Marine Diesel Engine Maintenance – A Breakdown!

As a vessel owner, you are well aware of the importance of keeping your marine diesel engine maintained. You don’t need to be told how it can help prevent untimely breakdowns and buildup of problems that can later require expensive repairs. This is common to all machines, and your diesel engine is a machine.

Where you may need help, however, is how to go about the process—especially, if you are new to the life on ship. What you need to check, what you need to replace and how often you need to do it – these are the things where one really needs guidance.

Reading this post, you can expect to be served with such information. We’ve broken down marine diesel engine maintenance, highlighting what you need to do daily, weekly and monthly.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list but it has the basic, most important and minimal set of required checks.

First Things First…  

Get a logbook. This would be your maintenance logbook in which you will be recording every activity and every check. It will help you to keep track of everything.

Marine Engine Maintenance – What You Need to Do Daily

To start with, you must check engine oil level daily. Why? Because you never know when a potential leak could drain it all off. Also, at the start of each day visually inspect your engine room. Monitor the operating parameters.

And before kicking off your engine, don’t forget to check the tension in the engine’s belt. Where needed, tighten the belt by adjusting the pulley alignment.

Marine Engine Maintenance – What You Need to Do Weekly

The weekly checks are a little bit more detailed and understandably so.

  • Fuel pump and injectors need to be inspected.
  • Primary and secondary fuel filters need to be changed. However, this does not apply in all cases so make a decision that best suits your situation.
  • Fuel tanks need to be inspected for contamination.
  • Transmission fluid level should be checked and must be replenished where needed.
  • Weekly bleed your fuel system.

Marine Engine Maintenance – What You Need to Do Monthly

When performing a monthly maintenance of marine diesel engine parts, you should exercise checks more robustly. This is because, you won’t be performing these checks until the start of the next month. Therefore, any complacency can prove to be costly.

  • Replace your engine oil filter. Even if it looks fine to you, our suggestion would be to change it regardless.
  • While you are at it, changing the engine oil filter, also change and refill the transmission oil.
  • Lubricate mount threads and the ends of control cable.
  • Clean the air filter.
  • Thoroughly inspect the fuel injector.
  • Go through every pulley and adjust the alignment where needed.

And well that’s it – you have covered the most important maintenance checks for your marine diesel engine. If you have any additional questions about marine diesel engine maintenance, feel free to reach out.

A BONUS read: Things you need to avoid to keep your marine engine in good shape.