Outboard Maintenance after Every Trip

Outboard Maintenance after Every Trip

Preforming proper outboard maintenance after every trip on the water is an integral part of keeping your outboard motor functioning well and preforming to its greatest potential. Improper routine care, on the other hand, can result in significant damage to an outboard motor. Fortunately, there are several quick, simple maintenance steps boat owners can take to ensure that their outboard motors continue to run well for many seasons.

Here are the top five things boat owners should do every time they remove their outboard motors from the water:

Clear the Water Pump:

After removing the boat from the water, start the engine and run it for two-three minutes to ensure that the water pump has eliminated all excess water. During this time, it is important to stay clear of the prop and make sure that nobody mistakenly shifts the boat into gear.

Evaluate The Water Pump Output:

The water pump is an integral piece in outboard motor temperature control, so it is imperative that it works correctly. While the motor is running, insert one finger into the stream of output water. The temperature should be warm, not hot, and the water should come in a steady, unimpeded flow. If it does not, check the output for debris or obstructions.

Flush the Engine:

Flushing the engine after every use is an important part of the maintenance of saltwater and freshwater motors alike. After removing your boat from the water, flush the engine thoroughly with fresh water to wash out any debris or mineral buildup. A thorough flushing should last at least five minutes.

Empty the Carburetor:

After the engine has been flushed, focus on the carburetor. To do this, disconnect the fuel line, start the engine and let it burn any residual fuel that may be left in the carburetor. When the motor is empty of fuel, turn off the engine and, if the outboard motor has one, switch off the battery.

Lubricate the Engine:

With the engine turned off, remove the accessory cowling and observe the engine hoses, tubes and seals for any visible leaks or cracks. Spray moving parts with WD-40 to lubricate and protect them. Replace the cowling and wipe off any residual lubricant. Replace motor cowling and cover the outboard motor with a UV-resistant fabric cover.