It’s easy to keep your outboard engine reliable for a long time and facilitates safe boating, even if you are not a mechanic.
Flush out your engine. And this doesn’t just apply to salt water usage. This should be a common practice for fresh water outings as well.
Start the engine and let the water pump do the rest. Remember to stay clear of the propeller and make sure no one shifts the motor into gear.
While you’re flushing the motor, make sure there is good water flow. Carefully put your finger through the stream of water. It will be warm, but it shouldn’t be hot. If it appears that the output is not strong, check for debris stuck in the outflow tube. If this is the case, shut down the engine, to prevent damage or overheating, and insert a small piece of wire into the flow tube and work it back and forth. Restart the engine again to check output. If the problem is not solved, you may need a new water pump.
After flushing the engine, remove the engine cowling and check for fuel or water leaks. If you find leaks, immediately contact your engine mechanic.
Wipe everything down and spray with an anti-corrosive, such as WD 40 or Quick-lube. Lubricate all of the moving parts: shift, throttle cables, carburetor valves, etc.
Replace the cowling and wipe it down.
Always use fresh fuel. Also check your manual, for the type of fuel you should be using, with your engine. Many require non-ethanol only.
Periodically check the fuel line for cracks or worn spots.
Evaluate the fuel primer bulb for cracks and that it is pliable.
Check clamps and fittings for rust and corrosion.
Check fuel/water separator regularly for water in the fuel.
Regular, simple maintenance can keep your outboard engine running safely and dependable for many years.
Safe and Happy Boating!