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Essential Tips on Outboard Motor Troubleshooting

Stephen Rampur
Outboard motor troubleshooting is certainly not a very hard task. It can be easily done by referring to the following tips.
For a boating enthusiast to have a smooth and hassle-free boat ride, the boat should be kept in a proper condition. The outboard engine is the main part of the boat. While on the run, the motor can malfunction in many ways. Learning about its problems and repairs can surely save money. So, here are some outboard motor troubleshooting tips.

Avoiding Problems

Checking the fuel level and the fuel connections is one of the important tasks for avoiding this problem. There are some people who don't care at all about the fuel required for the motor to run.
You also need to check the proper working of the fuel lines. Check if they are not choked, broken, damaged, or frizzed. You should also inspect and see if there are no fuel leaks. Always use fuel that is fresh and is in no way contaminated.
Ensure that the batteries are switched on and the kill-switch is connected. Also make sure that the batteries are charged adequately, leads are connected, and the posts are not dirty or rusted.
In the case of pull-start motors, you need to make sure that the rope is not worn out or damaged in any way. It is recommended to keep an extra pull-rope in the boat.
Ensure that the engine and gearbox oil is at a proper level. Also check if the gearbox oil's color is whitish. If it is, it has been contaminated by water. Make sure the propeller is spinning in a free manner without any obstructions. You need to change the impeller after every 100 hours of running in saltwater, or in a year.

Troubleshooting the Problems

  • Start the troubleshooting by inspecting the connection of the spark plug wires. See if they are properly connected, as such a small thing can also make the motor defunct.
  • Also, inspect and check if the battery is connected properly. Also check the power-head for any faults. The power-head is a box that is positioned on the motor, which supplies electricity to the spark plug. If it malfunctions, the motor will not get the required power to start. You would then need to take assistance from a certified technician.
  • Inspect the water-flow going through the motor, which precludes it from overheating. If it turns hot, means there is no sufficient water-flow. Insufficient water-flow is caused if the pump propeller is damaged. 
  • The pump propeller that is situated at the lower part is a round disc with impellers, which are responsible for circulating water. If the boat doesn't move when you put the motor in gear, probably the pin on the propeller is damaged. In such a case, only the shaft will turn, but the propeller won't move. For solving this problem, the pin has to be replaced.
With the given mentioned steps, most of the outboard problems can be resolved, and you can enjoy your boating. By now you must have learned that outboard motor troubleshooting is quite a simple task, and you necessarily do not need to take your motorboat to a dockyard for repairs.