Even though the approaching cold weather may keep you out off the water, it is still important to take care of your outboard motor. By keeping it tuned up, you can be sure it will be ready to go when the warm air starts to come in. It will also alert you to any problems that need to be fixed before you winterize it. Here are some simple tuning strategies for your boat’s outboard motor.
First, gather up your gear. You will need your owners manual, a hammer, some pliers, a wrench and a flat head and Phillips head screwdriver. Make sure you have all the replacement oil, fuel, filters and spark plugs you need.
Second, remove the motor and visually inspect it. Look at the propeller. Are there any cracks? Are they bent? If so, take them to a propeller shop to get fixed. If there is a lot of oil running down the propeller, there could be a leak. This requires a serious repair.
Third, look for missing or loose nuts, bolts and brackets. You may want to consult the manual for help. Tighten or replace the hardware. Examine the throttle control and make sure all moving parts are in good repair and well lubricated. After that, disconnect the spark plug wires and replace them with new ones.
Fourth, you will want to replace the fuel filter and the cowling on the engine. Mix the new, fresh fuel and oil and mount it back on the boat. You will want to test it before you start.
Fifth, crank the ignition. This is your chance to listen to the ignition and make sure your engine is running smoothly.