How to Maintain Your Boats Fuel System

With this great weather you’ve probably already taken your boat out on the water. But, with it sitting all winter long you really need to clean and maintain your fuel system before running the motor too much.

One of the best ways to make sure that your boat always runs it’s best is to make sure you have clean fuel! Pour a small amount of the fuel into a glass jar and let it set for awhile, any dirt and contaminants will settle on the bottom of the jar.

If you do see debris in the jar, just make sure to filter all of the gas before putting it into your boat motor. About 90% of engine problems can be attributed to dirty, contaminated fuel!

If your boats motor runs on gasoline, a little bit of water won’t do a lot of damage. But, any amount of water can destroy a diesel engine! Even if you have a water separating filter on your tank, if there’s a large amount of water in the fuel the filter can’t detain it all.

Water doesn’t just get into your tank from the fuel. The fill cap should be tight to prevent water leakage and water will even naturally form from condensation inside the tank. It can also leak in if the vent fittings get flooded.

Regularly check all of the gaskets and seals on your deck fill or tank caps. And, keeping your fuel tank topped off can help prevent the build up of condensation in the tank, especially if the boat is going to be sitting for awhile.

No matter what you do to ensure that your fuel and tank is clean, over time sediments will settle in the main bottom of the tank. At the beginning of each season you should siphon some fuel out of the bottom and check it in a glass jar to see if it’s got sediments in it.

If the fuel is dirty you need to find a way to remove all of it and start over with clean fuel. If you’re tank has a drain or port to clean out the tank you can use that to remove the contaminated fuel. But, if it doesn’t then you’ll need to figure out a way to siphon all of it out.

Diesel engines are equipped with two separate fuel filters. There’s the main fuel filter and a secondary fuel filter. The secondary filter is meant to only catch small particles that escape through the primary filter.

The primary filter should keep all of the water out of the engine. Both of these filters need to be inspected on a regular basis. These also need to be changed regularly, you can check your owners manual for the suggested time periods or choose to do it on your own time schedule.

If you have a choice, choose a primary filter that has a clear sediment bowl. That way you can inspect it at any time and will immediately know when there’s water in your tank. If you have to empty the bowl frequently, then you’ll know that the tank needs cleaned out.

Metal fuel lines will last a lot longer that rubber lines. But, metal lines won’t give very much with vibration or movement and can easily crack or snap into!

Flexible fuel hoses can handle all the vibrating and movement of those big waves. But, you need to use certain types in certain areas on the boat. Your feed hose should be Type A-1 and any fill or vent hoses can be Type A-2.

Maintaining your boats fuel system can save you lots of money on expensive repairs and maybe even keep you from having to rebuild or replace your motor. It can also help keep you from getting stranded out in the middle of a really large lake!