Shopping for Oil

November 12, 2009 by Alton K Marsh

I went to the AutoZone today to get oil for the Remos. Weird experience. NAPA told me I was making a mistake by putting motorcycle oil in an airplane, and so I took my business to AutoZone instead. Sears is a Valvolene dealer but refused to order it. We’ll run 100LL in the airplane. Earlier in this space we mentioned that there are discussions on whether ethanol in mogas can dissolve the epoxy in carbon fiber. The company has also discussed the issue and is determining whether ethanol can cause such a problem.

UPDATE: We’re going to use Aeroshell Sport Plus 4 in the future.

16 Responses to “Shopping for Oil”

  1. jay wilkes Says:

    My understanding is if it has less then 10 percent ethanol in auto fuel its ok, at least thats the way it is with my flight design.

  2. Andrew Poth Says:

    It’s a shame that Remos didn’t put a liner of some kind into the fuel tank that can withstand ethanol, MTBE, and all the other garbage that oil companies are likely to put into auto fuel. Ethanol is added seasonally, but even when it’s not supposed to be in the fuel, one has no way of knowing for sure, short of sampling and testing. If the engine is designed to safely run on auto fuel, it is likely that the aircraft will be fueled with it at some point in its life, even if only in an emergency. It’s disconcerting to think that the one time it’s done might be the plane’s last flight, even if it doesn’t end in a crash.

  3. Daniel De Boer Says:

    What brand, type and weight oil are you running in your Remos?

  4. John Broaddus Says:

    I have a Remos G3/600 and use AeroShell Oil Sport PLUS 4. It is approved by Rotax and has the Rotax logo on the bottle. Can be used if burning 100LL or MOGAS (WITHOUT ETHANOL!!)

  5. Alton K Marsh Says:

    Thanks John (Broaddus),
    That’s valuable information as I mentioned offline. We will look for that. Tell us how to find the mogas without ethanol and Remos project director Jill Tallman will look into it. –Al Marsh

  6. ron gibson Says:

    i’ve been using Honda 10W-40 motorcycle oil in my 912ULS – the dealer is only a couple of miles from the airport, and I can buy it in gallon containers. They also carry the NGK spark plugs specified for this engine. I’ve only used 100LL in my Tecnam Bravo since I bought it in April of 2006.

  7. John Broaddus Says:

    MOGAS without ethanol is scarce these days. Some airports still have it, as do some BP stations, but the fuel should be tested. EAA makes such a tester for $15.00 which accurately indicates the percentage of ethanol in the fuel being tested. I use 100LL with an additive, Decalin, which effectively scavenges out the lead. Decalin is available from Aircraft Spruce, and can be carried aboard the aircraft. The other additive, TCP, works in the same way, but cannot be carried aboard the aircraft. Also, running the engine at higher RPM’s (5100 – 5300) will help keep lead from accumulating on plugs and valves. I change plugs every 50 hours, and so far (150 hours total time now), no lead deposits at all. Oil tank should be cleaned and checked every 50 hours for lead and carbon deposits if running 100LL predominately.

  8. Alton K Marsh Says:

    We are switching to Aeroshell Sport Plus 4.

  9. Kenneth R. Dunn (Ken) Says:

    Hi- Who is doing the annual inspections on these planes? I live in Bend, Oregon and am an authorized ROTAX iRMT up at Roberts Field (KRDM) in Redmond, Oregon. I have sent Remos Aircraft in California an email asking if they need someone to do the inspections. No answer yet.

    I went to the Reno Air Races this year and saw the Remos LSA, a very nice looking plane!

    It seems you are having fun with the plane and are getting good advice with the maintenance of it. FYI : we have a shell station that sells ethanol free for off road use only, and the last time I checked it was $3.79 a gallon. Be careful with using 100LL as we were told it can load up different parts in the motor if the proper maintenance wasn’t performed.

    Good Luck with the airplane! I hope I win it !!


  10. Alton K Marsh Says:

    Hi, Ken,
    As far as I understand any certified mechanic can do annual inspections on sport aircraft. To work on the Rotax engine there needs to be factory training. The owner can, too, with training (it takes 100 to 150 hours of training) leading to the title of repairman-light sport aircraft. See more about that here:

    As for us in particular, Remos maintenance personnel have advised us to seek someone with Rotax experience. The school, Chesapeake Sport Pilot at Bay Bridge Airport, Maryland, is an approved Rotax service center and takes care of all the Tecnam aircraft in the school’s fleet (it is also a sport pilot school offering sport and private pilot certificates).

    Thanks for the advice on being careful with 100LL.

    We’re taking good care of the keys so we won’t lose them prior to your winning the Remos!

  11. Catherine Shorrock Says:

    At last the truth!

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