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Diesel Engines – Things You Should Know & Have

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By Buttons Padin 

Top-12 things you should know to operate your engine including what spare parts and tools to have, what to watch for when starting-up, and more!

1: Read the owner’s manual

  • Get to know your engine
  • Your specific engine model

2: Know your engine’s fluids

  • Know where all your fluid check points are located
  • Antifreeze, transmission, and oil

3: Before starting, look under the engine for any leaks of fluids

4: Know how to properly start your engine

  • If the boat is new to you, have someone go over start-up procedures with you.
  • Does the engine need to be pre-heated or not?
  • Look over the stern to make sure you have exhaust and water flowing

5: Check engine panel to make sure none of the safety indicator lights are on

  • Temperature
  • Oil pressure
  • Charging

6: Check gauges (if you have them)

  • Oil
  • Charging
  • Engine RPMs

7: Make sure your boat is tied up properly at the dock

  • Fore and aft springs
  • Put your boat in and out of gear, forward and reverse, to make sure transmission or sail drive are working properly

8: Have the necessary spare parts

  • V belts
  • Impeller/gasket for saltwater pump
  • Oil filter
  • Fuel filters
  • Quart of engine oil
  • Quart of oil for transmission
  • Gallon of premixed antifreeze (fresh water-cooled side o engine),
  • Sections of 1” and .5” diameter hose with hose clamps
  • Spare zincs for sail drive, rudders, props
  • Oil absorbent pads

9: Make sure no aftermarket parts

  • Everything approved by your engine manufacturer
  • Especially if you’re under warranty

10: Diesel engines need four things:

  • Clean air
  • Clean fuel
  • Good charging battery
  • Clear exhaust elbow

11: Keep your hull bottom and underwater fittings clean (props, shafts, sail drives)

12: What to have in your toolbox:

  • Set of metric open-ended box wrenches (8-19mm)
  • Adjustable oil filter wrench
  • Medium size vice grips
  • Flat head and Phillips Screw drivers - #2s
  • Wire cutters
  • Medium adjustable wrench
  • Multi-head screwdriver that has box and star torque fittings

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