If bilge water rusts your engine’s steel oil pan and it leaks until the low-oil-pressure alarm sounds, you’ll have just seconds to react. If you don’t, “you might notice the engine hesitate,” says Michael Wheeler of HHB Marine Services in Hampton, New Hampshire. “Then the main bearings usually go first, and the pistons dig into the insides of the cylinders and the engine seizes.” Help yourself avoid that scenario with these tips.
Tip: Milky, beige-colored oil is a sign water is getting where it shouldn’t. Also, watch for oily rainbows in the bilge water. Most leaks start as small drips.
Click here to learn more about the extremes to which a marine engine’s oil and lubrication system are put through in use.