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Oil Change Interval

  • James Ott
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1 year 5 months ago #13417 by James Ott
James Ott created the topic: Oil Change Interval
A point of confusion has come up in a discussion some fellow Rotax 912 owners and I have had recently regarding oil change intervals for the 912uls engine. In the latest engine maintenance manual scheduled maintenance section it says 100 hours oil change interval for unleaded Mogas fuel usage. It says 50 hours for leaded avgas usage more than 30% of the time. However, recently I happened to read the Rotax Service Instruction Bulletin SI-912-016R8 on choosing proper operating fluids, and in there paragraph 3.3 has a note that says: it is RECOMMENDED that a 25 hour oil change interval be used for leaded avgas usage. Which document should we be following? We are all using the Aeroshell Sport +4 engine oil.

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1 year 5 months ago #13418 by RotaxOwner Admin
RotaxOwner Admin replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
The SI was released two months later than the newest 912 Maintenance manual revision, so as a general rule the SI recommendation ("most recent") should supersede the Maintenance Manual's recommendation. I have asked the factory to clarify...

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1 year 5 months ago #13419 by Roger Lee
Roger Lee replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
25 hr. For 100LL. Most owners use 50 hrs. for unleaded auto fuel. I personally don't know anyone that goes to 100 hrs.

Roger Lee
LSRM-A & Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
Tucson, AZ Ryan Airfield (KRYN)
520-574-1080 Home (TRY HOME FIRST)
520-349-7056 Cell

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1 year 5 months ago #13420 by Tom Kodey
Tom Kodey replied the topic: Oil Change Interval

Roger Lee wrote: 25 hr. For 100LL. Most owners use 50 hrs. for unleaded auto fuel. I personally don't know anyone that goes to 100 hrs.


Not arguing Roger and I've heard the same elsewhere but I haven't seen anything in any Rotax documentation I've seen, requirement, recommendation or anything that indicates 50 hrs for unleaded auto fuel. The MM has a 100/50 requirement for unleaded auto fuel/100LL and the SI has a 25 hr recommendation for 100LL but the SI doesn't mention a recommendation for anything shorter than 100 hrs for unleaded auto fuel. I know the common practice is 50 hrs but, unless I've missed it, the Rotax documentation doesn't mention it.

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1 year 5 months ago - 1 year 5 months ago #13421 by Roger Lee
Roger Lee replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
HI Tom,

You're right it isn't in writing. It is what many teach in class and what owners and mechanics follow. It isn't written, but the majority follow. As a user its up to you to do the best for your engine and hopefully you'll be like some with 3000+ hours on your engine with no major work.

The oil is your engine's blood and just like people if it gets diseased or you pollute it with the diet you feed it and its life is shortened.
$55 to maintain a healthy engine is pretty cheap. Nothing about boating, motorcycles, planes or othe hobbies is cheap.


Keep it healthy and it will take care of you.

Roger Lee
LSRM-A & Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
Tucson, AZ Ryan Airfield (KRYN)
520-574-1080 Home (TRY HOME FIRST)
520-349-7056 Cell
Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Roger Lee.

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1 year 5 months ago #13431 by Tom Kodey
Tom Kodey replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
Thanks, Roger. Agree with that. I wasn't really advocating longer change intervals, I've always just found it odd that Rotax doesn't include that recommendation in the same area where they recommended the 25 hrs with 100LL.

You're right, though. More frequent oil changes is a pretty cheap way towards a longer engine life.

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1 year 5 months ago #13432 by James Ott
James Ott replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
Thanks for the responses. I agree totally with Roger, but I am concerned about 2 friends who recently decided (after reading only the maintenance manual schedule) to go to 100 hrs with Mogas and 50 hrs with 100LL.

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1 year 5 months ago - 1 year 5 months ago #13438 by Roger Lee
Roger Lee replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
Tell your friends to always look for and read SB, SI and SL as they will usually preceded any manual changes. They absolutely need to attend at least a Service level class for their engine and if they fail to do that need to use a Rotax maint. Tech to work on their engine because they will not have the knowledge to properly maintain their engine. Have your friends talk to a long time authorized Rotax mechanic.

Shaving dollars on something that is supposed to keep you in the air and not add to an untimely death is not the place to skimp on knowledge or money. It's not just about the engine, but the entire plane, aeronautical knowledge and skills.

My personal experience has shown that aircraft owners that either pinch pennies or cut corners tend to have more costly issues and injuries over others.

Roger Lee
LSRM-A & Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
Tucson, AZ Ryan Airfield (KRYN)
520-574-1080 Home (TRY HOME FIRST)
520-349-7056 Cell
Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Roger Lee.

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1 year 4 months ago #13632 by RotaxOwner Admin
RotaxOwner Admin replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
I finally got the scoop on this from the factory.

"50 hours is enough" ( the maintenance manual has the correct oil change interval ).

The SI will be corrected to read 50 hours at the next revision.

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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #13633 by Roger Lee
Roger Lee replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
""50 hours is enough" ( the maintenance manual has the correct oil change interval ).
The SI will be corrected to read 50 hours at the next revision."

Are you saying that Rotax is going to a 50 hr. oil change for 100LL after they recommended 25 hr oil change in some publications?

