3 step process for proper maintenance of marine diesel engines
Diesel engines are different than gasoline ones. This is mainly because they have to perform tasks other than generating power too. This primarily involves lubrication and engine cooling.
While it doesn’t make these engines specifically vulnerable to damage, proper maintenance is required for efficient function. But this doesn’t mean that your marine diesel engine is finicky and requires a lot of attention.
Apart from general maintenance, it requires clean fuel and a suitable stabilizer. It is actually easy to maintain optimum conditions for your diesel engine, and conditions are also non-negotiable to avoid damage to the engine.
Step #1 Use a reliable fuel source
Particulates contaminating diesel oil can inhibit its ability to lubricate the metal components. The fuel-injection system has metal components with very low tolerance. This creates friction and heat, both of which have to be overcome for continuous power generation.
Hence, more oil is circulated than is required by the engine. This excess oil provides sufficient lubrication and also carries away the heat generated because of friction while returning to the fuel tank.
Particulate materials disturb the viscosity and temperature of the diesel oil, negatively influencing both its lubrication and cooling function. Over time, this will result in engine failure. Hence, find a reliable supplier so that you are sure of the fuel quality.
Step #2 Regularly inspect fuel-water separators
Water can also end up contaminating diesel engines. Unlike gasoline engines which manage to burn through the moisture with only a little quiver, diesel engines can’t do the same.
These engines have very high compression rates, in comparison to gasoline engines. Water does not get compressed in its combustion chambers, resulting in a ‘hydrolock’. Simply put, an irresistible force meets an immovable object; this results in engine malfunction and a huge repair bill.
While diesel engines are highly durable, they can’t stand water and grit at all. Inspect water separating equipment regularly for contamination. Most add a fuel-water separator to their expensive fuel filters. Also make sure you change all the fuel filter components if replacing a unit.
Step #3 Use an approved stabilizer
Diesel fuel is also susceptible to issues that may arise upon storing the fuel for a while. Adding a stabilizer is the only approach to storing diesel fuel safely.
Contamination is a major issue that may come up. While people understand how threatening contamination can be for fuel, most don’t know that diesel is comparatively more susceptible to damage over time.
Diesel has a shorter shelf life; its efficiency can only be maintained up to 100 days from refinement. Hence, almost 26% of stored fuel degrades after only 28 days. It quickly breaks down, forming sedimentation which falls to the bottom of the tank.
A suitable stabilizer will prevent both degradation and contamination.
As we previously mentioned, maintenance of diesel engine is easy but necessary. If any of the main parts of marine diesel engine fails, make sure you have marine spares available onboard. We offer a range of products, including parts for main and auxiliary engines.