Understand Marine Diesel Engines

Posted on July 14, 2022 John Symond

Engines or motors that operate in the harsh conditions of marine environments require greater resilience than those that operate on land. With inconsistent environments and the constant presence of water, marine engines must be as durable as possible, which is why choosing to power marine equipment with a diesel engine, rather than a gasoline-powered engine, is in the best interest of your operations. In comparison to the maximum lifespan of 1,500 hours for gas-powered engines, marine diesel engines will operate anywhere from 5,000 to 8,000 hours without requiring attention. In fact, a well-maintained diesel engine may last the entire lifespan of your boat. When you are looking for a reliable choice for powering your aquatic adventures, diesel engines are your best option. In this blog, we will explore the qualities that contribute to a long lifespan of a marine diesel engine and what you can do to prolong it.

The difference between the average lifespans of diesel engines and gasoline engines is surprisingly large, and there are a few factors that contribute to this profound durability. First, diesel engines are frequently larger and more robust than gasoline engines and are built with higher tolerances. This means that during construction, the parts are built very precisely with little variance in quality or dimensions. Furthermore, diesel designs have larger crankshafts and cylinder heads, as well as more bearing surfaces for oil, ensuring the entire system is well lubricated. In particular, diesel fuel is an excellent lubricant and keeps engines running smoothly. Interestingly, diesel is non-volatile with a higher flash point than gasoline which makes diesel not only more durable, but also safer for use.

All engines have ideal operating conditions, and marine diesel engines are no exception. They operate best in dry engine compartments that are kept around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, salt water causes corrosion, so all marine engines operating in salt water should be equipped with a capable cleaning system to prevent a shortened lifespan. Unsurprisingly, inboard engines also tend to have longer lifespans, as they are placed inside the boat and have integral cooling systems. To further ensure you maximize the lifespan of your marine engine, you should conduct routine maintenance and inspection, and you should use your engine regularly with proper loadings.

To bolster your marine engine’s lifespan, conducting proper maintenance encompasses a few integral practices, all of which should be carried out on a regular schedule. First, it is critical that the fuel in the engine is clean, and luckily today’s filters offer clear bowls to make detecting contamination easy. Even the cleanest fuel docks will allow some dirt and air into your tank, so this part of inspection should never be overlooked. Another contributing factor is fresh air. Exhaust from a diesel engine should always be clear, so check the filter any time you see color. Lastly, check your oil often. Ideally, you should transfer the oil from the dipstick to your bare fingers to feel for any foreign particles or contaminants prior to starting your engine, and you’ll want to replace the oil every 100 hours, or at least once a year.

A diesel engine is a significant investment, and with proper care, a long-term one as well. At Buy NSN, we have you covered for all the premium diesel engine parts you require for your marine applications. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we operate with quality at the cornerstone of our business, so we guarantee only the highest caliber products and services to our loyal customers. All items in our inventory of over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts are sourced only from trusted manufacturers on our Approved Vendor List (AVL). Furthermore, we are an AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accredited enterprise due to our strict adherence to quality control practices and standards, and we pledge to a strict No China Sourcing policy. We invite you to browse our database until you find an item you wish to procure. Then, simply submit an RFQ form as found on our website with as much information as possible, including target prices, shipping deadlines, and desired quantities. With our Instant RFQ service, we guarantee you will receive a custom quote for your comparisons within 15 minutes or less. For further questions or assistance, you may reach us at any time via phone or email, 24/7x365!


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