While your boat’s hull rightly deserves your attention and
respect if you ever plan on maintaining your boat to a ripe old age, let’s not
forget that other vital part that interacts with the water: your motor. Cleaning
an outboard motor is essential for proper functioning as well as to help ensure
that it maintains its quality over the lifespan of your boat. But cleaning
something as complicated as a motor isn’t always so easy. But don’t worry. We’ve
put together a few tips for you.
When you flush out the engine, you’re still working with a
very large and very powerful instrument. Avoid problems by keeping the area
clear. Don’t let small children happen upon the area while you’re cleaning the
area, and make sure that you don’t touch anything you’re not sure of. Give the
engine some time to dry and cool before you start working with it—especially if
you’ve just recently taken it boating.
Flush The Engine
This might seem like a superfluous step if you use your
outboard motor in freshwater only, but sources like WikiHow
still recommend it. Why? It’s difficult to clean your engine otherwise. And
the water environment of a lake might not be the same as saltwater—but it can
still lead to the buildup of all sorts of extra materials you never wanted in
your engine in the first place.
Check Your Water Pump
The water pump should flow smoothly and easily—if not, there
may be issues with it that can affect just how much “gunk” gets in your engine.
There may already be debris in the outflow tube in this case as well, which
means you’ll have to clean that out. If there is an obstruction, then make sure
that the engine is off and safe to work with. Then use a wire-based cleaning
instrument to work the area and clear out any potential debris.
Drain Your Motor
This isn’t just an issue of cleaning—it’s also an issue of
maintenance. If you live in a cold climate, you’ll likely store away your boat
for the winter. Effective motor maintenance means you have to avoid excessive
freezing and ice inside the motor to ensure that it runs properly on the other
side of winter.
Use The Appropriate
Don’t just use “general cleaner” from the kitchen. You’ll
want to use boat-specific cleaning formulas and products. Be careful about your
selection—take the time to read the labels of boat cleaning
products and look for non-corrosive materials.
Cleaning an outboard motor might seem like performing
surgery at first—but as you get used to how the motor works and understand the
basic safety procedures, you’ll realize just how easy it can be. Make it part
of your boat maintenance routine, and you can be rewarded with a clean,
effective engine that’s clear of tube obstructions and ready to fuel your next