Winterizing Your Boat Engines

Fall is finally here with winter following right behind. If you are planning to store your boat this winter, for less than 6 months, follow these short-term storage procedures to protect your engines:

  • Change the oil. Drain the oil out of the sump, replace it with the appropriate diesel engine oil and change the filters. Start your engine and operate it long enough to pump fresh oil throughout the engine, approximately five to ten minutes. Using the right type of oil and changing the oil and filter at the proper intervals helps prevent sticking piston rings, piston seizure, accelerated wear of the in-cylinder components and bearings. Refer to the owner’s manual for the correct procedure, viscosity and amount.
  • Drain water and sediment from your fuel filter/water separator – and from the fuel tanks, if possible. Replace the filter. Consider using a biocide in the main fuel tanks to prevent the growth of bacteria. Follow the biocide manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Too much biocide can harm the fuel system.
  • Remove and replace the secondary fuel filter on the engine. Replace it with a manufacturer-recommended fuel filter.
  • Top off the fuel tanks with clean, fresh diesel fuel. Use the priming pump to completely fill the primary fuel filter/water separator, secondary fuel filter and fuel injection pump housing with clean, treated diesel fuel.
  • Check the freeze protection of the coolant mixture. A quick coolant sample can tell you how well your engine is protected against freezing temperatures and corrosion.
  • Check your engines zincs to prevent galvanic corrosion. Remove and inspect the zinc rods in the cooling system and replace them if necessary.
  • Inspect the sea water pump impeller. Replace the pump cover gasket and impeller if it shows signs of damage or excessive wear. At this time, also inspect the sea water pump drive belt for damage or wear. Replace the belt if necessary.
  • Inspect and replace all rubber hoses as necessary. Replace all rubber hoses when they show signs of wear.
  • Change the fluid and filter in your marine gear. Drain and fill the transmission with the appropriate oil. Do not overfill the gear.
  • Clean the air cleaner filter element. Clean or replace the filter element as necessary. The crankcase breathers should also be cleaned at this time.
  • Use an appropriate cleaning solvent to remove all oil and dirt from the engine. Be careful not to allow the solvent or water to enter the intake system through the air cleaner. Allow the engine to dry and touch-up your engine and marine gear with paint as necessary.

If you have any questions, or need to purchase any oil, coolant or filters, give us a call. We’d be happy to assist.
Service 252-504-2640 Parts 252-504-5104