How to start an outboard motor that has been sitting?

If you own a boat with an outboard motor that has been sitting idle for months or even years, it may be a bit challenging to start it. However, with proper preparation and a few simple steps, you can easily get it running again. Here’s:

Step 1: Inspect the Motor First

Before you attempt to start the outboard motor, it’s vital that you perform a thorough inspection of the entire engine. Check the spark plugs, fuel lines, and carburetor for any signs of damage, corrosion or deterioration. Verify that the oil, fuel, and coolant levels are adequate. If you notice any compromised parts or fluids, replace or refill them as needed.

Step 2: Drain and Replace Fuel

Gasoline can degrade over time, causing your engine to fail to start or run poorly. If the fuel has been sitting in the system for more than 3 months, it’s best to drain the tank and replace it with a fresh one. Don’t forget to remove the spark plugs and crank the motor a few times to flush out any residual fuel.

Step 3: Clean and Install New Spark Plugs

Old or dirty spark plugs are a common cause of difficult starting. Remove them and clean them with a wire brush or replace them with new ones if they appear too old or corroded. Ensure that spark plugs are installed correctly as per manufacturer’s guideline.

Step 4: Check and Clean the Carburetor

The carburetor of your outboard motor may have accumulated debris or may have been clogged by old fuel deposits. Spray carburetor cleaner into the carburetor and use a brush to remove any dirt, debris, and grime that may have built up. Do this several times if necessary.

Step 5: Prime the Engine

Once you’ve completed the above steps, you need to prime the engine to get it started. Depending on the type of motor you have, this may involve pressing the primer bulb or using a manual choke to reduce the air-to-fuel ratio while starting the motor.

Step 6: Start the Engine

Twist the key to activate the ignition switch, and then pull the starter cord to turn over the engine. If your engine doesn’t start immediately, give it a few seconds of rest before attempting again. Continue doing this until your engine starts successfully.

In summary, starting an outboard motor that has been sitting requires a little bit of preparation, patience, and elbow grease. If you follow the steps above, you should be able to get your engine up and running in no time. Remember, proper maintenance of your outboard motor is essential to keep it running efficiently and prevent costly repairs down the road.

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