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Guide : the maintenance of your outboard engine in 10 steps.

Whether it is a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke, with an outboard motor you can rest easy when it comes to maintenance since it is a motor that has the reputation of being very robust and that preserves itself well over the years. Of course, this does not mean that you should be careless with it since it still requires regular maintenance.

The maintenance of an outboard motor must be planned before the beginning of the season and at the end of the season, in particular to anticipate the wintering.

Pour bien préparer l’hivernage de votre navire…

Finally, you don't need to be an expert with specific tools, just get your toolbox out of the attic with some rags and Boatngo will take care of the rest by delivering the 10 steps to follow for the proper maintenance of your outboard engine.

Table of contents

General study

Avant de commencer, il est important de faire une étude générale du moteur. Vérifiez l’état de l’hélice, que sa fixation tient bien et qu’il n’y a pas de dégâts dessus car dans le cas contraire, vous subirez des secousses dans le moteur ainsi qu’une usure. N’oubliez surtout pas de contrôler la partie sous l’eau comme l’embase de sorte qu’il n’y ait pas de fissures pouvant entraîner des fuites. Inspectez ensuite la prise d’eau afin de retirer si nécessaire, les résidus présents sur la grille.

Then proceed to the electrical part, checking the cables for corrosion. Replace the electrical components if necessary.

Verification of the anodes

Elles protègent les composants métalliques de la corrosion et s’usent à force. Si vous constatez que les anodes sont usées, changez-les IMPERATIVEMENT pour éviter tout effet d’électrolyse. Mettez de la graisse sur la vis avant d’installer les nouvelles anodes afin de faciliter les travaux futurs (vous n’aurez pas à forcer sur le desserrage de la vis).


Here it is a question of putting grease on the joints of the engine and its zones of frictions so that the movements are fluid :


  • First remove the propeller and clean the shaft.
  • Grease the shaft and reinstall the propeller.
  • Then clean the steering rod.
  • Grease the steering rod by moving it.


Don't hesitate to use a grease gun to get rid of the old grease completely.

Changing the engine oil

It is necessary to replace the engine oil and transmission oil at the end of each season :

  • Start draining by unscrewing the drain plug.
  • Try to distinguish whether the oil has a shiny appearance or not, since its shine can mean potential erosion on the metal elements.
  • Replace the drain plug with a new sealing ring.
  • Pour in the new oil so that its level is between the minimum and the maximum by checking with the gauge.

Changing the oil filter

The engine oil change goes with the oil filter change. Once you have changed the engine oil, it is necessary to change the oil filter :

  • Place the rags under the filter to prevent leakage.
  • Gently remove the filter.
  • Clean the sealing surface.
  • Moisten the sealing ring.
  • Attach the new filter.

Replacing the fuel filter

  • Remove the old filter.
  • Loosen the clamp.
  • Insert the new filter.

Replacing the transmission oil

  • Straighten the engine.
  • Loosen the lower drain plug.
  • Loosen the top drain plug.
  • Take a manual oil pump and fill the oil so that it comes out through the hole in the top drain plug.
  • IMPERATIVELY tighten the upper drain plug first !
  • Retighten the lower drain plug.

Inspection of spark plugs

They are very small parts that seem unimportant at first glance, but they are not ! In fact, spark plugs create a spark that is intended to ignite the gasoline, but they also provide a lot of information about the engine's condition depending on the color of its insulator (the part that penetrates the combustion chamber). For example, if you remove a spark plug and its insulator is black, it means that the carburation is too rich.

Replacing spark plugs costs almost nothing, which is why it is recommended to replace them every year, although some spark plugs are able to last much longer.

To do this, it is a very simple procedure :

  • Turn off the main switch.
  • Remove the old spark plugs.
  • Put in the new spark plugs.

Use of additives

Le fait d’ajouter des additifs dans le moteur est vivement recommandé. En effet, the additives keep the fuel intact over time.

The additives are added directly into the engine tank according to the recommended dosage. 

Soft water rinse

C’est une procédure à effectuer après chaque sortie. It consists in connecting the flushing accessory to the engine and letting the engine run for approximately 10 minutes.

Le moteur subit un rinçage avec de l’eau douce pour évacuer toute trace de sels, calcaire etc.

What you need to remember !

Un moteur hors-bord est a very robust and durable piece of equipment. Nevertheless, it requires maintenance which is certainly not an easy task to achieve but still easy to learn with a minimum of willpower. Don't hesitate to follow these steps and SURTOUT ! N’oubliez pas d’être régulier !

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