A late Spring has our local water temps fairly cold for this time of year. Don't be fooled by those couple warm sunny days, warm up you DFI engines before blasting away from the dock. If you don't, cold seizing will be a term you will become familiar with, one of our best customers had this occur during the 1st B.A.S.S. Weekend Series on the Potomac last week.
DFI (direct fuel injection) engine are very common these days. They are 2 stroke engine like Mercury's Optimax, Yamaha's HPDI and Evenrude's E Tec engines. These DFI engines get great fuel mileage compared to engine of the past, but these engine are very hi tech machines with very tight tolerances. These tight tolerances can cause an issue that hurts the engine or could even blow up the engine in extreme cases. During the colder months in the Fall, Winter and in the Spring when the water is still cold the engine can cold seize. It happen because the pistons in these engine is manufactured from aluminum which heats up very quickly. The sleeve in the aluminum block that the piston rides in is made of steel which heats up much slower than the piston. The piston expands quickly as it heats up, the block does not expand until the engine warms up when the water temps are cold. This causes the piston to stick to the walls of the sleeve or cold seize. It causes a scuff on the piston which shortens the life of the engine. Sometimes it breaks the piston or the connecting rod that connects it to the crankshaft. If this happen we are talking about big bucks to repair the engine, as much as $10,000. Ouch, not a good way to start off a day of fishing. But don't be scared, preventing cold seizing is easy. When ever you go fishing and the water temps are below 50 degrees, let your engine warm up for a couple of minutes before jumping on plane. Those of you with a SmartCraft gauge or a engine water temp gauge need to get to a engine temperature of at least 120 degrees. That is all you need to do to prevent cold seizing.
So when you take your DFI powered boat out fishing during the colder months of the year, let that engine warm up before you leave the marina. Those couple of minutes of time will keep your engine from cold seizing and save you possibly thousands of dollars. If you don't want to wait, that OK too, we need business during the colder months of the year.