Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year – were you lucky enough to get a break?
The Bartech team were working hard in the festive period; with our engineers called out to help a vessel after the revs on its propulsion engine started fluctuating and the oil pressure dropped.
The vessel came back into port, and after checking the engine it became clear that oil was being pushed out of the oil filler and dipstick.
Further investigation showed the cause: a dramatic increase in the oil level.
They got started draining the fluid, and even after removing 30 litres of the stuff, the level was still above max by an inch!
Then, after boarding the vessel, more oil was found in the air filters, and here in the turbo:
But the oil wasn’t the only problem, because it wasn’t just oil anymore, but rather an oil/fuel mix – something that was obvious from the smell and the visible dilution of the oil.
As you’ll understand, working out whether there was fuel in the mix instead of – say – coolant was pretty vital – had it been coolant the oil would have emulsified and the pressure increased instead of decreasing.
Thankfully, the crew were able to react quickly and shut things down, which prevented the engine from running away – this could have happened with the fuel/oil mix being pushed through into the cylinder, via the turbo, adding to the fuel that was already getting injected.
There could still be significant internal damage as a result of the thinner oil, though this is still to be assessed.
Not only did the crew react quickly, the fact they were able to provide accurate information on the changes in revs, pressures and temperatures allowed a quicker diagnosis, and I know that an informed crew make our engineers’ jobs much more manageable.
That, coupled with our ability to get engineers over there at short notice will have saved the operator a lot of downtime, and fingers crossed, they don’t find any internal damage.