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Guidelines for winterising diesel inboard enginesEoin O'Brolchain The following information is only to be used as a guide. There is no perfect way to winterise an engine! The information is compiled from a number of lectures held by the IWAI, most notably from those given by Joe Kirwan (Kirwan Technical Services, Terryglass) and by Tom Murphy (IWAI Carrick Branch)
There are two main varieties of cooling system for inboard diesel engines - direct and indirect cooling. On both types of engines, the Water Pump Impellor should be inspected and replaced if necessary before carrying out the following steps. Make sure the Coolant used in the following steps contains a Coolant/Anti-Freeze mix (Most modern Coolants do).
In a Direct Cooling system, water is pumped from outside the boat, through the engine cooling passages and out of the exhaust. To winterise this type of engine:
In an InDirect Cooling system, Coolant is held in a closed system in the engine. Heat from this internal system is dissipated in a heat exchanger to external water which is pumped, from outside the boat, through the heat exchanger and out through the exhaust. To winterise this type of engine:
As an engine is used, sulphur in the fuel is burned and Sulphuric Acid is formed. This finds its way into the engine oil and is the main reason to change your oil before laying up the boat for the winter.
It is a good idea to warm up the engine before changing the oil. Both the oil and the oil filter should be replaced at the same time. Normal grade oil is fine for laying up the engine for the winter. The waste oil should be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. (Most garages will dispose of it for you)Fuel System
All main electrical connections should be checked for corrosion before laying up for the winter. Once they are corrosion free, they should be sprayed with WD40 or equivalent so that they won't corrode in the damp weather.
Tha Batteries are very susceptible to damage during the winter season and should be cared for in the following manner.