Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Annual Engine Service

Having taken Patience out for the last significant cruise of the season and with the autumn evenings drawing in, it is time to give her engine its annual service, including this year, replacing the antifreeze.

The first task was to drain the cooling system, with the engine cold, and refill with a 50/50 mix of blue ethylene glycol antifreeze and water, see earlier blog for more details. This year I was able to buy a single container of 20 litres of Triple QX Blue Antifreeze from Euro Car Parts in Cambridge for a lower price than three separate 5 litre containers. That not only saved us money, but allowed us to get the mixture right up to 50% and also keep two or three litres spare for topping up.

Then, with the engine warmed up, I changed the oil and oil filter. The sump pump on the BMC 1.8 litre engine makes this a relatively quick and easy task compared to changing the anti-freeze!

I then replaced the fuel filter, which should also be done with the engine warmed up, as it makes for easier starting after the swap. This is rather a messy job, as it is impossible to avoid all the fuel in the old filter going down into the engine sump. The old filter looked to be nice and clean, which suggests that the fuel is also in good condition. After reassembling the bowl with the new filter and sealing rings, I was very careful to make sure I bled the fuel filter of any air before trying to start the engine. Air in the system has caused headaches on previous occasions, see earlier blog.

As the tappet clearances had been checked earlier in the year, I left these for another time, but I did check the drive belt tension, which was fine.

Finally, it only remained to take the old oil and antifreeze solution down to the local recycling centre, who seem increasingly reluctant to take antifreeze solution, especially when you are trying to offload about 32 litres of it!

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