Depending on manufacturers recommendations your engine requires servicing at regular intervals depending on how much boating you do – continuous cruisers would obviously want to service their engines more regularly than holiday boaters for example. Brand new engines normally have a maintenance schedule which recommends more frequent servicing and should be adhered to ensure your engine is kept in optimum condition. At P&S Marine we suggest engine servicing be carried out at least annually. What is required from a service differs from engine-to-engine but typically includes:
Oil change in engine and gearbox
Draining out the old oil from the engine via a sump pump vacuum pump or drain plug and replacing it with new oil, along with the oil in the gearbox. This is preferably done whilst the oil is hot for a better flow rate. The oil we use for most engines is a 15w/40, high quality, mineral based, multigrade oil which meets the majority of the latest engine manufacturer requirements and specifications. More information on the oil that we use can be found here. Different gearboxes require different oils – from EP80/90 to ATF, all of which we carry in stock. HD30 is also kept in stock for vintage engines.
Oil filter change
While the oil is draining the oil filter can be removed and replaced. Using the engine manufacturer/type and/or cross referencing the part number on the filter itself ensures the new filter matches your engine.
Fuel filter(s) and/or water trap change
After the fuel has been turned off at the supply the filter(s) in the fuel system can be changed. The number of filters in a system depends on the engine and installation. Any water traps or lift pumps with maintainable parts would also be cleaned or replaced at this time. The same method to ensure correct replacement parts applies. After the fuel is turned back on, non-self bleeding engines are bled of air.
Air filter change
Although not essential at every service due to the dust free atmosphere narrow boat engines normally run in, the air filter would undergo a visual inspection and be replaced if needed.
Coolant level and antifreeze check
This process varies depending on the engine and type of cooling system it has. Most engines have an expansion or header tank where the coolant level inside the system and be viewed and the specific gravity (amount of antifreeze) can be checked.