QUESTION: I have water in my engine from a swamping or unknown cause, what should I do?
ANSWER: First, Save the Engine!
When a product comes in for repair that has water in the engine or the exhaust system,
speed is an important factor. The primary goal is to save the engine itself. This has to be done immediately after the boat owner contacts the technician with the problem.
1. Check engine oil to see if water is in the oil. If there is, change oil and filter.
2. Check for water on the top of the pistons. Remove the spark plugs and inspect them for signs of water. Ground the coil high-tension wire, and then crank the engine over to purge any water out of the cylinders. Squirt engine oil into the cylinders through the spark plug holes and crank the engine over again.
3. Install new spark plugs and start the engine. If engine starts, run it at 1300 rpm until it
reaches its’ normal operating temperature. Change the oil and filter again and check for water. If no more water is noted, operate to temperature and fog the engine or lubricate the cylinders.
4. There will be many electrical items, which will need cleaned and/or replaced, take the boat to a certified technician for complete checkout and repair.
QUESTION: How to winterize a marinized engine?
ANSWER: Winterization: The exact method of proper winterization of a marinized engine depends upon its manufacturer and design. The basis for winterization is to REMOVE standing water from the cooling system prior to temperatures reaching 32 degree and below. We recommend you refer to your owner’s manual or the manufacturers guidelines and hire a factory certified technician.
First you need to know the exact type of system you have and how the cooling water is distributed throughout the system. Some variations of intake and systems such as Bravo drive, inboard and closed systems will change or route differently; however the winterization is clearly performed to remove standing water. Most manufacturers cover in water and out of water winterizations, which accounts for possibility of water intrusion should a lift fail. These methods change via the intake hose being removed from the transom assembly and plugged or propped up high in the bilge. Either way it is intended to prevent the influx of water in the case of an accident. The process described in detail inside most manufacturer service manuals and owner’s manuals, instructs the technician to use a pick and/or paper clip to ream the openings to ensure all silt and/or sand is removed from the drain ports. Just opening the drain and watching the water stop running is not good enough as the drain port may be plugged which is why we see cracked exhaust manifolds and engine blocks because the process was INCOMPLETE and/or improperly performed.
Another safe guard is the use of PROPOLENE GLYCOL antifreeze for cold weather storage as this will prevent any entrapped water that may have not drained from freezing. This is recommended by most manufacturers.
A closed cooling system: One that contains ETHYLENE GLYCOL antifreeze within an enclosed system that is circulated inside the system and cooled by sea water through a heat exchanger. This system must also be winterized as it uses sea water to cool various components such as its heat exchanger, power steering cooler and most importantly the exhaust gases.
NOTE: All marine engines mix raw sea water with the engine exhaust prior to discharge. This process takes place inside the exhaust riser so each exhaust manifold is fitted with a drain plug for winterization draining.