Winterizing your Outboard

monterey boat

Winterizing your Outboard Engine in Illinois

Clean Everything

This is a fairly broad instruction, but clean your whole boat before you store it for the winter. Take care of the topside and the hull with equal care. Take out any gear that might need cleaning and take care of that as well. If you’re feeling ambitious you can coat the topside with some wax. Seat cushions might need some attention as well.

Cooling Flush

Flush your outboard with fresh water to wash any grime and corrosive elements out of the engine. This is especially important if you run your boat in saltwater, but even an engine that runs in freshwater lakes needs to be flushed.

Prep the Fuel System

Swap your fuel filter, and gas up your engine. Add some marine fuel stabilizer (how much depends on the amount of fuel you’re treating). Run your engine to get the stabilizer cycled through the engine.

While the engine is running mist the air intakes with fogging oil. This will help prevent corrosion buildup. Wipe down the exterior components with a fogging oil rag to these parts as well.

Oil Change

Change Your Oil. Swap out the Oil filter. Look for milky oil or other indicators of a problem, this may tip you off to the need for a service appointment.


Lubricate all the moving components on the top deck. With a moisture displacing lubricant, hit each of these mechanical parts to apply a smooth coat of lube.

Conduct a final inspection. Look for wires, fittings or other components that might show some wear. Remove any gear you don’t want to be stored with your boat, like electronics. Adding moisture absorbers will help prevent mold or mildew buildup.


A tight, well-fitting cover is important. Make sure that your cover won’t collect water once it’s on your boat. If you can keep your boat out of the elements that will obviously be the best scenario, otherwise you’ll want to make sure that you can check on it frequently to ensure your cover isn’t leaking.

Need Help Winterize Your Outboard in Illinois?

It may seem like there is a lot to do when winterizing your outboard, so if you have questions, feel free to contact Water Werks Marine Group in Country Hills, IL. We also service the entire area’s boats and outboards including Chicago, Waukegan, IL Illinois and the areas of Gary, Michigan City, Valparaiso, IN, and Milwaukee, WI.