Study Finds Lubrication Failure Most Common Cause of Engine Damage

Noria news wires
Tags: maintenance and reliability

Lubrication-related failure is the most common cause of main engine damage, according to a recent study by the Swedish Club. The study, which compared insurance claim statistics for the hull and machinery (H&M) segment from 2015-2017 with previous studies from 2010-2014, included vessel type and size, engine manufacturer and speed, damaged parts, and cause of damage.

Following lubrication failures, incorrect maintenance and/or repairs and poor fuel management were ranked as the second and third most common causes of damage. The crankshaft/bearing was identified as the most expensive damaged part with an average cost of nearly $1.2 million per claim.

Medium- and high-speed engines were found to be 2.5 times more frequently damaged compared to slow-speed engines. These engines also had a disproportionate claims cost in relation to the number of insured vessels.

Of the Swedish Club's 734 machinery claims in 2015-2017, main engine damage was the most expensive category with a total cost of $131 million. This contributed to 16 percent of the cost of all H&M claims and 34 percent of all machinery claims.

The average cost of main engine claims increased by 21 percent, amounting to nearly $650,000 per claim. However, this increase in costs was seen across the board in all machinery claims, due in part to the rising cost of labor and spare parts.

The study also revealed that the frequency of main engine claims has remained steady over the last 10 years. Bulkers and tankers have been the best performers, while passenger vessels/ferries have experienced the highest claim frequency.

To download the full study, visit