Electronics & Navigation

8 Tips For Maintaining Your Outboard Motor

Do you prefer using your existing outboard boat motor instead of buying a new one?

In this article, we’re going to talk about your outboard boat motors’ uses, parts, and maintenance, to keep it in good condition, even during winter.


Boat motors are self-contained propulsion systems for boats, their main function is to help the boat move forward on water. There are two types of boat motors; the inboard and the outboard motor.

Outboard motors are the engines placed outside – typically at the back or on the stern of your vessel. It consists of a gearbox, propeller, and engine that are commonly used for small vessels.

One advantage of outboard motors is they can be easily installed, have high horsepower, and are very easy to maintain.


An outboard motor has three main parts; the top, mid-section, and the outboard lower unit.

  • Powerhead (engine) – this outboard motor part that includes the main engine of your boat – the visible part that must not be put in the water. When starting your outboard motor, the boater should pull the cord of the starter handle to produce a spark, and get the engine firing.

Other outboard powerhead parts include; starter handle, throttle grip, and throttle handle.

  • Mid-section (exhaust housing) – this part includes the exhausting housing and the mounting bracket. Exhausting housing is the one responsible for removing any used elements from the engine, while the bracket attaches the motor to the boat.
  • Lower unit (gearbox) – this part includes the propeller. Usually, this is made from aluminum or stainless steel. Most boaters prefer stainless steel.

Compared to other outboard motor parts, the lower unit needs daily maintenance since it’s the commonly damaged part due to instances where it can hit rocks and barriers underwater.


  • Electric-powered Motors – these outboard boat motors are usually used on small vessels such as; small catamarans, inflatable boats, dinghies, etc. Electric-powered motors are quieter compared to other boat motors since they have zero emissions.
  • Portable Motors – One of the advantages of portable motors is they can be removed from your boat whenever they’re not needed. They can go up to 15 horsepower and can be used for sailboats.

Portable outboard motors are required to be manually pulled to start. All you have to do is pull the starter handle. Once the motor starts, you can now hold the throttle grip to steer.

  • Large Motors – these outboard motors are designed for boats that usually measure 36 feet or longer. Large motors are normally bolted to the boat’s transom and have controls that are connected to the helm.


  1. If you often use your boat, it’s recommended to repair and check all the outboard motor parts every two to three months. 
  2. Before and after a trip, check the fuel line for worn spots and cracks.
  3. Check the tank vent to make sure that it’s working properly.
  4. Your fuel-line hose should be stabled and fit to avoid any cracks and leaks.
  5. Always change your oil filters to keep your fuel clean.
  6. Keep your mounting brackets rust free.
  7. To avoid any corrosion, wash your outboard with fresh water every time you use it.
  8. Clean your outboard motor after every use. If you haven’t used it for more than three months, make sure to clean it thoroughly and test it before using it.


To avoid any damages and keep your boat in perfect condition during winter, remember to:

  • Flush and drain water from your motor.
  • After drawing the water, use a fogging oil and spray it directly.
  • Disconnect the outboard’s fuel line and spray the fogging oil into the air intake. 
  • Remove the spark plugs and do the same process – spray fogging oil on each chamber.
  • After all the water is drained, store your outboard motor in a warm area.


Daily maintenance not only keeps you and your family safe during your boat trips but also saves you a lot of cash from major repairs.

Do you have any additional tips for maintaining outboard motors? Share us your thoughts and comment below.

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