It is important to winterize your small outboard before the harsh winter temperatures set-in. Start the process by removing the engine cover as known as the cowling. The engine needs to be warm, so start the engine and let it run before starting the process. Using a 50-gallon barrel, let a steady stream of water flow allowing the motor to flesh out the dirt water and contaminates for at least 30 minutes. This should be enough time to run clean water throughout the system

In the event your outboard was used in salt water, you might want to consider corrosion removal. Adding anti-salt solutions can help with the chemical stew of saltwater. If this anti-salt water step is necessary, you will start with a fresh barrel of water. After placing the engine in the barrel, it will need to cycle the clean water through for at least five minutes.

Either reach the fuel at the fuel-filter bowl or disconnect the fuel hose from the engine. The carburetor needs to have all the gas removed so run the motor until it sputters. Using your engine fogger, spray the sputtering carburetor directly. This long-term lubrication should stop the engine and prepare it for corrosion resistance during storage. This is an important step because corrosion only needs about 30-days to create havoc on your engine.

Once you have applied a direct spray of the fogging oil aerosol to your carburetor and the clean water flushing is complete, be sure to leave the fuel hose disconnected while storing the outboard motor

Additionally, the fuel filter needs to be checked. After removing the fuel-filter bowl, remove any remaining fuel by transferring it to an approved fuel container. The filter element needs to be thoroughly cleaned and the fuel-filter bowl should be reassembled into the outboard engine. Keeping these parts maintained and properly stored in dry storage of the winter season adds to the longevity of the engine.

All remaining water should be removed from the engine compartment. The lower engine unit needs to be cleaned and rinsed of residue. Either air dry the parts or use an industry standard cleaning cloth. Before starting the final portion of winterization, secure the part with a clamp to your engine dolly or bench. Once secured, the fuel-filter screw can be unfastened. Be thorough and check that the element filter is clean, fuel cell is empty, and reassemble the fuel-filter to the engine.

The spark plugs also need to be treated with the fogger lubricant. Remove the plugs, spray them until the fogger oil runs freely, and then wipe the plugs with a clean cloth. After treating the spark plugs, reassemble as found.

It is also important to consider the condition of the bracket. Any old grease remaining from the season, needs to be cleaned from the bracket. A clean coat of grease needs to be added to the bracket, cowling latch, throttle assembly, swivel joint, and any other outboard motor parts that need fresh greasing.

Outdrive Zincs and Outboard Zincs often need to be replaced. The anode should be inspected during the winterization process to ensure good health.

During the storage months, be sure to place the outboard engine in an upright position. Using a bench or an engine dolly, the engine can be secured by clamping it. Or, depending on the space, angling it into a dry space of corner of the shop works as long as it is not lying down or exposed to winter elements.

The off-season is a great time to change the oil in the lower unit. With all the cleaning and maintenance, it simply does not make sense to leave boating season dirty to corrode over the winter. To make matters worse, it could cause additional damage if the dirt has a water-base. The internet offers a wide-variety of lower unit oil change information if you would like to explore this further.

Finally, be sure not to forget your portable fuel tank; this is just as important during the months of storage. A fuel tank plagued with condensation or corrosion will be a damper on your upcoming boating season. There are two things to consider when winterizing your tank. Be sure to start with an empty tank; it is possible that the fuel can be used for winter fun if you take care of it at the start. For instance, adding cycle oil to the boat fuel makes it chainsaw ready or perhaps another small motor. The second idea is adding fuel additives and toping with fresh fuel. This anti-ethanol stabilizer and storage additive gives more life to last season’s fuel. This could also include the fuel you drained from op the fuel hose. In any case, this repurposed fuel can be stabilized for winter storage and remain motor quality for the next season.

We are here to help with your boating needs. If you have any questions about winterizing your small outboard engine or would like to schedule a winter package for your craft, please contact us.