Top 3 Reasons for Diesel Engine Failure

Top 3 Reasons for Diesel Engine Failure

You asked, and I wrote!

I just got back from the Annapolis boat show, where I had the opportunity to meet with many of you cruisers! Thanks for stopping by!

For those who didn’t have the chance to make it to the show, I kept note of what the most frequent concerns were so that I could address them here.  Most boaters I spoke with were concerned about their diesel fuel systems because they had dealt with a fuel problem in the past. The most common reasons were as follows:

1. Contamination – (Microorganisms, Dirt, etc)
How does it get there? All diesel fuel, no matter how clean, degrades when it meets air, heat and water. Contamination of fuel will create microorganisms, sludge, and other components that cause problems. When you fill your tanks, you can pump unwanted contaminants such as other chemicals and dirt into the tank. Why does it cause my engine to quit? Contaminants cause your fuel filters to clog, which restricts fuel to the engine and causes unscheduled shutdowns. This can result in reduced fuel economy, excessive wear, and unnecessary deposits in your engine. Recommendation:  Consider a dual filter system. This allows one filter to always be on standby, so you won’t have to shut down to change filters! Polish your fuel, this will remove contaminants and therefore help you avoid unwanted engine failure. Also, check the quality of the fuel you are pumping. See how this polishing feature allows you to check the quality of fuel while at the dock!
  1. 2. Water
How does it get there? Leaky deck fills, fuel contaminated with water, and condensation in the tank. Why does it my engine to quit?   Water injected into a hot combustion chamber will cause severe damage to the engines’ cylinders. When water hits a hot injector tip it expands into steam. This can result in cracked, damaged, or blown out fuel injectors and unnecessary corrosion inside the precision components.  Water vapor in the engine leads to water in the tank and turns to sludge, another form of contamination. Recommendation: First, have a water detector, this is a little instrument that can save your engine and give you peace of mind. If water exists then it should be drained from the bottom of the tank or polished/filtered through centrifuges (which are included in the Racor Turbine Series filters used in the FilterBOSS Commander).
  1. 3. Air Leaks
How do they happen? Fittings can decay, valves can be left loose accidentally, or o-rings may falter. Why does it cause failure?  If there is a space that allows air to enter in the fuel system, the engine will pull air instead of fuel. Since air does not burn, the engine will be starved for fuel and quit. This especially happens when fuel filters are clogging because the engine’s lift pump is working harder to fuel the engine (causing the vacuum to increase). Recommendation: If air leaks exist in your system you can test each component to identify where the leak is coming from and then address the solution, whether that means tightening the valve or replacing an o-ring. Easy System testing gives you an easy way to test your fuel system before you leave the dock! Runners Up: Fuel Pressure, Human Error Want to learn more? Visit our website or give us a call 1-800-336-0315 to talk to a qualified technician.

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