If you want a convenient, portable, lightweight and simple to use motor, look no further than outboards. Outboard motors come in a range of styles that make them ideal for a variety of boating applications. However, like any internal combustion engine, you’ll need to perform some regular maintenance on your outboard motor to keep it running well. Use this list of tips to keep your outboard motor in great shape, courtesy of the fine people at Norfolk Marine. Our dealership can help you with service or parts needs, so give us a call if you find anything wrong with your engine that you can’t address yourself.

Regular Motor Maintenance

Regular maintenance performed at home will help you keep your outboard out of the shop for longer. Because your outboard motor makes use of internal combustion to generate power, it operates similarly to the engine on a motorcycle or car. To inspect your outboard, remove the cowling or outer cover of the outboard that protects the motor from water. Look over your outboard for signs of leakage, particularly at the joints where parts come together. Unplug the battery before you inspect the spark plugs, which should be clean and oil-free in their intact ceramic housing. When reinstalling spark plugs, make sure that you’re torquing them to your manufacturer’s specifications.

You’ll also want to check your outboard’s oil, which should be neither dark nor viscous. If you find metal shavings or grit in it, this could mean that parts of your motor are grinding together, which will require the help of a professional mechanic. Boat engines will churn through oil faster than car engines will due to how they operate, but you don’t want the oil to vanish too quickly as this could be a sign of a leak. Check your outboard’s air filter as well to make sure it’s not too dirty and look to see that the fuel line is in good shape and attached securely.

Following Each Trip

After every trip on to the water, you should rinse and flush the engine. Saltwater and freshwater can both be corrosive if you leave them on the engine to dry. Start your engine when the boat is out of the water and leave it in neutral while it pumps out the water. Unhook the fuel line to let the engine burn off the remaining fuel so that it doesn’t sit in your engine and corrode it. Clamp the fuel line before you do this so it doesn’t spray gasoline everywhere, though! After your engine sputters dry, you can shut it down and hit the battery switch if there is one.

Professional Outboard Motor Maintenance

Finally, you may still need to have your outboard looked at by a professional if you find problems that are outside your scope. If you’re having trouble getting the engine to start or you’re worried about a decrease in performance, then let the professional mechanics here at Norfolk Marine take a look at your outboard. We’ve seen pretty much everything when it comes to outboard motor issues, so we’ll be able to pinpoint the problem quickly and easily and get your engine back to its former stellar performance in no time. Don’t wait until problems become too severe to be repaired. If you find something in your regular inspections that you think a professional should take a look at, call up our service department to make an appointment. We’ll get our mechanics on the case so you can resume enjoying your boating life!

Come on down to our Norfolk showroom to see our full selection of outboard motors for sale, in both new and used condition. Norfolk Marine serves the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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