Outboard Motor Maintenance Tips from the Pros

Mar 24, 2023

Outboard Motor Maintenance Tips from the Pros

Taking your boat out for fishing or simply cruising around can be a lot of fun. However, proper maintenance and installing a marine fuel bladder is crucial if you want to enjoy your watercraft for a prolonged period. One of the most important components of a boat to maintain is the motor, which can break down when you least expect it if you don’t implement proper maintenance. We reveal how to maintain your outboard while at the same time highlighting the need for a marine fuel bladder to ensure extra fuel. Here’s what you should do to prolong the lifespan of your outboard motor.

marine fuel bladder - Outdoor Motor Maintenance

Outboard Motor

Outboard motors are common in the marine industry, and it’s important to recognize how they function. This term describes a propulsion boat system and is a common motorized means for propelling watercraft. The installation of outboard motors takes place outside the boat, unlike inboard motors. This leaves extra room in your boat’s interior.

The benefits of these systems include easy maintenance and installation as well as prolonged maintenance intervals. We recommend you familiarize yourself with the versions in which these motors come-4- and 2-stroke. Previously, the distinctions between the two models were significant. Over the years, contemporary day 4 and 2-stroke motors share similarities in weight, reliability, and fuel economy.

Components of an Outboard Motor

They comprise three major parts. They include:

  1. Outboard Powerhead

The engine’s top half comprises the outboard powerhead, which features various components that constitute a combustion engine. It accommodates cylinder heads, the engine block, valves, and pistons that allow the engine to run. The powerhead comprises:

  • Engine block

You’ll find the moving features of the engine located here. The moving components include the crankshaft and pistons. You’ll find cylinders as well and engine strokes occur in this component. However, the strokes vary depending on whether it’s a 4 or 2-stroke motor.

  • Cylinder heads

You’ll find this component on top of the cylinders. This component is part of the engine block. Depending on whether the engine is a 2 or 4-stroke, this part accommodates spark plugs, camshafts, and valves.

  1. Mid-section

The mid-section is a metal casing meant to join the engine to the lower unit. The major role is functioning as a channel for linking the engine’s components with those found in the lower unit. This section features a bracket, which joins the motor to the boat’s transom. This permits the engine to move in different directions and enables boat steering. Typically, you’ll find a tilt mechanism on a smaller boat, making it possible to lift the engine from the water. On bigger outboards, there’s an electric motor that lifts the boat engine at the touch of a button.

  1. Lower Unit

Like the powerhead, this part has several moving components, including bearings, seals, and shift mechanisms. The inside of this component has two major constituents with bearings and gears.

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Maintenance Tips

Engine Flushing

We recommend engine flushing whenever you use it. Engine flushing implies sending fresh water through the engine whenever you take it out of the water. Just make sure you use fresh water from the marina or dock. We find that most people believe that motor flushing should only take place when a boat contacts saltwater. This isn’t the case. Although flushing salt particles is important, contaminants exist in fresh water. These contaminants can cause long-term engine damage if you aren’t aware.

Regular Oil Change

Like a vehicle, we recommend you change your boat’s oil regularly to ensure optimal performance. Oil changing in an outboard motor is relatively easy, but we find that numerous boat owners neglect the task.

Most manufacturers recommend you change the motor oil once per 100 hours, or at least once per season. To ensure a complete oil change, we propose you do so when the engine is warm. Also, if you’re seeking a way to accommodate extra boat fuel, we recommend a fuel bladder for boats.

Fuel Properly

We recognize the need for considering various factors while fueling up a boat. To begin with, we warn against using E15 fuel when it comes to outboard engines. Also, it’s worth noting that ethanol faces deterioration faster than ordinary gasoline, which could cause boat problems if you don’t address it.

Ensure you incorporate fuel additives into your boat tank whenever you fuel up. Before closing the gas tank, consider how frequently you’ll use your vessel within a couple of weeks. If you believe you might not use the gas entirely within some weeks, we recommend a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel contamination.

If you’re the type of boater who enjoys prolonged cruises, we recommend you invest in a marine fuel bladder for convenience purposes. This way, you won’t worry about running out of fuel in the middle of your cruise. Another reason we recommend a fuel bladder for boats is that you can collapse it once empty, enabling easy storage.

Wax and Wash Regularly

Boat maintenance and automobile detailing share similarities, in that both start with waxing and washing; outboard engines also gain from this measure. We understand that most boaters want to maintain their engine cowls in a good shape. After all, they take pride in appearance. Beyond that, your outboard’s appearance has a major effect on the resale value. We know that potential buyers can tell the extent of your boat’s maintenance at first glance, and a neglected and weathered-looking outboard doesn’t make a good impression. Washing your outboard maintains a shiny appearance and waxing it at the start and close of every season maintains a gleaming finish.


Your boat’s manual should inform you of the frequency of servicing your outboard. Generally, manufacturers recommend servicing once yearly or per 100 miles. However, this is dependent on the boat type.

Since most people drive their boats for 50-75 hours annually, a yearly service is appropriate for most boaters. If you tend to use your boat for longer trips, we recommend our reliable marine fuel bladder for efficient fuel consumption. You’ll discover it retains boat fuel to prevent leaks and spills. Furthermore, it comprises flexible materials that don’t interact chemically with fuel.

Remember, you’ll probably use your boat under various weather conditions. That’s why you need a fuel bladder for boats because it can sustain high-performance levels, irrespective of weather conditions.

If you’re looking to maintain your outboard motor, you need to understand how to maintain it. Also, you need to recognize how to access extra fuel during your boat trips with our reliable marine fuel bladder.

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