|Like the old cliche, ”You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy an Outboard Motor, and that’s pretty much the same thing”.
Owning a boat powered by a Four Stroke Outboard is as good as being happy.
Maintenance of an Outboard Engine can be costly if they are not properly maintained and we thought a few tips on how to avoid costly boat repairs might come in handy:
Flush your outboard with fresh water after each trip.
Use a quality “ear muff” style flushing adapter that fits on the lower unit water pick-up (or flushing port when available), and run your engine at idle speed (in neutral) for at least 5 minutes to flush out any salt. Your owner’s manual will give you more information (including important safety precautions) on this procedure.
Wash and wax your outboard engine.
Careful washing with mild soap and water not only makes your outboard look good, but also removes salt and other deposits. An application of a good quality marine wax will help to seal and protect the finish against the sun and salt.
Treat your engine with silicone spray.
Every second or third trip, remove the hood of your outboard (make sure the engine is turned off and cool to the touch) and apply a thin film of silicone spray to the power head. Be sure to use a type of silicone spray that won’t damage rubber and plastic. One of the best for this is CRC brand heavy-duty silicone lubricant, no. 765-1422.
Touch up nicks and scratches in the paint.
Inspect your outboard frequently for nicks and scratches, places where corrosion can get started and spread. Touch up any superficial scratches with a color-matched touch-up paint. On deeper scratches—especially where bare metal is exposed—use a top-quality metal primer first.
Store your engine out of direct sunlight.
The direct ultraviolet rays of the sun can damage the finish and deteriorate the exterior plastic and rubber components. For this reason, it is best to store your engine out of direct sunlight. If direct sunlight is unavoidable, keep the engine shielded with a top-quality, UV-resistant fabric cover while in storage.
Grease key points of your outboard engine.
Your Outboard motor comes equipped with special grease fittings to lubricate and prevent corrosion at key points where the engine pivots and swivels. Using a grease gun, apply grease through these fittings regularly, as recommended in your owner’s manual. Also, periodically remove the propeller and apply a film of grease to the propeller shaft.
Replace sacrificial zinc anodes as recommended
Most outboard engines are equipped with zinc anodes which “sacrifice” themselves in order to protect other metal parts from corrosion. To keep working properly, however, these zinc anodes need to be replaced as recommended in your owner’s manual or once they dwindle to less than 50 percent of their original size. In some extraordinarily corrosive salt water areas, it is wise to add an extra zinc anode below the water line of your boat and bond it to the engine with a quality marine electrical wire.