Preparing your outboard motor for winter

outboard motorAs autumn ushers in the cold weather that can be destructive to outboard motors, boat owners should think about the steps it takes to prepare their vessels for winter. The first step in getting an outboard motor ready for the winter is to remove all remaining gas from the carburetor – either by adding a gas stabilizer and running the engine until it dies, or draining and storing the gas for next season. Once the gas has been emptied, it’s safe to remove the motor and begin draining and refilling the lower gear unit.

Old gear lubricant should be drained from the lower gear unit and replaced with fresh lubricant to prevent rusting, freezing or breakage. The spark plugs should also be replaced when preparing an outboard motor for winter. Once they’ve been removed, an aerosol commercial fogger should be sprayed into the spark plug hole to prevent the piston and cylinder walls from corroding. After fogging the cylinder, rotate the engine flywheel to distribute the outboard motor oil on the cylinder walls, and finish with new spark plugs.

And even though the gas has been drained from the motor, the fuel filter should be removed and cleaned to drain any remaining trapped gas. If these preparative steps are taken every year, your motor should be running smoothly when spring rolls around.

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