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When Downtime Is Not An Option.


How to Recognize and Prevent a Diesel Bug Contamination in Your Engine

Diesel bug has always been a major issue for boat owners, especially in recent years. It develops when microbial bacteria, algae, and mold contaminate the fuel tank. They use water and other nutrients to grow into a slimy biofilm that floats on the fuel and spreads across the fuel systems. 

The microorganisms thrive in specific temperatures, around 86 degrees Fahrenheit. There are over 100 types of this bacteria, and some of them are even airborne. The water in a fuel tank is fertile ground for this menace to grow. Some breeds can grow from a fraction of a gram to more than 22lbs in a day. Others grow slower but can create problems nonetheless, as they release byproducts such as hydrogen sulfide.


The Most Common Boat Breakdowns, Part 2

We have published the first part of this guide to the most common breakdowns in boats recently. This part deals with some additional common problems.

If you’ve missed the first part of our guide to the most common boat breakdowns, you can find it here. San Diego ship repair experts here at Propulsion Controls Engineering (PCE) talk about boat breakdowns they encounter regularly.


The Most Common Boat Breakdowns, Part 1

Boating enthusiasts will tell you that there’s nothing better than going out to sea, no matter how old your boat is. However, if you’re not careful, your boat might break down and then you’ll be stuck in the middle of the ocean with a broken boat.

Here at Propulsion Controls Engineering (PCE), one of the most respectable ship repair companies in San Diego, our mechanics are often tasked with fixing a few common issues, no matter the type or size of the vessel. In this article, we give you the rundown of the most likely breakdowns and how to fix them on the go. Finally, there are some useful tips on how to prevent these kinds of problems again.


How to Deal With Boat Steering Failure?

Imagine this: you’re out in the open sea when suddenly your steering system starts failing. What do you do? Do you try to tame your yacht or come to a stop? And how can you fix the system so you can safely return to the harbor? In this article, we are going to teach you how to act in case of a steering failure.

Steering systems are fairly simple and rarely fail. That is why many boat owners take them for granted and don’t provide them with the maintenance they require. Two main reasons why steering systems fail are a lack of maintenance and damage sustained during an impact. If this happens, you will completely lose control of your vessel.


How Maintenance Can Help Your Electric Motor Run Longer and More Efficiently

In order to make sure your electric motor stays in its prime, you need to make sure it gets proper maintenance regularly. Any type of vehicle or vessel, be it a car, truck or a boat, that relies on an electric motor to work will benefit from maintenance, as it guarantees that the component will produce the right amount of power to run the vehicle without unnecessary strain and extra costs that come with it.  

While we often take electric motors for granted, they are complex pieces of machinery and require regular preventive maintenance. Following a checklist can help you minimize the strain on your electric and make sure all its components are working properly. 

In this article, our electric motor service San Diego experts list the four essential maintenance tips for electric motors.


The Green Benefits of Rewinding Your Electric Motor

Once your electric motor kicks the bucket you’ve only got two options: replace or rewind. However, owners are not that full of trust when it comes to electric motor rewinding. Because of faulty practices in the past, the process had earned quite a nasty reputation. Motor owners still believe that rewinding the motor reduces its efficiency, making it the less ideal of the two alternatives. This also led many to replace their old motor with a high-efficiency variant because of the belief that it was better for the environment. The truth is that rewinding your motor is the better choice for both you and the environment if you have a licensed expert like San Diego’s PCE handle the process.


A Brief Insight into Ship Maintenance

If you want your boat to run successfully all through its work life, you need to perform regular maintenance. Boats usually have strong engines and other heavy duty machinery. This machinery needs constant attention in order to put out its maximum.

It is a good idea to have all your check-ups at the same place, so as to have the mechanic be familiar with the state of your ship. This way, they can notice the difference in operation between the two maintenance check-ups, potentially preventing a breakdown before it happens. If it does happen, make sure you have the best mechanics around to fix it for you. PCE is a San Diego ship repair and maintenance facility with ties to the US Navy and over four decades of experience.

So, how does ship maintenance work? When do you do it? How often?


Do Not Neglect Your Bilge Pumps

Bilge pumps are as useful as they are disregarded. They are your last resort against sinking in the worst case scenario. Do you know how many of these pumps you have? Do you know if they’re operational? If it came to it, would you know how to run them? If you feel like you don’t know as much as you should, read the rest of this article to learn more.


