Fluid Changes for Winterizing, Do I Need to?

Mad Props

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I think I already know the answer to this question, but...

Life/weather got in the way this boating season and I only put about 5 or 6 hours on the engine... Now we are getting close to winterizing time and I typically will do an oil/filter change, drive oil change before putting her to bed for the winter...
I know the materials to do that are not a thousand dollars, but seems a little ridiculous to change the fluids with that little time on them...
What say you guys??
 

achris

More fish than mountain goat
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Short answer, yes you need to change them.

Long answer.
Engine oil needs to be replaced annually, regardless of the hours. It's the contaminates (in particular the acids) that need to be gotten out.

Drive oil is different, but you may need to drain it to service the water pump impeller, which must be done annually...

Chris...
 

Mad Props

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Wait, I thought the adults only section said every 3 years for alpha 1 gen 2s??? (I know I didn't specify thats what I had) but do you change yours every year on your A1G2 @achris ?
 

JASinIL2006

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I'd be inclined to leave the drive alone... I might remove the lower fill screw just to make sure water or milkshake oil didn't dribble out, but if it looked OK, I'd be comfortable leaving it for a year.

Engine oil is interesting. The common wisdom around here is that you should change it annually, even if you only ran the engine 30 minutes, to remove acidifying compounds and other contaminants in the oil. (My F150 manual recommends an annual change, at least, regardless of miles driven, so that's consistent with the usual recommendations here, too.) On the other hand, I know quite a few people who own extremely expensive classic cars who run their engines every so often, but don't change the oil that frequently.

I'd rather err on the side of caution, so I change engine oil at the end of every season.
 

poconojoe

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Whatever you decide, at least check the drive lube for water, as suggested.
Let some out of the lower plug. If it's dirty, change it. If it's milky, drain it and service the drive.

If there was water intrusion, the water can freeze and damage the drive. Much more costly and more headaches if water had gotten in there and froze.
 

Mad Props

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Yea, that was my plan... crack the lower plug and check for water and put it back in if lube comes out right away. As far as the engine oil.. I guess I'll change it.. I usually buy the rotella 15w-40 by the 5 gallon pail anyways so I already have it... I'll probably just leave the wix filter on tho... Can see changing that
 

achris

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Wait, I thought the adults only section said every 3 years for alpha 1 gen 2s??? (I know I didn't specify thats what I had) but do you change yours every year on your A1G2 @achris ?
Ah, Gen II, yes 3 years... But you didn't mention that in your opening post. 😉
 

zellerj

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I think acids in your oil is horse crap. Oils are hydrocarbons, and they do not easily oxidize to carboxylic acids. There is no way HCl, H2SO4, HNO3 or other strong acids (which can oxidize iron) are going to get in there. Some say because of sulfur in the fuel you burn can cause sulfuric acid to form. This is also horse crap. There is very little sulfur in today's fuel. Others say Nitric acid is a product of combustion - it is true but automobile manufacturers recommend 6,000 or more miles before changing oil, so nitric acid formation is slow. Carboxylic acids have a general pH of 5. This will not affect steel. No worries on not changing your oil. I support changing your oil after 100 hours, not by calendar year. The literature about TAN and TBN (total acidic number and total basic number) is outdated, because TAN and TBN values of new oils are meaningless because of newer additives.

Has anyone who has dissembled engines ever found evidence of bearing corrosion because of lack of oil changes?
 

achris

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I think acids in your oil is horse crap. Oils are hydrocarbons, and they do not easily oxidize to carboxylic acids. There is no way HCl, H2SO4, HNO3 or other strong acids (which can oxidize iron) are going to get in there. Some say because of sulfur in the fuel you burn can cause sulfuric acid to form. This is also horse crap. There is very little sulfur in today's fuel. Others say Nitric acid is a product of combustion - it is true but automobile manufacturers recommend 6,000 or more miles before changing oil, so nitric acid formation is slow. Carboxylic acids have a general pH of 5. This will not affect steel. No worries on not changing your oil. I support changing your oil after 100 hours, not by calendar year. The literature about TAN and TBN (total acidic number and total basic number) is outdated, because TAN and TBN values of new oils are meaningless because of newer additives.

Has anyone who has dissembled engines ever found evidence of bearing corrosion because of lack of oil changes?
Be this as it may. You might be right, but if you only put 20 hours a year on the boat engine and then only change the oil every 5 years, that's also horse crap... You front up to a dealer for a warranty issue and have only changed the oil once in 5 years, he's going to laugh in your face.

And given it takes half an hour and about $25 worth of oil, I'll sleep better at night having done it than not done it...
 

dingbat

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Be this as it may. You might be right, but if you only put 20 hours a year on the boat engine and then only change the oil every 5 years, that's also horse crap... You front up to a dealer for a warranty issue and have only changed the oil once in 5 years, he's going to laugh in your face
Mercury’s Warranty is 1 year or 500 hours.
After 5 years your claim would be laughed at if you changed the oil weekly…lol
 

Scott06

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This thread is an interesting take on an oil thread.…
Change it or not doesn't matter to me. Personally I do my oil and drive lube annually and the boats I’ve maintained have lasted 31, 25, and current boat is 17 years and counting. Seems cheap compared to the other work you’ve posted about .

btw in fresh water gen 2 impeller last much longer than 3 years. Just did mine after 6 years, changed a neighbors after ten a few years back, both in perfect condition.
 

achris

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btw in fresh water gen 2 impeller last much longer than 3 years. Just did mine after 6 years, changed a neighbors after ten a few years back, both in perfect condition.
They last just as long in salt... I change my first one after 7 years and it was still in pristine condition...

Chris...
 

Scott06

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They last just as long in salt... I change my first one after 7 years and it was still in pristine condition...

Chris...
Good to know my experience is only in fresh. really impressed with the OEM merc impellers
 

achris

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... really impressed with the OEM merc impellers
Unfortunately yes. Even at 50% more expensive, if they last twice as long, they are 'cheaper'...

Chris....
 

achris

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Mercury’s Warranty is 1 year or 500 hours.
After 5 years your claim would be laughed at if you changed the oil weekly…lol
Not under Australian consumer law. Companies have been (successfully) taken to court over latent production defects in all sorts of products (including cars and boats). If the product does not perform or last as long as 'a reasonable person would expect', the courts will find in favour of the consumer, every time. But if your engine fails after 5 years, and you haven't done oil changes, the courts are going to laugh in your face...

Here's a prefect example of what I'm talking about... (slightly different issue than an engine, but vehicle out of 'warranty', and the courts still hung LDV out to dry, and rightly so!)

 

Scott Danforth

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if you did not use the boat at all (zero starts)

then leave it.

however if you started the motor even once......

Life/weather got in the way this boating season and I only put about 5 or 6 hours on the engine...

then the acids start building up in the motor. these acids are a byproduct of combustion. the first thing they attack is the soft metal in the bearings

an oil change is cheaper than pulling a motor to rebuild it.
 

Kubaat3lover

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Ok after oil change in the winter do you guys start motor or just leave off after refilling?
 

Lou C

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I start it to check for leaks at the filter then fog & drain it
 

Scott Danforth

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when I used to live where I needed to winterize, I generally fired it long enough to get oil pressure and make sure no leaks. about 3-4 seconds was enough for the gauge to start registering pressure

then proceed to drain, pull batteries, etc.
 
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