Outboard Motor Maintenance 101

Outboard Maintenance

Your boat provides you with a way to get to different fishing spots which are not reachable by land. It can take you out to places of incredible tranquillity and peacefulness, but imagine if your motor broke down when you were out at sea? Being stuck at sea can be a dangerous, stressful and costly experience for all concerned. However, if you want to keep your outboard motor running smoothly, you can take a few steps of your own to prevent motor breakdowns by using a few of these simple maintenance tricks.

What you should regularly check:

  • Regularly check your fuel line for worn spots or cracks
  • Ensure that the fuel-line fittings properly and do not leak
  • Check that the fuel primer bulb is pliable and free from cracks
  • Make sure that the clamps on the fuel line are free from rust or corrosion
  • Make sure that the tank vent aspirates properly
  • Carefully inspect the fuel tanks to look for rust, damage or other corrosion
  • Make sure that there is no water in the fuel

How to clean your engine after every use:

When your boat is on the trailer and have arrive back home after a trip out on the water, you should always:

  • Flush out the engine with fresh water after every trip
  • After flushing, disconnect the fuel line and allow the engine to burn away all the excess fuel in the carburetor.
  • Wipe everything down thoroughly and be sure spray moving parts with an anti-corrosive lubricant like WD40
  • After replacing the cowling, cover the engine with a plastic or canvas cover
  • Safely drain all the fuel from the tank, as fuel over 30 days can stop the motor from working.

Common Maintenance Issues

One of the most common problems which can occur with an outboard motor is that the motor will not start. There are a number of reasons why this could occur. One of the most common reasons for this is that the fuel tank is empty. If your engine has run, wait for it to cool down before filling the tank up. If the tank is full, check the kill switch and make sure that the engine is in gear before trying the engine again.

If your engine keeps overheating, turn it off completely and check that there are no blockages in the water flow. The water flow can easily become blocked up with weeds or other foreign objects, which can prevent enough water from getting to the engine to cool it down sufficiently.

If you are hearing excessive vibrations coming from your engine, it is possible that there might be damage to your propeller. When the motor is switched off, check that the propeller is attached securely. If it does seem to be attached properly, then check the propeller blades for any breaks, bends and cracks, as these can also cause vibrations. If you do discover any irregularities with the blade, have the propeller replaced as soon as possible.

Popular Manufactures Recommendations:

Mercury Marine

Yamaha Outboards

Suzuki Outboards