Routine Outboard Maintenance

After your engine has been properly run in, you’ll need to establish a maintenance routine that begins with systematic checks every time you use your boat. These checks won’t take long, but could spell the difference between life and death for your engine.

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Daily Checks and Outboard Maintenance

Daily checks should include a quick look at just a few key items. First, make sure that your oil tank (if you have one) is topped up. If you have a four-stroke engine, be sure to check the crankcase-oil level and top up if needed. Check your owner’s manual to determine if your dipstick should be screwed in, or left unthreaded when you check the oil level. Failure to do so could give you a false reading, and lead to overfilling or underfilling your engine’s crankcase, which can cause problems Wire Pull Tester.

Check that you have adequate fuel for your intended trip, and that the fuel-tank vent is open.
With the engine tilted up, check for excess oil buildup near your propeller…it could mean that a seal in your lower gearcase has deteriorated. (Note: Some oil film buildup is normal in many cases; look for changes in the amount of buildup. If it appears to be increasing, check the oil level in the lower unit as discussed in the owner’s manual) If the seal has failed, take the engine to an engine repair shop immediately to avoid expensive gear-unit damage.

Check for fishing line wrapped around the propeller hub area. If you ignore it, the line can wrap tightly around the propshaft and cause the aforementioned gearcase seal failure.

If your engine is not through-bolted to the transom of your boat, make sure the screw clamps are tight and secure. Many engines have landed on the bottom of the sea through neglect of this simple check.

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