Taking Care of Your Outboard Engine

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Your boat is a valuable asset, and it is important that you know how to take care of it properly. While a basic inspection may be all that is generally required for the boat, when it comes to the outboard engine, it isn't always so straightforward, especially if you aren't a qualified mechanic. While there are always going to be repair jobs that you will need to leave to a qualified mechanic, it is good if you are able to conduct a basic maintenance regime yourself.

What's involved in a maintenance regime?

No matter what type of outboard engine you have, a basic maintenance regime will break down into two sections. Maintenance that you should complete after every trip, and maintenance tasks should be completed less frequently. Here is the maintenance you should carry out after every trip.

Flush the engine 

Whether you have been boating on the ocean or the river, it is important that you remember to flush out the engine when you have finished. Simply start up the engine and allow the water pump to do its work. While the engine is flushing, you will have a good opportunity to examine your water pump and ensure that it maintains a good water flow. You can also take the opportunity to check that the water coming through the pump is not too hot since this could indicate a problem with your engine.

Check the outflow 

If you notice that the water output is weak, then it is a good idea to examine the outflow tube to make sure that there is no debris causing a blockage. Try shutting down the engine and inserting a wire into the outflow tube and moving it around. You can then restart the engine and see if that rectifies the problem. If the issue does not resolve, then you may need to consider purchasing a replacement water pump.

Empty the carburetor 

Next, you should take off the fuel line and let the engine burn the remaining fuel in the carburetor so that it doesn't sit there while the outboard engine is out of use. When that is done, you can turn off the key and the battery switch.

Check for leaks 

Remove the cowling from your engine and see if you can identify any leaks. If you can see anything leaking fuel or water, you should speak to your mechanic before using your outboard engine again.

Don't forget to lubricate 

All moving parts work better if they are properly lubricated, so check your throttle cables, carburetor valves, etc. You must remember to lubricate them as required. Contact a supplier of products such as Yamaha outboard engines for more information about how to take care of them.