Poor starting can be caused by many problems. If the engine will run well enough once you have started it, the problem is most likely related to the Pre-heating circuit or reduced compression in the cylinder(s). Incorrect injection timing can also be a further issue as well as injectors and lift pumps. You can check your glow plugs across a battery (never a battery charger) but be sure that you are testing 12v plugs; many older engines used lower voltage plugs which will instantly burn out on 12v.
Kingfisher Boat Services can run a compression test on your engine and help you diagnose starting problems
This depends on the colour of the smoke.
Any smoke from a diesel engine (once it's warm) should be taken to indicate a fault which should be investigated.
We would recommend at least once a year assuming regular use. However, if your fuel is particularly dirty or you find an unacceptable amount of water in the filter bowls, you should check more regularly. Bad fuel is a common breakdown issue and it's easily prevented with regular maintenance.
This is probably a fuel system fault. If it's a regular minor "cough" check that it is followed by a puff of smoke from the exhaust; if so, it's probably a sticky injector. If it's more of a sudden rise in revs and then settles or perhaps even dies, it is most likely an air leak somewhere in the engine's fuel system.
Overheating will eventually kill even the most resilient of engines such as a BMC and could destroy a modern alloy engine very quickly. In fact, if you have a modern engine, regular overheating may already indicate serious damage. Check the obvious - water pump belts, impellers, weed filters and hoses. Remove the oil filler cap and check for white, emulsified oil (indicating a blown head gasket or cracked head/block). Remove the thermostat and test / replace. A cylinder head problem won't always manifest itself with emulsified (white) oil. Other tell-tale signs are pressurisation of the cooling water circuit.
Kingfisher Boat Services has a wealth of experience in dealing with all aspects of inland marine craft.
Call us in to assist with your boat's problems for a robust solution. We can work on an advisory basis or carry out the whole job to completion; the choice is yours.
For many, DIY tasks on your boat are all part of boat ownership and carrying out these jobs is all part of the fun, but there often comes a time when you simply can't spend the time or the job is just outside of your skill level or comfort zone. Perhaps you need specialist tools (sorry, we don't hire tools), or specialist knowledge where to proceed further without it might cause greater problems.
Petrol inboard engines are particularly dangerous to work on because of the very real risk of explosion from igniting the fuel vapours.
Please use the information on our Frequently Asked Questions pages as you see fit but at your own risk. We have a wealth of experience in these matters and are happy to offer this information free of charge, but by using any of details given on this page or other pages within this web site, you agree that you are doing so at your own risk. Kingfisher Boat Services cannot be responsible for any losses caused as a result of following any information given here.