Roger Lee
LSRM-A & Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
Tucson, AZ Ryan Airfield (KRYN)
520-574-1080 Home (TRY HOME FIRST)
520-349-7056 Cell
Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by Roger Lee.

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1 year 4 months ago #13635 by RotaxOwner Admin
RotaxOwner Admin replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
Affirmative! In that Service Instruction, the "25 hours" was a typo.
50 hours has been confirmed as the correct service interval.

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1 year 4 months ago #13636 by Rob Seaton
Rob Seaton replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
I think it means they will eliminate the 100hr oil change limit and replace it with a 50hr limit.

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1 year 4 months ago #13637 by Rob Seaton
Rob Seaton replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
I was corrected: sounds like the 25hr will be eliminated.

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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #13638 by Roger Lee
Roger Lee replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
Hmmmmmmmmmmm,

I have to think a 25 hr. would do a better lead removal over 50 hr., but no big deal.
I had always hoped they would change the 100 hr. to 50. Everyone I know that uses 91 oct. uses 50 hr. I don't think I know a single owner that uses 100 hr. I'm sure they do though.

Roger Lee
LSRM-A & Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
Tucson, AZ Ryan Airfield (KRYN)
520-574-1080 Home (TRY HOME FIRST)
520-349-7056 Cell
Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by Roger Lee.

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1 year 4 months ago #13639 by Rob Seaton
Rob Seaton replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
Long time ago we examined an engine for a guy who used Wal-Mart oil at $2.00 Qt and ran it for 100hrs between oil changes.
He thought he was saving money. :(

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1 year 4 months ago #13644 by James Ott
James Ott replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
So just to clarify: What I am hearing now is just follow the maintenance manual which says:

- 100 hours for 91 AKI Mogas (with or w/o up to 10% alcohol)

- 50 hours for 100LL used 30% of the time or more.

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1 year 1 month ago #14634 by Glenn
Glenn replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
FWIW I just returned from the 912 Service Class at Lockwood and it was stressed that 25 hour oil change interval should be used if burning 100 LL most of the time. Also the lead that has accumulated and settled in the bottom of the oil tank is likely to be recirculated along with the new oil. Lead is bad. I'm cleaning my oil tank every 25 hours because I run nothing but 100 LL. A little extra time involved but most likely worth the extra time. Oil and a filter is cheap in the long run.

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1 year 1 month ago #14639 by Roger Lee
Roger Lee replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
With the lead I see in oil tanks and the oil 25 hrs. might be a good place to stick. I also prefer and almost all the people I know that use 50 hrs. for unleaded fuel. If you went to 50 and 100 I don't think the world would end.

The final choice is up to you.

Roger Lee
LSRM-A & Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
Tucson, AZ Ryan Airfield (KRYN)
520-574-1080 Home (TRY HOME FIRST)
520-349-7056 Cell

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1 month 4 weeks ago #17233 by Tapio Pirilä
Tapio Pirilä replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
Hello!
My Rotax 912UL from 1999 is still in superb condition, I am a new owner. Having seen the black oil even after 50 hours at R. maintenance course I am thinking if I change at 25 hour intervals with semisynth motorcycle oil JASO MA API SL, that is more easily available and a bit cheaper than Aeroshell. Ok?

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1 month 4 weeks ago - 1 month 4 weeks ago #17236 by Roger Lee
Roger Lee replied the topic: Oil Change Interval
Hi Tapio,
The color of your oil is not an indicator of its lubrication properties. When fossil fuels burn they produce carbon and that's all you are seeing is the oil doing its job in removing carbon and other contaminates. The only way to tell how an oil is doing would be testing which in most cases more expensive than just changing oil at a regular interval. Most I know change oil with 100LL at 25 hrs. and 50 hrs. using auto fuel. If you can get Aero Shell Sport Plus 4 I would stick with that even if it cost a tad more. It was tested and formulated just for the Rotax over years and thousands of hours of use. If you can't get it then use a good motorcycle oil with a reasonably high ZDDP additive package. If one oil you pick only has let's say 1000 ppm of ZDDP and the other 1500 ppm ZDDP then use the 1500 ppm motorcycle oil. Do not use a car oil and do not use a full synthetic with 100LL. The full synthetic will not suspend the lead. Changing oil at 25 hrs. with auto fuel is just a waste of your money. 50 hrs. is more than on the safe side. Some people do use their oil longer than 50 hrs. I'm personally not a fan of this and I don't personally know of anyone that does this.

My 2 cents:
I look at oil in our engine as its blood. If you disease the blood, just like a person they expire early in life. It's easy to keep the blood and the engine in good health. In the long run it's usually cheaper to keep the engine maintained to a good standard than to pay all the money later due to early wear.


Here is an older oil comparison article that may help answer some questions. It's published by Amsoil, but a good educational read:

www.oil-tech.com/amsoil-pdf-files/motorcycle-oil-comparison.pdf

Roger Lee
LSRM-A & Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
Tucson, AZ Ryan Airfield (KRYN)
520-574-1080 Home (TRY HOME FIRST)
520-349-7056 Cell
Last Edit: 1 month 4 weeks ago by Roger Lee.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Tapio Pirilä

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