View Full Version : Red Band Oil - What Is It?

Roger Roger
4th Apr 2008, 11:44
What is this thing. I have heard several different accounts - none to convincing. I don't have an engineer friend to ask..

Can someone please explain;

1. What type of oil this is?
2. When should it be used?
3. Which oil companies make Red Band?
4. Does it come in a variety of viscosity ratings or just one?
5. Anything else one should know about it.


4th Apr 2008, 12:03
From a quick google it seems that this product was renamed in the late 1940's to Esso aviation oil 100. It's a non-dispersant, mineral oil.

The Esso data sheet is HERE in PDF format (http://www.imperialoil.ca/Canada-English/Files/Products_Lubes/IOCAENAVIESAviation.pdf)

4th Apr 2008, 12:14
It's used in piston engines after engine overhaul in order to help bed in the piston rings. Not having a dispersant allows grit to form and remain in the oil.

flite idol
4th Apr 2008, 13:12
I always thought oil in the red band was too hot or low on pressure.......shut it down Hoskins`

Roger Roger
5th Apr 2008, 10:18
Thanks Matt and Checkerboard.

So how long would you excpect to use Red Band oil for? 100hrs or more.

If standard oil was used/mixed with Red Band oil would this result in some sort of degredation to engine life in the long run?

5th Apr 2008, 11:32
We use it here in Canada in our P&W 985s out of overhaul for the reasons previously stated re the rings seating. We run it for 50 hours then flush and change to W100.
It is difficult to come by if you are remote from the big refinery areas, Mixing is not reccommended as are many oil types due foaming, integrity etc. There are operators who run from overhaul with W100 without using 100 at all. There is no manadatory requirement but it may be a warranty requirement from the shop who did the overhaul.


Old Fella
5th Apr 2008, 12:02
Mobil "Red Band" lubricating oil, AirBP 100 and Shell 100 oils are all suitable for use in piston engines during the initial period following assembly, whether from the factory as a new engine or following engine overhaul. Red Band is usually used for the first 50 to 100 hours. Different engine manufacturers recommend different periods during which Red Band, OR ITS EQUIVALENT, should be used.

5th Apr 2008, 12:44
And some engine manufacturers prescribe it's use for the life of the engine.

What engine is it that you're putting it in? If you're not sure how long to use it for/it's not stated then contact the engine manufacturer or one of their approved agents in your locale, they should be able to tell you.

Roger Roger
8th Apr 2008, 00:50
Old Fella, thanks for the feedback.

So am I correct in thinking that "Red Band" is a generic name Mobil gives to thier 100 oil product?

In essence BP and Shell make the same product but do not call it "Red Band" rather just 100?

Is it only Mobil that call it "Red Band"?


Old Fella
8th Apr 2008, 03:36
Roger Roger, as far as I am aware Aeroshell 100, Mobil Red Band and BP Aviation Oil 100 are all 'non-compound' (no additives) mineral oils suitable for use during the initial period of engine life. Different manufacturers specify different hours of operation during which Red Band, or an equivalent, should be used. Other posters to this thread have suggested that some even suggest it be used throughout the life of the engine. Mobil is the only provider which calls their product Red Band as far as I am aware. You may care to look at the Esso link provided by Matt_Hooks in one of his posts. My only other suggestion is that, if you are really wanting to know the "good oil" on this matter you could call Mobil, Aeroshell or Air BP technical advice lines.