Football is kicking off, the kids are back in school and the days are getting shorter. In most of the country, that means it’s time to start getting those boats ready for winter.
With that in mind, here are some tips for winterizing from marine fuel and marine fuel additive supplier ValvTect Petroleum Products to share with your customers or be sure to follow yourself.
Improper winterization of the engine and its fuel can cause unnecessary expense or even engine failure. The introduction of ethanol-blended gasoline, ultra low-sulfur diesel and biodiesel have created significant problems for boat owners that require special attention.
An important part of dealing with these fuels is making sure you’ve got the right additives. We offered some tips on that in a recent article.
Because ethanol is very corrosive, can separate from the gasoline and degrade quickly it is essential E10 always be treated with a “multifunctional” ethanol gasoline treatment such as ValvTect Ethanol Gasoline Treatment, especially when storing a vessel over the winter. The gasoline tank should be 7/8 full. This will prevent condensation from developing in the tank that can lead to phase separation of the ethanol and reduce harmful vapors from escaping.
Additional items that need to be addressed:
- Run fogging oil through the carburetor (if so equipped) and cylinders by spraying fogging oil in the spark plug holes.
- For higher horsepower outboards use ValvTect Marine Motor De-Carbonizer to remove hard carbon deposits on the piston head which can cause powerhead failure.
- Be sure to run the engine dry of fuel by disconnecting the fuel line while the engine is running.
- Change all filters.
All diesel fuel is now ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) and contains less than 15ppm sulfur. Almost all ULSD available at service stations contains 5 percent to 10 percent biodiesel. Marinas may have “pure” ULSD that is free of biodiesel. While both of these fuels are environmentally friendly they are very problematic for use in marine engines. ValvTect and most marine engine manufacturers recommend not using diesel fuel that contains more than a very small percentage of biodiesel in marine applications when possible.
Biodiesel, and ULSD present some of the same problems as ethanol for marine engines. In addition, they are very susceptible to bacteria growth. ValvTect recommends all ULSD be treated with a “multifunctional” diesel additive such as ValvTect BioGuard Plus 6 multifunctional biocide to prevent bacteria growth and corrosion, lubricate injectors and fuel pumps and stabilize the fuel. Also be sure to change all filters and fill the fuel tank to 7/8 full. Do not run the engine dry.