There are some reasons why an outboard motor might breakdown but whatever the problem may be, it’s the last thing you want to happen whilst out on the river or at sea. Not only a motor is breakdown inconvenient it is also potentially life-threatening, but there are ways you minimize the chances of this happening to you.
The most obvious way of avoiding or fixing problems with your outboard motor is to take a basic course in outboard motor repair. This doesn’t have to be an in-depth course that lasts weeks or months, a short basic course on how to rectify common problems should be sufficient. Any reputable specialist that has Mercury outboard motors for sale should be able to provide you with a few pointers or perhaps, if you buy your outboard motor from them, provide you with a quick tutorial. They will also include a basic tool kit so familiarise yourself with the tools and just as importantly how to use them.
Common Outboard Motor Problems
The list detailed below is by no means exhaustive but contains some of the more common problems that can be avoided or rectified relatively easily.
- Running Out of Fuel – Although this may be a ridiculous reason for an outboard motor breakdown, it’s surprising just how many people set out with not enough fuel. This is something that should be checked every time. It doesn’t matter how many people check it, just that it’s checked. A spare jerry can of fuel also be the first thing you bring onto a boat if you’re heading more than 10 minutes from shore.
- Adulterated Fuel – If the boat splutters or stops and you have fuel in the tank, this could be because of bad fuel that contains foreign matter. If the source of your fuel is reputable, you might want to clean out your jerry can. Bad fuel can lead to a range of mechanical problems that can be expensive to fix.
- Engine Overheating – This is another common problem that is usually easy to rectify. This problem is usually caused by an obstruction in the raw water intake. Weeds, garbage, and mud are the usual suspects, so you need to locate the intake and clean it. If this doesn’t remedy the problem, it is probably wise to get it investigated further by your marine mechanic.
- Engine Won’t Start – Although this problem is less problematic, if it happens onshore, it is still a potentially serious problem. This is usually an electrical problem or a low or dead battery. The key to avoiding this scenario is regular servicing from a fully qualified mechanic.
In conclusion, just because a boat looks well looked after, don’t assume the motor is A1 just by looking at it. Regular servicing and a little knowledge of how to avoid or fix minor issues are generally all that is needed to ensure your boating trip is safe and enjoyable.