Most outboard motor manufacturers recommend that boat owners inspect their engines once a year – if not more often – and perform some routine maintenance as needed. If your outboard has seen a lot of action this summer, take some time to ensure that it continues to operate smoothly. To begin this process, grab a screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, an industrial container, pliers, a hammer, some two cycle outboard oil and your owner’s manual.
The first step is to make sure you don’t void your warranty by mistake. Scour the manual for tips on which lubricants and replacement parts to use. Next, study the motor for signs of lubricant leaks. Don’t be alarmed if you spot a bit of oil below the fill screws, but a large running stain is cause for concern. In the case of excess oil leakage, set up an appointment with an outboard mechanic. At least you caught the problem early instead of finding out about it when your engine shuts down in the middle of the lake.
Consult your manual again to see if lubricant changes are recommended for the engine’s lower unit. If so, drain the old lubricant into the industrial container and replace it with a recommended brand. Squirt some lubricant into the gear case with the applicator until the oil starts to come out of the top fill hole. Put the top plug back on and wipe away leftover lubricant with a cloth.