Engine Oil Increasing???
24 August 2018 | Marshall Islands
Raining, heavy today
Engine oil increasing
Everyone knows the procedure . Check engine oil level before starting. I am a little lazy so, as the oil level has been constant, I slacked off and only checked it every week even though we run the engine daily to cool the freezer/fridge. One oil level check I noticed it increasing on the dip stick. After that I started checking it daily. Yes oil was creeping up the stick.
On our Perkins 4-236 this could be only 3 possibilities; 1/ Fuel was leaking into the sump, 2/ water was leaking into the sump, or 3/ my wife was adding oil while I slept. My wife, Phyllis, assured me she would not go into the engine room and touch icky oil. Ugh. The oil on the dipstick was black, not a creamy colour which would indicate water in the oil. So I was left with fuel in the oil.
Fuel will dilute the oil reducing the lubricating properties which could ruin the engine. Something had to be done. Further research left 2 possibilities; 1/ fuel was leaking past the fuel injection pump seal or 2/ the fuel lift pump diaphragm was leaking. Having the fuel injection pump overhauled was a costly, inconvenient project. I could find out more easily by changing the old lift pump for a new one. Easy to do and I carried a spare pump. I installed the new fuel lift pump in 30 minutes. Then I changed the contaminated oil for new oil and filter.
For the next week I checked the oil daily and was delighted to find that the oil level was constant. so problem solved. Conclusion; One should check oil and coolant before every start. Catch any potential problems early. And also, it never hurts to have spares. LOL