Tune-Ups & Maintenance - Outboards
4 Stroke Outboard Oil Change
Your 4 stroke outboard needs oil and filter changes on a regular basis, just like your vehicle. In most situations an oil and filter change at the end of every season is all that is required. If you’re lucky enough to be on the water more than the average boater, your engine’s oil needs to be changed after every 100 hours of run-time. Warner’s Dock has the manufacturer’s original equipment parts to keep your outboard running like a top. We’ll also perform general inspections of your outboard’s drive system, fuel system and fuel.
Evinrude Etec 3 Year Service & G2 Etec 5 Year Service
Evinrude recommends routine maintenance for the Etec outboard every 3 years or 300 hours-whichever comes first. The G2 Etec recommended service interval is 5 years or 500 hours-whichever comes first. This service includes a general check over of the engine, drive system, fuel system & fuel. Computer diagnostic check-including software updates. Drain, check and refill gear lube. Replace the fuel filter & spark plugs. Replace the water pump impeller. Replace the impeller housing (if needed or requested). Run ETEC Winterization process to fog the engine (if requested).
2 Stroke & 4 Stroke General Service
On average, 3 years is the recommended interval for general service to any outboard engine. General Service includes a check over of the engine, drive system, fuel system & fuel. Computer diagnostic check-including software updates for most non-carbureted engines. Drain, check and refill gear lube. Replace the fuel filter & spark plugs. Replace the water pump impeller. Replace the impeller housing (if needed or requested).
Exceptions to Normal Service Intervals
Lots of things can determine if your outboard engine or trailer needs preventive maintenance more or less often than the typical user.
Lots of time at idle or low RPMs (like the putt-putt of the pontoon cruiser, big engine trolling or searching for structure) will cause carbon to build up on spark plugs, piston heads and exhaust passages. If this is your style, you’ll likely need your outboard serviced sooner than every few years.
If you load up/overload your boat with for long trips to Canada or have many long trips with your boat, you’ll need to have the trailer serviced more frequently than the average boater.
If your trailer drops the boat in the water in the spring, pulls the boat out in the fall, drives for a mile each way and that’s it, the grease in the bearings doesn’t warm up sufficiently to be distributed throughout the bearings. Trailers used in this manner wear out bearings faster than you would think and need to be checked out more frequently.
Don’t put your equipment, yourself or others at risk with an unsafe trailer. Get your trailer serviced annually.
If you do lots of shallow water fishing or power loading at the landing, you’re churning up sand, small rocks, twigs and who knows what else. This mucky water is now getting sucked into and pumped throughout the engine. This will wear out your impeller and likely the impeller housing sooner than normal. If this is your typical usage, you’ll want to change the impeller/housing every year or two.
Even if you don’t put very many hours on your engine, your water pump impeller needs to be changed every 4-5 years. Like your vehicles tires, your water pump impeller is made of rubber and will dry out and crack over time. Additionally, the vanes on an impeller will lose their “memory” with time. This decreases its ability to move water through your engine and keep it at operating temperature.
A new, properly installed impeller inside the housing. Note that the top vane in the picture extends straight.
The water pump impeller sits in the housing in an offset position. When rotating, this offset creates a difference in pressure that helps to move the water throughout your engine.
The impeller on the left in the inset photo doesn’t have a lot of hours of use but, over the course of several years, the vanes have lost their spring and will not pump water well.
The service shop at Warner’s Dock stays busy all year round. To best enjoy your way life on the water and keep your boat out of the shop when you want to enjoy it, bring us your boat every year when you’re done with and let us winterize your engine and check the trailer over. If your boat needs attention, this is the best time to get that taken care of as well so that you’re ready to go come spring.
Does your boat stay in the same body of water all year and you don’t have a trailer? Ask us about fall pick-up, winterization, storage and spring delivery. We can make it so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
For more information about your boat, engine, trailer and more, check out Warner’s Dock’s Useful Tips for Boat Owners.