How to Take Care of Your Boat's Diesel Engine

Posted on: 23 June 2017


A diesel engine might be the best choice for a larger and heavier boat, as this type of engine is made for supporting heavier loads. While a diesel engine is meant to be very strong and durable, it will still need regular maintenance and repairs; note a few tips for taking care of your boat's diesel engine so you know it will last as long as possible and always be ready to go when you're ready to hit the waters.

Bleed the fuel system

A diesel engine will sometimes get air trapped inside the fuel lines, which can cause the engine to sputter and stall. Bleeding the fuel line of this air will keep the engine running smoothly; to do this, locate what are called bleed screws along the fuel line. These should be marked, or your owner's manual may point out which screw is for bleeding the engine. Fill the tank with petrol, and then release the bleed screws. You may hear air escaping out of the lines when you do; tighten the screws again once you're done, and the lines should be free of any trapped air.

Fuel filters

Your diesel boat engine needs to have its fuel filters changed often, as these filters will trap not just the contaminants you would expect in any diesel engine, but also any excess water that makes its way to the lines. Changing fuel filters is often very easy, and your owner's manual can tell you when this should be done, according to your use of the boat. You should also change these filters when you're ready to take the boat out for the first time after the winter season.

Draining the fuel line

If your diesel boat engine sits in storage for many days or weeks before you use it again, the engine may collect high amounts of contamination in the fuel lines, as this contamination would otherwise be burned with that fuel when you run the engine. Draining the fuel line and starting with fresh fuel rids of the lines of contamination and also of any excess water that's collected in the fuel itself.

To drain the fuel line, look for what is called a lift pump. This will pump fuel out of the lines even when the engine is not turned on; use this pump to remove all fuel in the tank, return it to its place and then refill the tank with fresh fuel before starting it.