nasty stuff to the crankcase that would otherwise be expelled out the breather.
It’s usually best not to keep the oil level at the top of the dipstick.
Oil consumption can be exacerbated by
filling the sump to the top mark on the
dipstick. Many engines don’t like that and
will promptly toss a quart or two overboard
until the level decreases to one the engine
There’s no reason to fill the oil to the
brim. Before an engine can be certified, the
FAA requires the manufacturer to demonstrate that it runs just fine in all normal flight
attitudes with the oil sump filled to just one-half capacity. Most engines can function with
even less oil than that. If you’re curious how
much less, consult the engine’s type certificate data sheet, available on the FAA website.
As a rule of thumb, I recommend operating most engines at about two-thirds of the
maximum sump capacity. That means running 8-quart engines at about 5 or 6 quarts
and 12-quart engines at about 8 quarts. If
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