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Benefits of Regular Maintenance for Volvo Penta IPS

Committing to a maintenance schedule is an important part of extending the life of your marine engine and related systems. Johnson & Towers and Western Branch Diesel, part of the Indel Power Group, provide exceptional maintenance and repair for all marine engines and systems, keeping their customers on the water.

An example of the type of systems they maintain is Volvo Penta IPS. Volvo Penta IPS is a complete and integrated propulsion system — from the helm station via the engine, all the way to the propellers.

“IPS greatly increases fuel efficiency, maneuverability, and enhances onboard comfort in any application. Maintaining the IPS drives is important for the life of the engine and system. If you don’t conduct proper maintenance, for example, the clutches may suffer a failure. Also, it’s important to replace the drive fluid every 300–500 hours,” says Korey Hill, Service Technician, Western Branch Diesel. “Every 500–1,000 hours the shaft seals need to be replaced, and then at 3,000 hours, another set of shaft seals should be replaced.”

To properly service the drives, the boat should be taken out of the water every other oil change to remove the accumulated metals and sediment and drain the oil from the bottom of the drive. This helps to eliminate sediment collecting at the bottom.

At every oil change, the oil should be tested to track trends in oil quality. All OEM oil analysis services include the ability to track an engine’s history. The benefit is that if previous sampling has been clear and then there is a rise in materials in the oil, technicians can investigate the issue and install any new parts that are needed.

If a drive system does fail, owners can choose between remanufacturing or rebuilding the drive. “In certain situations, rebuilding can be more cost effective, usually if the main housing unit fails. We can do complete overhauls at our location, but a Volvo Penta remanufactured drive is also a completely viable option,” says Hill. “A remanufactured IPS comes fully built and can drop in easily, getting owners back on the water pretty quickly.”

The Volvo Penta IPS is known for its maneuverability with joystick driving that allows operators a 360-degree turning radius and superior docking control. “There is little to no prop wash or exhaust, black smoke, and soot on the transmission. The joystick operation and control is second to none. It’s very smooth,” says David Shook, General Service Manager, Marine, Indel Power Group. “The control system modes work extremely well.”

The DPS control mode holds the boat’s position by satellite, within five degrees all the way around. This allows the operator to step away from the controls to perform necessary tasks or just relax while the system uses clutches, the engine, and bow thrusters to control the position. It’s a great system to have in place while waiting for a bridge, especially for smaller boats, since wait times vary.

In sportfish mode, the system keeps boats in position for deep-drop fishing, i.e., in 600 feet of water, and is mainly used for pleasure crafts, cruisers, and sportfishing boats.

Contact our marine service team for any regular maintenance or service needs for your engines or systems.