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How it works: Winterization kit

Keeping the engine warm

Airplane flying is a year-round activity, so long as you and the airplane are properly equipped. In parts of the country where temperatures routinely dip below freezing, keeping an airplane functioning in top condition may involve installing a winterization kit.
How it Works
Illustration by Steve Karp

Components of a winterization kit help the engine work optimally in several ways. For example, the kit in this illustration, designed for a Cessna 120, has a cover that restricts the flow of air over the oil tank so that oil temperatures can come up faster and stay high longer. Similarly, a cowl grill cover restricts airflow to the cylinder fins. The winterization kit for a Cessna 172 might consist simply of a cowl plate cover.

When winter’s over and temperatures start to rise, the kit components need to be removed to prevent them from producing excessively high oil temperatures, which could damage the engine.

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Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who is part-owner of a Cessna 182Q.

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