Outboard Engine Parts
Outboard engines are engines attached to the outside of a boat and used to propel it forward. These engines can last for many years if they are properly maintained. Outboard engine maintenance is important because these engines are exposed to the elements and their propellers can clog and get damaged. The outboard engine maintenance should be more regular than the maintenance for inboard engines.
It is important to have a reliable mechanic and the boating season should start with a tune-up. The mechanic should test the spark, run a compression test, pressure test the lower unit, check the seals and water pump, and test the warning alarms. Good outboard engine maintenance will eliminate most causes of breakdown.
Post-Trip Outboard Engine Maintenance: One of the basic rules of outboard engine maintenance is that after every trip you need to flush out the engine. This applies for salt water outings as well as for fresh water outings. To flush the engine you will need a set of "rabbit ears" (two flexible rubber seals connected with a metal clamp). Slip this apparatus onto the lower unit where the water is picked up and attach a garden hose. Start up the engine, the water pump will do the rest. Stay clear of the prop and make sure no one tries to shift the motor into gear.
Another basic rule of outboard engine maintenance is to check the water pump while you are flushing the engine. This is to be sure that you have a good water flow. Carefully put your finger through the stream of water. The water could be warm but it shouldn’t be hot. If the output is not strong that means that you may have some debris stuck in the outflow tube. If this is the case, shut down the engine immediately in order to prevent heating and damage. A solution to the problem could be to insert up a small piece of wire into the flow tube. Start the engine one more time and check the output again. If the problem persists you might need a new water pump.
Once you have flushed the engine, disconnect the fuel line. You should allow the engine to burn all the fuel in the carburetor. Part of the outboard engine maintenance includes always using fresh fuel. After every season recycle properly the fuel that is left in your tank.
Regular post-trip outboard engine maintenance should include the following actions:
• 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 for water in the fuel.
When you finish flushing and running the engine out of fuel, turn off the key and, if you have a battery switch, turn it off. As part of the outboard engine maintenance, open up the engine cover and check for fuel or water leaks. If there are leaks then you should contact your mechanic. Wipe everything down and spray with an anti-corrosive. It is also a good idea to lubricate all the moving parts. Read and follow the engine’s manual to the letter.
After this outboard engine maintenance procedure, it is a good idea to replace the engine cover and wipe the outside down. Keep the canvas or plastic cover for the engine in place between trips. Regular outboard engine maintenance can prevent potential problems with your engine and save you money.
Weekly/Monthly Outboard Engine Maintenance: Every month check the fuel line of the engine to make sure that there are no cracks or spots that have become worn or discolored. Check that the outer casing doesn’t have any cracks and that it is not leaking water into the engine block. Open up this casing to see if there are signs of corrosion on the inside.
Preventive outboard engine maintenance makes safe boating easier and can keep your engine running well for many years.
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