Preventing Corrosion on Your Outboard Motor

Preventing Corrosion in Your Outboard Motor

Corrosion is one of the most dangerous threats to the performance and longevity of an outboard motor. The two basic types of corrosion are galvanic corrosion, which results from an electrochemical reaction between different metals, and stray current corrosion, which happens when electrified metal is immersed in a grounded body of water, such as a lake, river or ocean. Fortunately, both types of corrosion can be avoided or slowed.

In order to prevent damaging corrosion on your new outboard motor, the first step is to pay careful attention to the surface of the paint, as this is the first place the beginning stages of corrosion are likely to appear. Pay close attention to any bubbles or blisters and, if they appear, take immediate steps to correct them to avoid corrosion. Since some corrosion is inevitable through basic use of the outboard motor, especially in saltwater, the use of a sacrificial anode can be helpful.

A sacrificial anode is a small chip made of highly active metal that can be implanted into most outboard motors and used to prevent less active metals from corroding. When corrosion begins, the sacrificial anode will corrode first, protecting the less active metals in the motor.

A great deal of motor corrosion can be prevented in saltwater boats by simply flushing the motor thoroughly with freshwater each time the boat leaves the ocean. This serves the purpose of removing harmful salt deposits that can promote or hasten erosion. Additionally, corrosion occurring around exhaust outlets can be remedied by thoroughly cleaning the area with marine or auto wax.

If a boat owner notices stainless steel parts of the motor are corroding, cleaning the parts, removing foreign matter and replacing individual components if needed can solve the problem. Although corrosion is a reality of boat ownership, the good news is that it is largely preventable.

Keep a careful eye on your engine and replace or clean corroded parts as soon as you notice them. Utilize sacrificial anodes for extra protection and flush saltwater engines thoroughly after use. These simple tips, tricks and precautions will ensure that your outboard motor stays strong and corrosion-free for years.