Engine Survey

The results of an engine survey are based on external visual inspections, performance data collected during a sea trial, and oil analysis. Internal borescope inspection service is available. Please see our Specialty Services page for more information.

The majority of Caterpillar’s® current-production engines are electronically controlledIMG_3975. Equipped with the Caterpillar Electronic Technician (ET) software program, engine and transmission performance data can be monitored via a laptop computer. The ET program can access engine history concerning previous diagnostic fault conditions, such as high water temperature, low oil pressure, etc. Depending on engine model, the ET program can also retrieve information as to how the engines have been operated, including the total amount of time (hours) spent at various RPM levels. Lifetime fuel total can also be accessed.

Knowing the amount of fuel an engine has consumed is a key factor when calculating maintenance and repair intervals. Experience has shown that service and maintenance intervals are most accurately scheduled on basis of fuel consumption. Reason being, the wear rate of load-sensitive items, such as pistons, liners, and cylinder heads, is function of the amount of fuel consumed.

Except for when used with the 3500 series of engines, the CAT ET program does not have the capability to monitor crankcase pressure, exhaust temperature, or exhaust system backpressure. The amount of crankcase pressure (blowby) an engine has is an indicator of piston ring and cylinder liner condition. High exhaust temperatures and excessive exhaust backpressure can cause premature valve failure and reduce fuel economy. Performance data relating to these systems will be monitored with additional test equipment and results recorded.

Survey also includes a check of the following systems: Ventilation, Exhaust System, Crankcase Ventilation System, Fuel System, Batteries, Engine Alternator, Controls, Gauges and/or Instrumentation, Jacket Water Block Heaters, Motor Mounts, etc.

Concerning the transmissions, drive oil pressure and drive oil temperature will be monitored. Whenever possible, transmission oil cooler temperature differential will also be measured. Minimal differential indicates that the transmission oil cooler(s) need to be cleaned or seawater supply may be inadequate.

A routine inspection and load testing of the generator(s) is also included. Please note that the emphasis of inspections will be with the external condition of the diesel power plant(s). An inspection of the electrical generating components, control panel operation, and vessel wiring is not included. Such an inspection falls into the category of an electrical survey. Depending on the extent of the electrical system, an electrical survey is something you may want to consider.

Oil samples of engines, transmissions, and generators will be taken (additional charge applies). Oil samples are then sent same day via FedEx for morning delivery to CAT oil lab. Excluding weekends, oil sample results are usually available within 48 to 72 hours.

Complete written report pertaining to findings is provided. For electronically controlled engines, a separate (detailed) engine performance report is also provided.

If you have questions concerning scope of the inspections and tests to be conducted, please contact us. For information concerning surveyor qualifications, see our About Us page.