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5 Major Signs of Boat Engine Failure

Blog | 27 August 2018

Owning a boat is a special kind of luxury. Being able to take off for the water on the weekends in order to relax or go fishing can feel great. Unfortunately, if you don’t follow proper maintenance protocol then you could end up having a headache instead of catching a fish. Today, we are going to focus on the most important part of your boat: the engine. Boat engines are much like engines in other vehicles. There are certain signs and symptoms that you can look out for in order to know when your boat engine is about to fail. Let’s highlight these signs and symptoms so you have the info you need in order to prevent an expensive repair.

Boat Engine Failure

Your boat engine is a complex piece of machinery that requires a gentle touch, some mechanical knowledge, and attuned senses to potential issues. Unfortunately for you, your engine won’t send you flashing lights when it is potentially about to break down. Instead, you have to rely on your own knowledge. Let’s go ahead and equip you with the knowledge that you need to prevent future boat engine failures. We’ll list the top 5 warning signs that your boat engine is in trouble:

1) A Gravelly Noise – When you hear what sounds like gravel churning inside of your engine, beware. This gravelly noise could mean that the bearings of your engine are about to fail.

2) Cracking & Creaking Sounds – If you hear cracking and creaking sounds coming from your engine while your boat is in operation, you might have a big issue on your hand. These sounds most likely refer to structural bonds failing within the engine.

3) Overheated Exhaust – Don’t touch any part of your engine with your bare hand. Use an IR thermometer in order to heat-scan your engine. if your exhaust is overheated, you might have an issue with your heat exchanger or your engine is overworking itself.

4) Burning Rubber Smell – Unless you are burning rubber, you never want to smell the smell of burnt rubber. Burning rubber can mean that your belt is slipping or your bearings are freezing up. Never ignore the smell of burning rubber and make sure to address it right away so as to prevent future issues.

5) Metal Discoloration – Finally, we want to point out that the metal in and around your engine should never really discolour. If you notice metal discolouration, it is likely due to corrosion or something that we call electrolysis. Don’t ignore any discolouration on your engine!

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