Volvo Penta inboards are known for their durability and dependability. Delivering high performance and excellent fuel economy, they are ideal for a variety of applications including pleasure craft, workboats, and other commercial vessels. Despite their reputation for reliability, Volvo Penta inboards can overheat if not properly maintained.
Overheated inboards can lead to decreased performance, increased fuel consumption, and even engine damage. To avoid these problems, it is important to keep your inboard well-maintained and to regularly check the engine for signs of overheating.
If your Volvo Penta inboard is overheating, there are a few potential causes. The most common cause is a build-up of debris in the cooling system, which can restrict water flow and cause the engine to overheat. Another potential cause is a failing water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine, and if it is not working properly, the engine can overheat.
There are many possible reasons for these inboards overheating. We will try to analyze and give a few solutions to the overheating problem.
How Do Cooling Systems Work in Volvo Penta Inboards?
Old Volvo Penta Inboards had raw seawater cooling, while the new models utilize both seawater and freshwater cooling. Both liquids don’t mix and run through the heat exchanger separately.
Newer models come fitted with exhaust heat alarms as well, which will notify the captain if there is an issue with the cooling system. In case the alarm detects a rise in temperature, the captain can take necessary action to avoid engine damage.
Heat Exchanger Problems
The heat exchanger is a crucial component of the cooling system, and if it is not working properly, it can cause the engine to overheat.
One potential problem is that the tubes in the heat exchanger could be clogged with debris, restricting water flow and causing the engine to overheat. Another possibility is that the gaskets or seals in the heat exchanger could be failing, allowing water to leak and causing the engine to overheat.
Dismantling and cleaning the heat exchanger quite often solve the overheating problem. If the heat exchanger is damaged, it will need to be replaced. If you suspect that the heat exchanger is the cause of the overheating problem, it is important to have it checked by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.
Seawater Pump or Impeller Problems
Impellers are responsible for pumping raw water through the cooling system, and if they are not working properly, the engine can overheat.
One potential problem is that the impeller could be damaged or worn out, and will need to be replaced. Another possibility is that the raw water intake could be blocked by debris, restricting water flow and causing the engine to overheat.
Checking your Volvo Penta impellers regularly is a good way to avoid overheating problems. If you think that the impeller is the cause of the overheating problem, get yourself a new impeller and have it fitted by a qualified mechanic.
Problems With Exhaust Elbow or Manifold
If your Volvo Penta inboard is overheating, one potential cause could be a problem with the exhaust elbow or manifold. These components can become cracked or damaged, allowing water to leak into the engine and causing it to overheat.
Replacing these pipes is quite easy, and can be done by a qualified mechanic. If you think that the exhaust elbow or manifold is the cause of your overheating problem, it is important to have it fixed as soon as possible.
The primary and quite often most overlooked cause for an inboard engine to overheat is a bad propeller. A bent chipped, or unbalanced propeller will cause the engine to work harder than usual, generating more heat and leading to overheating.
If, you need to change your propellors make sure to get ones that are the correct size, pitch, and style for your inboard. You can also have your propellers balanced, to help reduce vibration and engine wear.
If you are unsure about the condition of your propeller, get it checked by a qualified mechanic or propeller specialist.
If the water strainer is blocked, it will restrict water flow to the engine and cause it to overheat. The water strainer is located between the raw water intake and the seawater pump, and its purpose is to filter out debris before it reaches the pump.
Cleaning or replacing the water strainer is quite easy and can be done by a qualified mechanic. It is quite easy to have the strainer become blocked, so it is important to check it on a regular basis and clean it if necessary.
The thermostat is responsible for regulating water flow through the engine, and if it becomes stuck in the closed position, it will restrict water flow and cause the engine to overheat.
Replacing the thermostat is quite easy, all you will need is a new thermostat and gasket. The job can be done by a qualified mechanic, or you could do it yourself if you are feeling confident.
If you think that the thermostat is the cause of your overheating problem, it is important to have it replaced as soon as possible.
Old MS2 Transmission Engines
MS-2 transmission was used in older Volvo Penta inboards, and these engines are known to have overheating problems. The cause of the overheating is usually a cracked or worn-out water pump impeller.
If you have an old MS2 engine, it is important to check the condition of the impeller on a regular basis. If it is damaged or worn out, it will need to be replaced.
It is also a good idea to have the engine checked by a qualified mechanic on a regular basis, to make sure that it is in good condition and there are no other potential problems.
False Over Heating Alarms
Some Volvo Penta inboards are equipped with an overheating alarm, which will sound if the engine gets too hot. However, these alarms can sometimes be triggered by other factors such as high ambient temperatures or a build-up of condensation in the engine room.
Keeping a handy infrared thermometer in the engine room can help you quickly check whether the alarm is sounding for a genuine reason or not. You can also check various sections of the engines and their respective temperatures with this instrument.
If you are unsure about the cause of your alarm, it is always best to err on the side of caution and have the engine checked by a qualified mechanic.
Volvo Penta engines are known for their reliability, but like all engines, they can sometimes have problems. Overheating is one of the most common issues, and there are a number of different things that can cause it.If your engine is overheating, the first thing you should check is the water pump impeller. If it is damaged or worn out, it will need to be replaced. Other potential causes of overheating include a blocked water strainer, a sticking thermostat, or an old MS-2 transmission engine. Make sure to go through the manuals before taking your engine to a mechanic.