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An Outboard Motor Maintenance Checklist

An Outboard Maintenance Checklist

If your boat has an outboard motor, it is very important that you keep it in top form if you want to prevent it from breaking down and costing you a lot of money in repairs.

Even if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, you can do the basic maintenance which will ensure that your boat is running without a hitch until your regular annual maintenance. When it comes to those regular maintenance checkups, make sure that you only entrust those to qualified and skilled mechanics. The premier San Diego ship repair facility at Propulsion Controls Engineering gives you some tips on how to keep your outboard in good condition.

Flushing the Engine

This is one of the simplest and the most important things you can do for your engine that doesn’t involve taking it apart. Flushing the engine doesn’t take too much time, but it can be vital for your engine’s longevity. Do this after every trip for the best result, regardless of whether it was a salt or a freshwater trip.

So, take your outboard out of the water and start it; the water pump will do the rest of the work. Make sure that you don’t stray into the propeller blades and that you don’t accidentally shift into a gear. This is a great time to actually check your pump as well. Put your finger into the stream of water to test it. It should be warm, but not hot, so you should be fine.

If the stream of water is weak, the most likely cause is an obstruction somewhere in the outflow tubes. If that is the case, you should turn off the engine immediately and insert a length of wire to try to unclog the tube. Otherwise, the motor will overheat and cause a lot of problems.

Clear the Fuel from the Engine

When the flushing is done, you will want to burn off the residual fuel in the engine and the carburetor to prevent it from building up and causing issues with performance. It is fairly easy and takes only a few minutes. Simply unplug the fuel line and let the engine burn all the fuel in it before it stops. Once that is done, simply turn the key and turn off the battery.

Make sure that you always use fresh fuel in your engine, because fuel decays over time and burning old fuel can leave more residue inside your engine and shorten its lifespan.

Visual Inspection

Once you finish this routine, you can choose to inspect the engine for any defects. All you need to do is take of the cowling and check whether there are any leaks of either water or fuel. If you do find a leak, you will need to consult a professional boat mechanic.

While the cowling is off, you can also spray WD-40 or a similar product as an anti-corrosion protection. Make sure that all moving parts are covered. Once that is done, all you need to do is reassemble the engine and cover it with a tarp or some other cover when not using the boat.

Simple maintenance can be done by amateurs and it can be enough for a while. However, if you want to keep your engine truly in top form, you will need to have occasional checkups at a professional ship repair facility.
PCE is a company with over 40 years of naval mechanics experience, including contracts from the US Navy. If you want to learn more about the company, or you want to become a client, contact PCE today.

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