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5 Things Oil Does Inside Your Engine

This story was made in partnership with ATP Flight School. Check out the full series here. Ready to become a pilot? Get started with ATP here.

The oil system provides lubrication for many components inside a piston engine, but you might be surprised what else it can do.....

1) Lubricates

First, oil lubricates engine components to prevent friction and wear.

2) Cools And Heats

Because of its high viscosity, oil regulates temperature well. It warms up and softens to allow free movement of components. Oil also regulates heat by absorbing of the energy generated by friction.

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3) Seals

Due to its high viscosity, oil builds up in gaps and connection points, which essentially helps keep many engine components sealed.

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4) Actuates

As is the case with a constant speed propeller, oil can actuate systems. In this case, it changes the pitch of the propeller.

5) Cleans

Notice how old oil comes out dark and dirty? It traps contaminants in the engine. When you change your oil, you're also cleaning your engine.

Corey Komarec

Have you ever wondered why oil is streaking down your cowling? Click here to find out why.


Thinking about becoming a pilot? Get started with ATP Flight School, and find out how to start your aviation career here.


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