on and on about things that are nice to know and do, but missed the necessary things to do.
I have written about this many times, but people still do not understand the basics. If you want your engine to go full TBO, the two things you need to do to give you the best chance is make sure the oil temperature is around 180°F and fly your plane regularly.
If you do these two things, it does not really matter which oil or additive you use, how long you warm up your engine, how you hold your mouth when priming your engine, or any other of a long list of things to do.
When you get your oil temperature up to 180°F in level flight, as the oil goes through the engine it typically picks up about 50°F. This means that some of the oil in the engine, usually that coming off the underside of the pistons, is around 230°F. This is hot enough to boil off the water in the oil, since water boils at 212°F.
If you operate at these conditions for a while, all of the water in the oil is magically gone. You do not need to change the oil after every flight or add an expensive additive.
Now there is one other part of this method, and that is you will need to calibrate your oil temperature gauge.
Unfortunately, a lot of gauges only have a green band and others are way off calibration.
I strongly recommend that you take your oil temperature sending unit out and put it in a container of oil or water. Set the container on a hot plate and put a good thermometer in the liquid, along with your oil temp sensor. Now watch the thermometer and when your liquid gets to 180°F, look at what your gauge reads. If your gauge only has a green band, paint a mark at the 180°F point.
Now you will need to make changes to ensure that your engine runs near that 180°F mark in level flight. You may need to fix your baffles and seals or have your oil system bypass adjusted. You do not have to get exactly to 180°F, but you need to be near that range to boil off the moisture.
I do not have any problem with an approved additive or changing your oil more often. However, many people think that they do not have to bother with details like getting their oil temperature right if they use a miracle additive. My experience has shown this to be very poor and, in most cases, very expensive logic.