Why does the outboard motor stop when in gear?

As a beginner in boating, it is common to experience some issues with the outboard motor. One common problem that most boaters encounter is the motor suddenly stopping when in gear. Several factors can cause your outboard motor to stop unexpectedly, and it’s essential to know the reasons and how to avoid them.

One of the most common reasons why an outboard motor stops when in gear is an obstruction in the propeller. When debris such as plastic bags, fishing lines and seaweed wrap around the propeller, it reduces the motor’s speed and can eventually cause it to stop when in gear. To avoid this problem, ensure that you check the propeller regularly for any debris that might obstruct its movement. Remove any debris you find before starting your motor.

Another reason why your outboard motor could stop when in gear is an insufficient or incorrect fuel intake. Ensure that you use the correct type of fuel recommended by your manufacturer for your engine, and also, make sure that the fuel is not contaminated in any way before refueling. In addition, check whether there are any blockages or clogs in the fuel line or filter that could restrict the fuel’s flow to the engine.

Outboard motors also have a safety feature that stops them when the water level is too low. In this case, you may see a warning message or hear an alarm announcing that your motor is overheating. If you ignore these signs, your engine will automatically stop to prevent any permanent damage. To avoid this problem, always check your water levels in the engine’s water intake constantly, and never run your motor without letting it cool down first.

Lastly, another common cause of an outboard motor shutting off when in gear is a loose or damaged electrical connection. The most common location for this problem is on the battery cables, especially if they are rattling or showing signs of corrosion. Always ensure that your boat’s electrical connections are tight, secure and free of any corrosion to avoid these issues.

An outboard motor stopping when in gear can be caused by a variety of factors. Keeping your propeller clear of debris, ensuring a steady fuel flow, checking water levels, and maintaining tight electrical connections can all prevent your motor from stopping unexpectedly. Always ensure that you perform regular maintenance on your boat and its components to avoid any potential issues.

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