Keep Your Motor RunningPublished: Fall 2013
If you're a powerboater, then the engine's where it's at: Try some of these tips to keep things running smoothly.
Change The Zincs
Sacrificial zincs in an engine, on a prop nut, rudder, or thruster are easy to inspect and important to maintain. Important because when dissimilar metals underwater are brought into electrical contact, galvanic corrosion occurs and these zincs act as the sacrificial lamb protecting the engine, driveline, and other metal parts. Check your owner's manual to know where your zincs are located, and how to change them. Carry spares.
Cooling System Cleanout
Getting less water than usual out of your outboard's cooling water telltale? Try cleaning the outflow with a piece of heavy monofilament fishing line. Slide it up and down the tube and work it back and forth. If the flow doesn't improve, and you're sure the intake isn't clogged, it may be time to replace the water pump.
Protect Those Hoses
Avoid using auto-parts store "dry gas" potions in your fuel. Many contain methanol, which can shorten the life of engine hoses.
Vibrating Outboard Diagnostics
When your outboard begins to vibrate excessively, chances are it's either a damaged prop or a bent prop shaft. If there's no damage to the prop, and it's securely attached, try a spare prop and see if it makes a difference. If it still vibrates, remove the prop and spin the shaft by hand with the engine in neutral. If it wobbles, it's bent and probably needs to be replaced.