Preventative engine maintenance saves you time and money!

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Engine repairs can be costly, and breakdowns on the water can put your safety at risk. It's easy to keep your outboard in great shape, and you don't need to be a mechanic. Here are some tips that can help keep your outboard engine running reliably for a long time.

Maintenance after every trip

1. Flush out the engine: start up the engine and let the water pump do the rest (stay clear of the prop.)

2. Check the water pump for good water flow. The water may be warm, but shouldn't be hot. If the output is not strong, you may have some debris stuck in the outflow tube.

3. After flushing the engine, disconnect the fuel line and let the engine burn all the fuel in the carburetor.

4. Turn off the key. If you have a battery switch, turn it off.

5. Take the engine cowling off and check for fuel or water leaks. If you find leaks, talk to your mechanic.

6. Wipe everything down and spray with an anti-corrosive like WD 40 or Quick-lube. Be sure to lubricate all the moving parts.

7. Replace the cowling and wipe it down. Keep a canvas or plastic cover on the engine between trips.

Regular maintenance

  • Periodically check the fuel line for cracks and worn spots.
  • Make sure the fuel primer bulb is not cracked and is pliable.
  • Make sure the fuel-line fittings seat properly and don't leak.
  • Check the clamps on the fuel line for rust or corrosion.
  • Check the fuel tanks for damage and corrosion.
  • Check the tank vent to make sure it aspirates properly.
  • Check regularly for water in the fuel.
  • Make sure you're using fresh fuel.

For information on Lake County's public boat launch locations, visit our directory. And be sure to check out the Boating Safety 101 video to find out the basic needs for a safe day on the water.

Happy Boating!


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