Today marks the first day of Autumn, at least for our customers in the Northern Hemisphere, and thought should be given to winter storage if you will not be using your MarineDiesel engines through the winter months. Since diesel engines require periodic starting in order to operate efficiently and without problems, long periods of disuse during the winter months can be problematic.
Below is our list of winter storage procedures for your reference:
• Oil system
Drain the oil from the engine, either by removing the oil plug in the oil pan or by a suction tube down the dipstick tube; remember it’s always recommended to do this when the engine is at operating temperature. Tighten the plug, clean the oil dipstick and reinsert it in the tube.
Then remove the oil filter and replace it with a new unit (don’t forget to prelubricate the seal ring on the filter and prefill the filter with oil) tighten hard with manual power. Refill the engine with new oil according to technical maintenance specifications. Check the oil level on the dipstick and if necessary add more oil to reach the correct oil level. Start the engine and run it for a few minutes so that the new oil can lubricate all moving parts. Turn off the engine and recheck the oil level on the dipstick, again add more oil if necessary.
• Fuel system
Check all hoses, clamps and fittings for leakage and wear, replace if necessary. Make sure the fuel tank is full to prevent water contamination. Add “water repellent” isopropanol to the fuel system. Remove and replace the fuel filter (remember to prefill the filter with fuel as you otherwise will have issues with bleeding all the trapped air from the fuel system).
• Cooling – system
Start the engine and run antifreeze mix through the raw water system. Check the freeze protection of antifreeze in the freshwater cooling system. If you need to add antifreeze make sure you allow the engine to run up to operating temperature allowing the thermostat to open and mix the added antifreeze. Never use more than 50% antifreeze. Turn off the engine and drain the raw-water system. At the same time remove the impeller from the impeller pump. Check all hoses, clamps and fittings for wear and leakage, replace if necessary. The heat exchanger, intercooler and oil cooler are exposed to raw water and should be inspected for corrosion that could lead to engine failure. It is recommended that the raw-water cooling system be cleaned and flushed every 500 hours or at least every two years.
• Exhaust system
When the winter service is completed make sure all exhaust outlets and the air filter are sealed to prevent moist/salt air from entering the engine.
• Electrical System
Remove and clean the battery/batteries. Also clean the battery cables and connecting poles. Store battery in a cold/dry environment (never below 0C/32F) and keep it fully charged.