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The marine diesel engine of your sailboat is at the heart of everything — when it is working properly, you will be able to smoothly sail through the waters, but when it starts acting up, you will have to take some time out of the waters to make the necessary repairs. Though not all marine diesel boats are designed to operate exactly the same way, you can keep any diesel-powered boat engine in good working order with these simple maintenance tips.
Keep the engine compartment clean
One of the worst enemies of your diesel engine is the dirt and other marine elements that accumulate on the external surface of the engine over time. If the exterior of the engine is not regularly cleaned, the buildup can easily hide serious defects that may lead to engine malfunction or failure. Regular cleaning helps ensure that you have a good look at your engine when you are carrying out visual inspections.
Steam cleaning is an effective way to make your diesel engine look brand new again, while allowing you to detect any wear and tear of parts that might have occurred. But you have to make sure you use the right cleaning products, as not all products can deliver the desired cleaning results — some only lead to nitpicky issues.
Most boat manufacturers provide a list of products that boat owners can use to clean the exteriors of their boat engine compartment (as well as some popular cleaning products that should be avoided), so be sure to check your boat manufacturer's official website for proper guidance.
Change engine oil and fuel filters on a timely basis
The oil that is usually poured into marine diesel engines performs many important functions. It helps cool the engine, thus minimising the risk of overheating problems. Engine oil also serves as a lubricating agent for the various moving parts of the engine, including the bearings, the journal and so on. If the oil that helps keep the engine cool and well-lubricated is not changed in good time, it might lead to the aforementioned issues.
When diesel gets combusted, it produces a significant amount of carbon, thus explaining why old engine oil has a burnt smell and looks sooty after some hours of operation. When you notice that your engine oil has changed colour, it is best to change it. If you refer to your boat owner's manual, you will find instructions on how frequently you should change diesel engine oil. It is a good practice to replace fuel filters when you are changing engine oil — the two components are designed to work together to ensure optimal engine operation.
If you need any assistance when it comes to keeping your diesel engine sailboat in tiptop working condition, feel free to approach a qualified boat service technician.Share