Consider something as basic and elemental as oil for your engine. It is commonly held that there should never be any switching between single and multi-weight oils in your airplane engine. However, if for example you typically run on multi-grade but you are in an area where you can only get hold of single-grade, you can with perfect safety add the single grade to your engine.

Single-weight and multi-weight oils are in fact completely compatible. If you run on a single grade during the summer, but want to switch over to multi-grade for the winter, then you can safely replace the straight weight with the multi-grade when your next regularly-scheduled oil change comes due.

The notion that you have to forever stick with the type of oil you started with is rooted in days past when there was some at times highly strange chemistry being done with oil refining and formulae, and consequently different oils were very often incompatible with each other.

Another basic, elemental thing to know about concerns the spark plugs in your engine. To prevent spark plug lead fouling, try a product like Alcor TCP in your fuel. Alcor TCP is a superior lead scavenger.

TCP works by reducing the concentration of metallic lead deposits in the combustion chamber. Metallic lead comprises the small, marble-like lead beads which can be seen in the combustion chamber and the exhaust port. You should keep in mind, however, that TCP does not prevent ground fouling due to the fact that this is a carbon – based fouling on which TCP will have no effect.

One excellent airplane maintenance manual that you should keep with you is Douglas S. Carmody’s Airplane Maintenance and Repair – a Manual for Owners, Builders, Technicians, and Pilots. According to one reviewer…

“Carmody explains clearly what kinds of troubleshooting you are, and are not, legally allowed to handle, and takes you step-by-step through 29 procedures.
He covers repairs to and aircraft maintenance of engines, airframes, electrical systems, fuel systems, Hydraulic systems and brakes, tires and propellers. How to keep a maintenance log, selection and use of tools, and a bolt chart are also included.”