What steps can boaters take to ensure that their engines run smoothly and to increase their engine’s service life? The easy answer is to avoid sloppy maintenance techniques. Cutting corners can cause premature engine damage. Another pro suggestion is to store several key boat engine parts and the tools to install them onboard. This way should there be an issue on a voyage, boaters can troubleshoot the problem and make simple repairs.
It cannot be overstated. Perform routine maintenance, and perform it correctly. Introduced in the the 1960s, sterndrives have become the boat engine of choice. Know what stands between the water and engine destruction? The sterndrive bellows. Black and constructed of corrugated rubber, the bellows is clamped to the boat’s transom. Bellows failure is one of the leading causes of dockside or marina boat sinkings, so inspect yours before and after every day you go out boating. If cracked or shrunken, replace immediately.
Another of the vulnerable boat engine parts is the manifold. Over time, salt water and debris, if allowed to settle, can ruin this vital engine part on Inboard and Sterndrive Engines. Again, following correct routine maintenance procedures will extend the service life of any engine manifold.
Gear Lube or Drive Lubricants Protect Boat Engine Parts, Too
As you are probably becoming aware, overall correct maintenance which includes the drive and fuel lines, also contributes to longer engine life. Drain the lines to remove emulsification and water. Any residue left in the lines could freeze and destroy the gear case, drive or other boat engine parts.
Lastly, boaters might think it is better to trailer their craft with an empty tank. That is not good for the engine, however. Fill the tank, and add a stabilizer. This will prevent water from entering the fuel line and damaging the engine. Be sure to run the engine after adding the stabilizer for extra engine protection.