You don’t need to be mechanic to maintain a healthy boat motor. Here are some easy tips for preventative motor maintenance that any boat owner can perform.
BEFORE EVERY TRIP CHECK THE...
- Fuel levels
- Fuel tank vent is open
- Oil tank is full
- Water intake is free of debris
AFTER EVERY SEASON
- Rinse and clean the outboard motor
- Start the engine and let the water pump flush the motor
- Check that the water pump has proper water circulation
- Check for fuel or water leaks by removing the engine cowling. If there is a leak, consult a certified mechanic.
- Disconnect the fuel line and burn off all fuel in the carburetor
- Spray the outboard with anti-corrosive
- Lubricate all moving parts
- Clean cowling
- Check the fuel line for cracks
- Clean the engine for corrosion
- Replace zincs and any anodes annually that have corroded
- Check fuel primer bulb
- Make sure the fuel-line fittings are not leaking
- Check that there is no water in the fuel
- Check the tank vent
- Inspect propeller for dents or chips
- Make sure the clamps are free of rust and corrosion
- Check engine for corrosion
- Change the engine oil
- Replace the oil filter
- Replace the water pump impeller approximately every 3 years
What is an outboard motor?
An outboard motor is a self-contained propulsion system for boats. Unlike inboard motors, outboard motors can be removed and stored.
How often should you clean the outboard?
You should clean your outboard with every use, regardless if you are boating in freshwater or saltwater.
How often should you get your engine serviced?
You should have a marine engine professional evaluate the health of your outboard once a year. Preferably before the start of the season.
What type of anti-corrosive should you get? How often should you use it?
What type of fuel should you use?
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation. Your fuel-type will depend on your outboard and its size. All outboards may benefit from use of an additive, like STA-BIL 360 Marine, to help prevent engine corrosion.