Servicing your outboard motor

There are quite a lot of little tasks to do when you are going to service your outboard engine.
If you use this checklist you should cover just about everything:
1.  Change the gear oil – and while you are doing this see if any water
     has got through the seals.
2.  Replace the spark plugs – some people just clean the old ones, but
     buy new.
3.  Strip down and clean the fuel filter.
4.  Strip down the water pump – clean any corrosion.
5.  Check the flywheel nut and nuts around the cylinder head.
6.  Check the recoil starter – lubricate it – also the pull rope for any
7.  Check the gear and throttle cables for any damage – lubricate all
8.  Check the tilt mechanism – grease it and the clamp screws while
     you have the grease out.
9.  Lubricate the prop shaft.
10. Bleed the auto lube pump – check for air in system.
11. Check the ignition timing – adjust if needed.
12. Adjust the carburettor pilot screws if they need it – otherwise
      leave as is.
13. Change the engine oil.
Start your outboard up after doing these tasks and listen to it. Check to see if water is exiting the exhaust. Then adjust the throttle – the engine should have a smooth pick from idle. The maximum revs should be achieved. Return to idle speed and check to see if does maintain its correct idle speed , now that the engine is hot. With the throttle
working smoothly, check all other functions, including the stop button!  Happy motoring!


Outboard Motor 12 Month Service

Every 12 months or 100 hours you should give your outboard motor a service. Here are 12 points to follow:-

  • Clean or replace spark plugs.
  • Check and clean all electrical contacts.
  • Check condition of recoil start cord for wear.
  • Replace the fuel filters and check the entire fuel system for leaks etc.
  • Change engine oil and filters (4 strokes).
  • Empty fuel/oil tank and replace with new mixture(2 strokes).
  • Check gearbox oil and top up if needed.
  • Replace cooling system anodes.
  • Replace water pump impellor.
  • Check steering system and lubricate moving parts.
  • Lubricate gear shift and  throttle control linkages.
  • Check operation of tilt mechanism (power tilt if fitted).

Once you have completed all of the above you will be confident using your outboard engine during this coming season.

Some of the most common problems occur because one or more of the 12 checks mentioned have been overlooked. If you can spare a few hours to do these 12 checks every 12 months your outboard will certainly run a lot smoother with less worry on your part. One of the times your outboard is likely to show you that it is not running well is when you return from a long run at cruising throttle and slow it down to idle while you manouevre into your mooring. This sudden change from getting loads of fuel and air into the engine while you were at cruising speed, to tick over speed can upset the running of the engine if it has not been serviced each 12 months.

Therefore for peace of mind and a trouble free season, spend a few hours doing the above 12 checks. To help you further I am writing a guide to outboard maintenance which will be free to download for you. I had hoped to have it ready by now but I keep adding more and more information to it! Watch this space as they say! In other words please come back and check to see if I have the free guide ready for you to download.