Taking Care of your Outboard Motor

Mercury Engines Boat

As one of the most versatile marine motors out there, outboard motors are worth putting on just about any fishing boat or sport boat. They’re powerful, lightweight, and great for just about anything. Such a hard working engine should be taken good care of, so we recommend you implement a few maintenance routines to keep your motor performing well for a long time. At Water Werks Marine Group, we want you to get the most from every boat you ride and every engine you use, we put together this guide to help you out with some basic maintenance practices. You’ll be able to do everything from routine inspections to simple repairs, but it’s a good idea to bring it into our service department if you have any serious issues that need to be fixed. We’re located near Indiana, Michigan, and Milwaukee, WI.

Routine Maintenance

You don’t want to let small problems shorten the life of your outboard motor, so you’ll need to exercise a few routine maintenance tasks to keep it in shape. Just like other internal combustion engines, your primary concerns in outboards are fluids, corrosion, leaks, and certain internal components. You should inspect your motor about once a month by removing the cowling, or outer cover, from the motor. Check for leaks all around, and pay careful attention to the connections between joints. If these are all good, disconnect the battery and take a look at the spark plugs. Brush them off if they’re dirty, and replace any plugs that show signs of corrosion. A bad spark won’t ignite the gasoline properly, which could do damage to your engine in the long run.

Fluids are responsible for lubricating an outboard motor, so these are also very important to keep an eye on. Begin by checking your oil. Top it off if it’s a little short, and pay attention to the quality of oil. When you notice it getting really dark or viscous, that means it’s time to replace the oil and change the filter. Also consider the possibility of leaks when checking your oil. Sure you’ll lose oil a little faster in the outboard on your fishing boat or especially sport boat, but it should still drop at a pretty consistent rate. If you find yourself replacing tons of oil every time you check it, there might be a leak, which you should get fixed at our service department immediately.

Post-Trip Maintenance

You’ll save yourself a lot of time at the shop if you use a few tricks after each ride in your sport or fishing boat. One such practice is flushing and rinsing the engine every time you use it. This is especially important if you take your sport boat out to the ocean, since particles like salt can wreak havoc on an outboard motor’s internal components. Weeds or other debris from a lake can do similar damage, so play it safe and just flush the engine after every trip. To do this, take your boat out of the water and start it up. Shift the engine to neutral, and it will automatically pump the excess material out. Leave it running until all the water’s out, then disconnect the fuel line. It’s a good idea to burn that extra fuel out of the motor, so run it until everything burns out. Don’t forget to clamp off your fuel line beforehand though, otherwise you’ll spray gasoline everywhere! Once the fuel in the motor has dried up, turn it off and reconnect your fuel line.

When to Bring it in

As a fishing or sport boat owner, you’re very capable of doing a few of these inspections and maintenance routines yourself. You might even have some experience with outboards, but for more complicated repairs, such as leaks and part replacements, we recommend bringing it in. The experts at our service department are guaranteed to get your boat running smoothly, so don’t hesitate to visit our dealership in Country Club Hills, near Naperville, Chicago, Valparaiso, Gary, Michigan City and Waukegan, Illinois. We also proudly serve the areas of Will and Lake County, Illinois.