Should the choke be left in or out on an outboard motor?

As a boater, it’s essential to understand how to operate an outboard motor effectively. One common question that arises when starting an outboard motor is whether to leave the choke in or out. This decision depends on the motor’s type, age, and condition.

For older outboard motors, it’s vital to leave the choke out. This action ensures that the engine gets enough fuel and air to start correctly. On the other hand, some newer outboard motors come equipped with an automatic choke that controls the engine’s air to fuel ratio automatically. Leaving the choke out may, therefore, not be necessary.

However, it’s essential to note that regardless of the motor’s age, neglecting the choke’s position could result in problems such as hard starting or flooding. Flooding occurs when too much fuel enters the engine. In some cases, flooding can cause the engine to stall, and it can be challenging to start again.

When starting the motor, it’s advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, especially if you’re not familiar with the engine type. Start by placing the choke on the “full” position before pulling the starter handle. This action creates a rich fuel and air mixture needed to start the engine.

After the engine has started, gradually push the choke back in to regulate the engine’s air to fuel ratio. Failing to do so could cause the engine to stall or run rough, affecting its overall performance.

In summary, whether to leave the choke in or out on an outboard motor depends on the engine type, age, and condition. For older outboard motors, it’s essential to leave the choke out, while newer motors come with automatic chokes that regulate the air to fuel ratio automatically. Regardless of the motor’s type or age, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and gradually adjust the choke position to avoid flooding or stalling the engine.

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