3176C and 3196 Marine Engines Walk-Around Inspection Caterpillar

Walk-Around Inspection
3176C and 3196 Marine Engines [SEBU7040]
1.1. Inspect the Engine for Leaks and for Loose Connections

Inspect the Engine for Leaks and for Loose Connections

A walk-around inspection should only require a few minutes. When the time is taken to perform these checks, costly repairs and accidents can be avoided.

For maximum engine service life, make a thorough inspection of the engine compartment before starting the engine. Look for items such as oil leaks or coolant leaks, loose bolts, worn belts, loose connections and trash buildup. Make repairs, as needed:

  • The guards must be in the proper place. Repair damaged guards or replace missing guards.

  • Wipe all caps and plugs before the engine is serviced in order to reduce the chance of system contamination.


For any type of leak (coolant, lube, or fuel) clean up the fluid. If leaking is observed, find the source and correct the leak. If leaking is suspected, check the fluid levels more often than recommended until the leak is found or fixed, or until the suspicion of a leak is proved to be unwarranted.


Accumulated grease and/or oil on an engine or deck is a fire hazard. Remove this debris with steam cleaning or high pressure water.

  • Ensure that the cooling lines are tight and ensure that the cooling lines are properly clamped. Check for leaks. Check the condition of all pipes.

  • Inspect the water pumps for coolant leaks.

Note: The water pump seal is lubricated by coolant in the cooling system. It is normal for a small amount of leakage to occur as the engine cools down and the parts contract.

Excessive coolant leakage may indicate the need to replace the water pump seal. For the removal of water pumps and the installation of water pumps and/or seals, refer to the Service Manual for the engine or consult your AVSpare dealer.

  • Inspect the lubrication system for leaks at the front crankshaft seal, the rear crankshaft seal, the oil pan, the oil filters and the valve cover.

  • Inspect the fuel system for leaks. Look for loose fuel line clamps.

  • Inspect the piping for the air inlet system and the elbows for cracks and for loose clamps.

  • Inspect the alternator belt and the accessory drive belts for cracks, breaks or other damage.

Belts for multiple groove pulleys must be replaced as matched sets. If only one belt is replaced, the belt will carry more load than the belts that are not replaced. The older belts are stretched. The additional load on the new belt could cause the belt to break.

  • Drain the water and the sediment from fuel tanks on a daily basis in order to ensure that only clean fuel enters the fuel system.

  • Inspect the wiring and the wiring harnesses for loose connections and for worn wires or frayed wires.

  • Inspect the ground strap for a good connection and for good condition.

  • Inspect the ECM to the cylinder head ground strap for a good connection and for good condition.

  • Disconnect any battery chargers that are not protected against the current drain of the starting motor. Check the condition and the electrolyte level of the batteries, unless the engine is equipped with a maintenance free battery.

  • Check the condition of the gauges. Replace any gauges which are cracked and replace any gauges that can not be calibrated.