Part of your pre-season planning should include a check of your outboard motor. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last minute only to discover there are a few items that need serious attention. Checking your outboard motor now should only take a few minutes, allowing more precious hours of fun on the water this summer.
In order to ensure a safe and uneventful season we recommend you follow the checklist below:
1) Engine Oil
• See the – ‘Checking and Adding Engine Oil’ – section in your Owners Handbook. Refer to your individual engine model specifications for the correct grade and amount of engine oil. Care should be taken to avoid overfilling with oil.
2) Fuel System
• Visually inspect the fuel system for deterioration or leaks. Over extended periods of time fuel will degrade and could have adverse effects on your outboard fuel system. This would be more evident if the winterisation procedures were not followed correctly. Inspect the fuel line and primer bulb for cracks, swelling, leaks, hardness or other signs of deterioration or damage. If any of these conditions are found, the fuel line or primer bulb must be replaced immediately.
• Ensure that any remote fuel tanks are correctly secured to prevent movement or spillage.
3) Outboard Mounting Brackets
• Inspect the outboard for tightness to the boat transom. If any looseness of the outboard or mounting fasteners exists, retighten the outboard mounting fasteners. When checking for signs of looseness, look for loss of outboard transom bracket material or paint caused by movement between the outboard mounting fasteners and the outboard transom brackets. Also, look for signs of movement between the outboard transom brackets and the boat transom.
4) Steering System
• Check the steering system for binding or loose components. In both the Tiller Handle and Remote Steering cable models, the steering should be free of obstruction and binding, operating in both directions freely.
• Visually check steering link rod fasteners for proper tightness as per the owner’s handbook.
5) Battery – If fitted
• Remove the battery from the boat and check the water level. Recharge if necessary. Check that all electrical connections are tight and free of corrosion. Do not use deep cycle batteries. Engines must use a marine starting battery as per the manufacturer’s specifications.
• When connecting engine battery, hex nuts must be used and torqued to secure battery leads to battery posts.
• Check propeller blades for damage. The leading edge of the propeller should be smooth and free from nicks and cracks.
• Check the propeller hub kit is still functioning correctly. Before leaving the dock, check the outboard’s forward – neutral – reverse shift to ensure correct shifting, and that the propeller hub is still intact.
7) Lanyard Stop Switch or Kill Switch
• Check that activating the lanyard stop switch stops the engine. Start the outboard on a flushing device or in the water. Check the complete operation of the kill switch, start the outboard – pull the lanyard switch – re-install the lanyard and re-start the outboard. The Lanyard stop switch must be checked and tested before each use of the outboard.
• Always carry spare fuses. Open the fuse holder and check that the spare fuses are in the holder.
• Lifesaving equipment should be checked. Life vests should be checked for cuts and abrasions, self-inflating vests should be checked for expired canisters, have them checked or replace them if you are not sure.
9) General Care
• Flush out the outboard cooling system if operating in salt or polluted water. This will help prevent a build-up of deposits from clogging the internal water passages. See ‘Flushing the Cooling System’ section in your owner’s handbook.
• Wash off all salt deposits and flush out the exhaust outlet of the propeller and gear case with fresh water if operating in saltwater.
• Your outboard is protected with a durable baked enamel finish. Clean and wax often using marine cleaners and waxes.
RESOLVING A PROBLEM
If you ever have a problem, question or concern about your power package, contact your dealer or any authorised Mercury or Mariner dealership. If you need additional assistance go online to: