Oil Level

What oil level is best for the SR20 where it mostly keeps the oil in the engine. I find that my plane throws it overboard as soon as I pass 6 quarts. I do not feel confident at that level but wanted to know how other folks manage their levels

Keep it at 6

I keep my at 6 too. I do find that if I climb at Vy, bank the heck out of my plane, or fly it low and fast, I will drop to 5.75 quarts. But never on 1 flight of doing all of that!

Mine likes it at about 6 quarts. Change it at 35-40 hrs

Exactly the same experience. Anything over 6 ends up all over the underside.

Remember though you have to check it cold. To me that means overnight.

Even after it sits for an hour or 2 after flight there is still going to be at least half a quart up in the engine



As you see, many folks run the IO-360 with six quarts. I have an unusually non-oil consuming engine, so the dipstick usually indicates seven+ quarts.

As per His Handiness, Mike Busch, “FAA regs require that an 8-quart-capacity wet-sump engine operate with 4 quarts in all normal flight attitudes.” So six quarts provides plenty of safety margin.

I understand that in the overall scheme of things, oil level and consumption are among the lesser worries of aircraft ownership. (Of course, a sudden change should trigger investigation.)

Thanks for all the responses. Make huge sense now.

And in fact, the IO-550-N will maintain oil pressure down to 3.5 quarts. The TCDS for the IO-550-N lists “unusable oil” as being 3.5 quarts. And when one of our Cirrus clients recently suffered a catastrophic in-flight engine failure due to massive lubrication failure (because a mechanic at a well-known Cirrus Authorized Service Center neglected to secure the rocker covers on a cylinder that he had removed and reinstalled) and the airplane made a successful dead-stick landing, the dipstick read precisely 3.5 quarts.

Alfred, if you spend the small amount of money and join COPA, you will find plenty of discussion on this topic in the member-only archives. For example, you will find out about the Garfinkle extension that will let you keep 7 quarts in your engine and maintain a clean belly. It worked for me.


Oops, never mind.

Question about oil level in a SR22TN. I check the oil cold in the morning and make sure I full up to between 6 and 7. Then I fly for 3 hours. After a 2 hour break I check the oil and continue to fly for another 2 hours. Then the next morning the oil level was at 5 or 4.8. This is due most likely to a small oil leakage as there was on arrival oil at the tail belly. At what oil level is an engine in danger of being damaged?