3rd Class EK Motors exam help from Martin's Marine Engineering Page

Certification Assistance for Marine Engineers

Canadian Third Class ME 
Engineering Knowledge - Motors

In Canada, Transport Canada administers the Marine Engineering examination process; visit the Training Page for details on the process. The actual exam consist of nine (9) questions randomly drawn from a question bank of the various subject. Six (only) must be answered in a 3.5hrs time frame. The exam questions are similar to these, presented below, and are drawn heavily from similar question in the Reed's Marine Engineering series of books. 
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Transport Canada has ask us to advise users of this webpage to keep in mind that these questions are not the exact questions found in their exams. Martin's Marine Engineering Page - www.dieselduck.net is not affiliated with Transport Canada and these questions have been gathered from various sources.
Encountered in April 2015- Thanks AJ
  1. Starting air valve, explain working, construction, explain start air explosion.
  2. Engine cooling water system, how temperature is maintained? What is the optimum temperature for engine inlet and outlet. Sketch and describe cooling water system.
  3. How do you adjust fuel pump timing? Effects of early and late injection.
  4. Explain the control systems: Pneumatic, hydraulic, electric, advantages and disadvantages if any.
  5. Explain compressed air staring system of a auxiliary engine, fittings fitted in the system, and mark the pressure and temperatures in the diagram.
  6. Sketch and describe trunk type 2 stroke engine; differences between 4 stroke and two stoke engines, materials used for construction of engine parts.
  7. Describe a clutch mechanism for propulsion engines.
  8. Sketch and describe a magnetic filter used onboard.
  9. Describe construction of flywheel of a diesel engine? Why it is fitted and its purpose? What are detuners and its purpose?
Encountered in April 2012- thanks GJ
  1. Describe with sketches the construction if internal structure of a ship. Provide strength and stiffeners to support a slow speed engine. State other factors that govern such construction
  2. explain why some pistons need cooling. Describe a piston cooling system including medium used and care and attention
  3. while in port you check the alignment of the ME crankshaft and adjoining thrust shaft. How would you proceed? if the two adjacent shaft couplings are not aligned and are secured together what operational problems might occur.
  4. state several causes of an engine failing to start. Explain how you would check faults and what action to take.
  5. describe an intercooler with fittings and safety mountings, suitable for use on multistage air compression. What is the purpose of intercooling?
  6. describe with the aid of a sketch an ignition system for a gasoline engine
  7. describe and oil lubrication system for a diesel engine. State the type of engine the system is for and include pressures and temps. Also state alarms and how they are monitored
  8. explain the procedure for doing a heat test on fuel. List the general properties of diesel fuel and heating value
  9. describe a pump suitable for a lube oil pump on a main engine, including construction materials.
  10. describe a cooling water system for a main engine including pressures and temperatures
  11. describe a carburetor for a gas engine. Why is a flame arrestor used?
  12. describe an oil cooler suitable for a main engine
  13. what is meant by racing and overspeeding? How are these condition prevented?
  14. when entering a crankcase, what precautions must be used and explain why
  15. describe and oil mist detector
  16. describe how a direct drive diesel engine is reversed. What would you do if the telegraphs were rung full ahead to full astern?
  17. with the aid of a sketch, describe the cycle of an opposed piston engine including pressures and temperatures at different times in the cycle
  18. describe the construction of an air receiver
  19. with the aid of a sketch, describe a duel fuel system.
  20. describe the construction of a cylinder head of a 4 stroke engine
Encountered March 2012 - Thanks LK
  1. Sketch and describe a trunk diesel engine with a turbo charger, list the main components and describe and give materials.
  2. How would you check and adjust fuel timing on a diesel generator? What would happen if the timing was to late or to early?
  3. What is the temperature of a diesel man engine cooling system, how is it controlled and why is it held at a certain temperature.
  4. Describe thy system.
  5. Describe the function of lube oil in a diesel engine, why is it important to maintain the oil at a certain level of cleanliness?
  6. Describe a way to measure scavenge pressure, what instrument would you use, and sketch.
  7. What are crosshead guides? Why are they fitted? Sketch and describe.


Matt sent us these question he had in an examination, Dec 2011. Thanks.

1 Lube oil cooler

2 Direct drive engine how it is reversed

3 precautions before entering crank case.

4 crankcase explosions, how it is caused

5 sketch oil mist detector

6 over speed and racing

7 sketch and describe fuel injector

8 timing diagrams for 2 stroke and 4 stroke


1 Mechanical clearance, volumetric clearance, define to adjust and the effects?

2 Fuel filter, describe, how to clean and the consequences of a dirty filter?

3 Four stroke, 600kW, 6 cylinder:

Exhaust temperature at port: 1 2 3 4 5 6

400 400 350 400 450 400

What are the possible causes and how to correct ?

4 Fuel oil, name physical properties. How are tests carried out and why is it required to know when fuel is being taken on?

5 Describe a type of centrifuge or lube oil purifier. Explain how it operates and how it is used in connection with a diesel engine. What are the possible consequences of operating an engine with dirty or contaminated oil?

6 Define the principles of supercharging and its advantages?

7 Cycle of an opposed piston engine?

8 How is a crosshead fit? How is the piston rod attached?

9 Define scanner, feedback, transducer, and tele-metering. Draw a simple logging scanner circuit.

I found these exams and digitized them in April 2002. The format and the questions suggest they are not current. Nonetheless, you may find them handy in jogging loose a few ideas to study. 


