When it comes to starting an outboard motor, one of the most important things that you need to consider is the choke. For those who are unfamiliar, the choke is a lever or button found on the motor that restricts air from entering the engine. But, and why is it so important?
Essentially, the choke is there to help you start the engine when it is cold. When an engine is cold, it requires a higher fuel-to-air ratio to ignite properly. This is because the fuel doesn’t vaporize as easily when it’s cold, and therefore needs more air to burn. By restricting the air intake with the choke, you are increasing the fuel-to-air ratio, which makes it easier to ignite the fuel.
In addition to helping start the engine, the choke also helps warm up the engine quickly. When you first start the motor, the choke will help the engine to run at a higher RPM than it would with a normal fuel-to-air ratio. This increase in RPM helps warm up the engine faster, which is important for minimizing wear and tear on the motor.
Once the engine has warmed up, the choke should be turned off. This is because a high fuel-to-air ratio is only necessary when the engine is cold. Once the engine is warm, it requires less fuel to ignite properly, and too much fuel can actually flood the engine and cause it to stall.
In summary, the purpose of the choke on an outboard motor is to help start the engine and warm it up quickly when it’s cold. By restricting the air intake and increasing the fuel-to-air ratio, the choke makes it easier to ignite the fuel and warm up the engine. Once the engine is warm, the choke should be turned off to prevent flooding and ensure optimal performance. Whether you’re a seasoned boater or new to the world of outboard motors, understanding the purpose of the choke is essential for safe and reliable operation.