Changing Engine Oil and Other Fluids
- Use a self-contained spill-proof oil extractor to remove fluids. Manual and electric pumps can be found at most marine retail supply stores.
- Temporarily disable your bilge pump so that it does not cycle on in the case of a spill. Use an oil-only absorbent pad under the engine and in the bilge to absorb spills. Place a plastic bag around the filter before removing to catch drips.
- Top off your fluids, wipe up any spills, and reconnect your bilge pump. Recycle your filter and used oil at a recycling location and dispose of used absorbent pads and rags properly.
- For more information on changing engine oil, click here.
Changing Fuel Filters
Fuel can become contaminated or can separate and clog filters if it sits in a fuel tank for too long. Changing your fuel filter is especially important if you boat in an area that has recently switched to ethanol formulated gasoline. Ethanol has a tendency to clean out fuel systems, resulting in the need to change your fuel filter more frequently with the first few tanks of ethanol formulated fuel.
Changing spin-on or in-line primary fuel filters is relatively easy. However, changing some secondary filters (the one that tends to be mounted out of the way or internally in the engine) can be more difficult than your average fuel filter change and tends to be overlooked by many do-it-yourselfers. When in doubt, refer to your engine manual or let a professional handle it. Proper fuel flow and filtration is essential to smooth operation. Regardless of engine size, routine inspections can alert you to potential problems.
Tips for Changing Fuel Filters
- Clean off any dirt from around the old filter and filter housing.
- Temporarily disable your bilge pump so that it doesn’t cycle in the case of a spill.
- Use an oil-only absorbent pad under the engine and in the bilge to absorb spills.
- Use a bucket or cut the top off of a plastic soda bottle to catch fuel overflow.
- Empty the bowl into the bucket and dispose of in a waste fuel bin at your marina.
- Clean the bowl or housing with an oil-only absorbent rag before replacing element.
- Lubricate “O” rings and prime the filter and fuel line as necessary.
- For more information on fuel system maintenance, click here to learn more