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Your winter oil change
It is a good idea to change motor oil before winter. Warm up the engine so that the oil will drain more completely. Give the cooling system a fresh water rinse using a flushing port. Drain and refill the oil; replace filters.
Space Heater ≠ Winterization!
Electric space heaters often provide an economical source of dry heat for boat cabins. Some modern ones designed for homes are reasonably safe to use, even on a boat. But every year there are many boat fires caused by electric space heaters and shore power systems being pushed to their limits in place of proper winterization procedures. It may pay to give both your 12V and 110 systems an inspection before winter. Here are a few things you should look for:
- Condensation around critical electrical infrastructure
- Connections that may have come loose
- Corroded or damaged contacts (or anything)
- Shore power plug ware
Mitigate risk of any fire by owning several strategically placed fire extinguishers. Be wary of space heaters.
Flushing your cooling system
If you anticipate freezing temperatures over the winter, it may be advisable to "anti-freeze" your cooling system. Water expands up to 9% when it freezes which can be damaging to an engine. Begin by flushing out any salt water with the appropriate flush kit of muffs. Then using the intake hose circulate non-toxic anti-freeze through the system until it comes out the exhaust.
The appropriate fuel additive can mean the difference between life and death for your engine. Ethanol gasolines (E10) can start absorbing water in as little as 30 days.
What product do I use?
Truth be told, there is no product that can prevent the absorption of water by alcolines. Fuel additives just help mitigate the side effects and prevent damage to your motor. Additives are critical in preventing things like:
- Buildup of sludge
- Fuel icing
- Algae growth
No, it’s not to fix your foggy windows (although we’ve got something for that as well). Fogging oil is useful in outboards, inboards, 2-stroke and 4-stroke. As an engine sits, oil and lubricants are no longer circulated to critical components and gravity compounds the problem over time. Depending on your motor, fogging oil can be sprayed inside cylinders, air intakes, carburetors and other fuel components to create a residue that will stay put while the engine is idle; preventing corrosion, rust and other calamities that will wreak havoc in your motor