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The ultimate aim of any maintenance program should be to stop problems before they start; unfortunately, the aim of many of these programs is to charge as much as possible.

Here are the main points to consider when servicing your engines:

  • Is it receiving clean fuel? - Check tanks and, if needed, clean.
  • Is the fuel treated to stop algae forming while the vessel is laid up? - If not, do it now. This alone could save a lot of money and downtime. When fuel filters are changed the engines should be run up with the treated fuel to ensure that no contamination takes place in the fuel system.
  • Are the cooling circuits clean and free from scale? - It does not matter how much water is going through the system if the heat cant get out. Cooling systems should be cleaned annually, not dismantled but cleaned using a flushing system. Impellers should be removed and checked for wear. Anodes should be replaced as a matter of course. If they are not worn down, there is something wrong with the way they are set up. Anodes are there to sacrifice themselves for the good of the engine.
  • Change the engine oil before the start of the lay up! - This will allow clean, fresh oil to coat the engine rather than dirty, acidy oil which will start to erode the engine. Always take oil samples, as this is the easiest and securest way of checking the condition of the units.
  • A stethoscope can be used to check for any warning noises in the engines, if it is good enough for humans it is most certainly good enough to pick up off notes in the mechanics of an engine.
  • Last, but by no means least, check all hoses and belts for correct fit and chafing. When performing this work, keep your eyes open for potential problems and keep everything immaculate as this makes working much easier.
  • On the subject of preventive maintenance, why not clean your AC circuits and your water circuits while you have the time and the equipment is onboard?


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Updated 04/03/2008