Test 1

1. Describe briefly the following types of engines, giving their cylinder pressures and teaperatures: gasoline; semi-Diesel; 2-stroke diesel; 4-stroke diesel.
2. How is a liner fitted to the cylinder of a four-stroke diesel engine? What might cause the liner to crack, and where would cracks appear?
3. What fittings must be provided on fuel oil tanks? Hnw are fuel oil tanks fitted in a wooden vessel?
4. What would be the effect of too much clearance between a fuel valve Cam and its roller? How is a fuel valve timed? What would be the effect of a worn cam?
5. Describe a storage battery.

Test 2

1. Describe the ignition system of a four-stroke gasoline engine.
2. Describe the lubrication system of a large diesel engine.
3. Describe a relief valve. How is it adjusted?
4. What does supercharging mean? What are itís advantages and disadvantages? What effect does it have on cylinder temperatures and pressures?
5. Describe a fire extinguisher you are familiar with.

Test 3

1. Describe a two-stroke diesel engine, and giving the timing of the various events of the cycle. What are itís advantages compared to a four-stroke engine?
2. Describe the construction and operation of a carburetter.
3. (a) What would cause a diesel engine to stop suddenly?
(b) What would cause loss of power in a diesel engine cylinder?
4. Describe how you would measure the clearance between the piston and cylinder on a diesel engine. How much wear would you allow before fitting a new liner? How would you remove the liner and fit a new one?
5. Describe a fuel pump on a solid injection engine. How is the fuel regulated?

Test 4

1. What would be the effect on a diesel engine of the following: (a) water in fuel, (b) oil too thick, (c) leaky fuel valve (d) fuel pump wrongly set, (e) fuel valve sticking open, (f) leaky piston rings, (g) choked lubricating system (h) blast pressure too low, (i) unequal fuel distribution to each cylinder, (j) air in fuel pump, (k) fuel valve lift insufficient.
2. Describe in detail a 3 stage air compressor as used in a blast injection engine.
3. Describe a 2 stroke diesel engine with which you are familiar, giving the valve timing. 
4. What would be the cause of a crankcase explosion in an internal. combustion engine? What safety measures are taken?
5. If a diesel engine started on air and refused to fire, how wnuld you proceed to find the cause and the remedy?

Test 5

1. Describe the construction and operation of a fuel injection valve.
2. Give the sequence of events and the valve timing of a 4 stroke diesel engine.
3. Describe a clutch and reverse gear for a diesel engine. How is the wear taken up?
4. Where are cracks liable to form on cylinder heads and liners? Give reasons. How are liners placed in cylinders, and how are they secured?
5. Describe a scavenge pump. On what type of engine is it used? How is it driven and what pressure does it carry?

Test 6

1. Explain how ignition is effected in the following engines: gasoline; diesel; semi-diesel. What would be wrong if ignition did not take place in each case?
2. How is the operation of a diesel engine affected by (a) water in fuel; (b) fuel too heavy; (c) insufficient lift of fuel valve; (d) incorrect setting of fuel valve; (e) air in fuel pump; (f) fuel valve stuck open; (g) blast pressure too low?
3. How is fuel oil injected into the cylinder of a diesel engine? Describe two methods of doing this. At wat point does injection take place in a two-stroke engine?
4. What is meant by supercharging a diesel engine and why is it used? Describe a supercharging system for a four-stroke diesel engine.
5. What are the requirements for good combustion? What would be the cause of a smoky exhaust?

Test 7

1. Describe all the fire equipment in tha engine room of a motor vessel with an auxiliary boiler. What fire precautions are necessary?
2. Describe the construction of the various cams on a four stroke diesel engine. How are the valves timed. What would be the results of a worn cams?
3. Describe in detail a lubrication system for a diesel engine. What is the pressure of the oil on the main bearings and what would the minimum pressure be for safe running?
4. Describe the construction of a cylinder head for a four stroke diesel engine. What causes heads to crack, and where are the cracks usually found?
5. Describe in detail a common rail system of fuel injection, giving its advantages and disadvantages. What is necessary to keep it in good working order?

Test 8

1. Describe in detail a lubricating oil cooler, naming the materials of which it is constructed. Name all the fittings, valves and piping you would expect to find. 
2. Describe a cylinder liner for a two-stroke diesel engine. What material is used and why? How is it fitted? Where does the wear take place and why?
3. Describe an engine driven lubricating pump for a reversible engine.
4. Describe an air starting valve. What materials are used? For how long during
5. the cycle is the valve off itís seat?
6. What type of lubricating oil is used in the cylinder of an air compressor.
7. What are the dangers of excess lubrication?

Test 9

1. Describe a fresh water cooling system for a diesel engine. What temperature is carried and how is is the temperature regulated? Why is it important that the water temperature be not too high or too low?
2. What is a scraper ring? Where is it used and how is it fitted? What would be the result if the ring were defective?
3. Describe an engine suitable for driving ship's lifeboat.
4. Describe an opposed piston two stroke engine.
5. Describe an instrument used for measuring exhaust temperature in a diesel engine. What would be the exhaust temperatures of two stroke and four stroke engines?

Brought to you by www.dieselduck.net comments to webmaster@dieselduck.net
Transport Canada has ask us to advise users of this webpage to keep in mind that these questions are not the exact questions found in their exams. Martin's Marine Engineering Page - www.dieselduck.net is not affiliated with Transport Canada and these questions have been gathered from various sources.