Engine Service - Tips and tricks

This week we finally get around to our engine service. We have done a few videos covering this topic so we thought that this time we would just cover some of the tips and tricks that we have learnt along the way. As well as the engine service we finished off a few jobs that just need doing at the beginning of the season and complete a host of small jobs that just need doing.

Small jobs

  • Updating the chart plotters software - We like to get this done at the beginning of the season. You need to make sure that you have plenty of good quality broadband to do it and do not switch off your equipment when it is updating
  • Adding a safety light to our horse shoe buoy - We were given an old one and we did contemplate servicing it, but when we found out that we could buy a new one at £13.50, we just bought one.
  • Cleaning our dinghy - We actually went out and bought some Inflatable boat cleaner and it did a fantastic job. You need thicker kitchen gloves when using the product because it dissolved our thin nytral gloves.

Tips on servicing our engine

  • Turn the engine by hand - If an engine has not been started for a long time, turn the engine by hand so that the oil is spread around the engine. To do this use either a spanner or a long screwdriver across the drive pulley. This gives great leverage and helps turn the engine
  • Start the engine with the seacock closed - This is only needed if the engine has not been started for a long time. The reason for this advice is because you need the exhaust gases to push the water out. If the engine does not start then you can be pumping water through the system, but you will not be getting rid of the water, so it can start to build up and eventually it wiil back up into the engine and hydro-lock the engine which is not good. So start the engine then open the seacock, or if you have someone on hand get them to open the seacock as soon as the engine is started,
  • Apply a load to the engine - Make sure that you are secured to the pontoon and after you have started the engine apply a load. Diesel engines work much better when they have a load on them. Running the engine like this will aslo make sure that everything is working correctly.
  • Use a bag around the filter - This has never worked for us but we have been told to use a sandwich bag rather than a big bag, so next time we will give that a go.
  • Use white paint to highlight marks - If your engine needs to be set in a particular way, so that you can for example prime the pump, use tipex to highlight the mark
  • Use fuel set on a regular basis - We do and we are glad to report that our filters are clean

Other tips and tricks

  • Don't use your oil extraction pump as a bilge pump. I did once and the one way valve in the nozzle got blocked so we had to buy a new one