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Starting Problems On Marine Auxiliary Diesel Engine

Starting Problems On Marine Auxiliary Diesel Engine

On this article, I will like to briefly explain the various causes of Marine Auxiliary engine problems. I hope it would prove beneficial for junior engineers as well as practicing marine engineers.


Marine auxiliary diesel engines are used for the production of electricity on board merchant or offshore ships. They are called auxiliary because the main diesel engines are used for the propulsion of the ship. The auxiliary engines are generally four stroke diesel engines. It could be air or battery starting… It doesn’t matter.

Lets say you come on your normal watch and find out that the Chief Engr or second Engr has written a note instructing you to change over the generators because the 250 –  500 hour routine of the running generator is due..After you take a round, check the various parameters of the running machineries and then go to the generator platform. After checking the level of the oil and opening all the valves you blow through the engine and then close the indicator cock ( if Available) . Now you give it an air or battery kick and engine keep turning but the engine does not pick up. You try again and the same result. Now need to troubleshoot.

The Troubleshooting Marine Auxiliary Diesel Engines (Engine turning but can’t start).

Starting Problems On Marine Auxiliary Diesel Engine
                                               Marine Auxiliary Diesel Engine ( NIVO)


Below are the areas you most troubleshoot :

1. Fuel does not reach the fuel injection pump because there is air in the system.

2. The fuel oil filters are choked.

3. The fuel line valve is not open.

4. The trips have been not reset after the last stopping.

5. Fuel oil service tank is at low level. Beware the other generator is also going to stop.

6. There is water in the line.

7. The fuel valves are faulty and not giving proper atomization or are choked.

8. The fuel pump timing is wrong.

9. Leaking fuel injection pipes.

10. Seized plungers of the fuel pumps.

11. Fuel rack linkage stuck in position.

12. Seized delivery valves or broken plunger springs in injection pump.

13. The engine is cold.

Starting Problems On Marine Auxiliary Diesel Engine
                                                                          Marine Auxiliary Diesel Engine (CAT)

If you check all the above mentioned,  and still not to start,  you need to check the electrical side (E.g the governor connection).

There are other problems that can cause not starting… We shall discuss that in the next article.  Subscribe with us and stay tuned.

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