Regular Maintenance for Outboard Motors

Regular Maintenance for Outboard Motors

There is no question about it: boating is hard on outboard motors. The regular wear and tear of water, sediment, weather, engine operation and UV light can easily damage outboard motors if proper care is not practiced. Fortunately, there are several easy, preventative-care actions boat owners can take to ensure that their outboard motor keeps running strong for years. Here are the top preventative care actions owners should take when removing their boats from the water:

Flush the Engine:

Although saltwater is particularly hard on engines, freshwater motors deserve a good flushing, too. Flushing the motor after each run helps keep the working parts clean and in good running order.

Start the Engine and Let the Water Pump Work: Allow the engine to run for 2-3 minutes in order to ensure that the water pump has effectively cleared all unwelcome water. Pay special attention that nobody tries to shift the boat into gear during this time.

Check Water Pump Flow: While flushing the motor, cautiously place a finger in the stream of water to check the temperature. The water should be warm but not hot. If the water is not being released in a steady flow, it is possible there is debris clogging the output tube. In this case, insert a wire clothes hanger into the tube to gently work debris loose. If the stream is still weak, the motor may require a new water pump.

Burn the Fuel in the Carburetor:

After you’ve flushed the engine, disconnect the fuel line and let the engine burn off any residual fuel left in the carburetor. When the motor runs out of fuel, turn off the engine and the battery.

Check the Engine:

Remove the engine cowling and visually observe the motor for any visible leaks. Spray moving parts with WD-40 to keep them lubricated and running smoothly. Replace the cowling, wipe off any residual lubricant and cover the motor with a UV-resistant canvas cover.

Although regular boating is hard on engines, it is easy to keep your outboard motor in top operating condition by preforming a simple regiment of preventative care every time the boat leaves the water. Boat owners should also conduct regular visual examinations of their engine, lines, tanks and equipment to ensure there are no leaks, rust or damage. Practicing good regular maintenance habits will keep any outboard motor running well for years.