Maybe they didn't check they got the oil filter
tight enough. You can test this by turning on the engine, briefly
, to see if you can see where the oil is coming out--dribbling or spraying. To me this is the most likely place for it to be coming from (and the easiest to remedy).
After you see where the oil is coming from (this may only be a second or two), turn off the engine.
If the spill was from the oil filter
, wait a bit for the oil to settle into the oil pan, and then remove the filter. Have some paper towels or clean rags to stuff in the hole to stop the drips spreading more. If the oil filter gasket
is wrinkled or torn, don't try to re-use it, but install a new one, and some more oil. Only let the engine pump
oil out into the bilge for a short while, and be prepared to get dirty.
You may find that your hands are not strong enough to loosen the old filter or tighten the new oil filter adequately, and therefore, see if you can borrow (or get from an inexpensive auto shop) an oil filter wrench, and use that to do the final tightening...and the loosening. Have a "dirty materials" bucket right next to you to put the damaged filter in (being full of oil, it will leak all over). When we change oil, we use news papers carefully, to control the oil getting all over the place.
If the oil pours out under pressure, whoever was doing the work
probably got called away, and forgot to tighten the filter. Drips or spraying is a sign of inadequate tightening. The box the filter comes in tells you how far past finger tight it needs to be tightened. Lubricate the gasket
with some of your oil, so it will be easy to tighten and get a good seal. Mark the top (the 12 o'clock position) with a felt tip marker when it is finger tight, so you can tell when you've got the extra half turn. Tighten.
Fortunately this kind of job is not too puzzling, it is all about oil under pressure, and you are going to be careful to not run the engine out of oil.
After you have remedied the problem, then go clean the bilge. Remember the Hippocratic oath: first, do no harm. The above is a pretty safe and easy to check and fix, and I kind of doubt it will be any more complex than this. Other scenarioes for getting oil in the bilge are worse.
If the oil filter gasket itself is damaged, or the oil came pouring out, you may want to take it back to the people who serviced your boat
and "have a chat" about the whole situation. If pouring, it means they didn't check their work
. (We always check ours). They should cover the cleanup costs for you, at least, so save your receipts.
I would like to add here, that oil changes are within the capacity of all non handicapped owners to accomplish for themselves, including checking them afterwards for leaks
, and if you ever blow an oil hose at sea or in the boondocks, it's good to know you can make a temporary fix at least for yourself. Buy yourself some waterless hand cleaner, too. It is great for not only hand cleaning
, but for removing grease stains from fabrics prior to washing
. Another item that may be a useful addition to your toolbox is a mechanic's mirror, a mirror on a stick like a dentist's, but about 4" by 1-1/2" For looking for leaks
(and stuff) where you don't have direct line of sight. Most of our old, simple diesel
engines are way easier to understand and work on with reasonable tools than modern automobile engines.