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Volvo Penta warns of engine damage from Gulf oil

As the effects from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion continue to spread, engine manufacturer Volvo Penta of the Americas issued a statement regarding customer unease over potential damage the oil can cause to their boat engines.

"This disaster has and will affect an overwhelming number of Americans, their businesses, their recreation and our natural resources," said Clint Moore, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas. "We hope that containment and cleanup efforts are successful and swift in order to protect our nation's waterways. And we encourage Volvo Penta owners to be proactive in protecting their boats during this difficult time."

"Many boaters are concerned about the impact of the oil on their engines while sitting at the dock or during operation in waters where oil may be present. Like many other aspects of this disaster, there is uncertainty regarding the long-term effect of mooring or operation of a boat in oil-infested waters," the company said in the release. "Most manufacturers, including Volvo Penta, have not performed formal testing of engines under these unique and extreme conditions. Because of this uncertainty, all boat owners need to exercise special diligence to protect their boat investment."

"Volvo Penta's experience shows that ingestion of even small amounts of oil into the cooling system of the engine may cause damage to the engine and/or many of its subsystems. Sterndrive components or other running gear may also be damaged by submersion in oil contaminated water," the release continued. "In order to avoid expensive repair bills and long-term damage, owners are encouraged to contact their Volvo Penta dealer for service recommendations if a boat has been operated or exposed to oil contaminated water. Volvo Penta has issued specific service and repair recommendations for its authorized dealers to address this unique issue."