Volvo Diesel Engine Troubleshooting, Part 2

We recently put up the first part of this text in order to help people with Volvo Penta engines find some common faults with this engine, as well as find the quickest possible solutions for those problems without needing to visit a mechanic. 

If you are having issues with your Volvo diesel engine, but didn’t find the solution in part 1, here is part 2 with a few more tips on diagnosing your engine problems.

If you aren’t skilled in mechanics, you shouldn’t attempt to fix the problem yourself. That is better left to professionals with ample experience in the field.


Volvo Diesel Engine Troubleshooting, Part 1

We love diesel engines. We put them in our cars, our boats and use them as electricity generators. One of the reasons we love them so much is because they are sturdy, reliable and durable. However, all machinery can break down, and so can diesel engines. 

Some lines of diesel engines were shown to be quite unreliable, whether due to the poor quality of parts or a mechanical fault. Volvo, however, has a strong reputation as reliable and durable. So, what do you do if your Volvo engine is giving you a headache?


Turbocharging or Supercharging: Pros and Cons

Modern diesel engines require a lot of air to function properly. This is why simple air intakes are no longer enough. Most diesel engines are fitted with either a turbocharger or a supercharger. If you have no idea what either of these means and are wondering which is better, here is a short overview of pros and cons for both of these air intake methods.

If your engine is fitted with one of these, it pays to know what can go wrong with them, and where you can find turbo repair in San Diego.


Pump Service San Diego Experts Explain the Four Levels of Maintenance

Just like any other piece of equipment, building pumps need to be subjected to regular maintenance if you want to keep them operational. The fact that the pumps are hidden within walls and underneath the floors makes it easy to forget that, just like your car, they need maintenance as well.

If you subject your pumps to regular maintenance you can save thousands of dollars on expensive repairs and part replacements when the device finally malfunctions or breaks down.

There are different levels of pump maintenance, San Diego experts at PCE warn. By addressing each of them you will be sure that your pump performs properly and lasts much longer.


Why Are Marine Surveys Important When Purchasing a Boat?

A big financial decision such as buying a boat should never be made lightly and without previous detailed checks. The process of checking the vessel you are interested in is called pre-purchase.

The most important part of this process is a marine survey. If you are planning to buy a boat, you need to seriously consider doing a marine survey. Marine surveys in San Diego are quite easy to find since San Diego is a busy port town. However, if you are looking for top quality, consider hiring someone with a solid reputation and experience.


What Kind of a Woodward Governor do you need?

Woodward governors are a staple of many diesel engines. The governor is a part of a diesel engine that monitors and regulates the amount of fuel fed to the engine. This way, the governor actually determines the speed of the boat. Without a governor, a diesel engine would have no throttle control or the ability to change or maintain the speed.

It is therefore vital to keep this part functioning properly and to know how to adjust it to your liking and needs. There are several different types of Woodward governors, but their operating principle is the same, and they largely have the same functions. If you are unsure about tuning the governor, or you need spare Woodward governor parts, find a reliable partner to help you. PCE functions as an Authorized Independent Service Facility for Woodward governors.


4 Signs That You Need to Repair or Replace Your Hydraulic Pump

Hydraulic pumps have a versatile role in our modern society. If you are a boat owner, you know how vital this piece of equipment is for steering. Essentially, without them, steering a high power boat would be virtually impossible. That’s why it is vital to keep the pump running smoothly. 

It is especially important if you want to be autonomous for longer periods of time. Being away from other people out at sea does sound appealing, but if your hydraulic pump malfunctions there, you may find yourself stranded far from help. So make sure you check your hydraulic pump for these signs before setting off.


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Our Guarantee

At PCE, we pledge to provide you with the highest level of integrity and expertise; to recommend only what’s good for you and your situation; to use all resources possible to minimize downtime; to give the best value for your dollar; and to stand by our work and our word.

Contact Us

Corporate Headquarters
1620 Rigel Street
San Diego, CA 92113
Phone: (619) 235-0961
Fax: (619) 233-5096 
Diesel & Motor Division
3376 Main Street
San Diego, CA 92113
Phone: (619) 235-0961
Fax: (619) 687-0038 
99-1221 Halawa Valley Street
Aiea, HI 96701-3281
Phone: (808) 486-6600
Fax: (808) 845-1652 
920 West Marine View Drive
Everett, WA 98201-1300
Phone: (425) 257-9065
Fax: (425) 259-6851