Outboard Maintenance Tips

  • Outboard maintenance - Fuel & Fuel System

    Check your fuel system. Regular maintenance is necessary to help keep your fuel system in peak condition. From hoses and connections to proper filtration and even fuel additives, time spent maintaining your fuel system helps keep you safe and your boat ready for action.

    Ethanol concerns. Ethanol in today’s fuel is a powerful solvent that can loosen debris and cause clogging. It also readily attracts water. Your best line of defence is to avoid using it. If unavoidable a Yamaha 10-micron fuel/water separating filter traps impurities down to 10 microns in size (1/20th of the diameter of a human hair), helps remove water from your fuel system, and is easy to install and replace. More frequent maintenance of the fuel system is required when using ethanol blended fuels. Yamaha outboard models from 2007 onwards are suitable for use with E10.

    On-engine fuel filtration. Your Yamaha outboard has a system of fuel filters on the engine, as well. It’s important to know the location of these filters and to clean or replace them at the recommended intervals. You can find this information in your service manual or through your authorised Yamaha Marine Dealer.

    Fuel system components. It’s important to check the condition of the fuel hoses and connections for any signs of leaks or cracking each time you use your boat. You should also check your primer bulb. If the bulb does not become firm when squeezed prior to starting the engine, replace it.

  • Outboard maintenance - Oil

    Check your oil. You’ve heard the expression “choose wisely.” Never has this applied more than to the products you choose to service, maintain and care for your Yamaha outboard. And the oil and filters you use are perhaps most important of all.

    Why Yamalube®? Your Yamaha outboard is vastly different from your automotive engine, and it operates in one of the harshest environments imaginable. Yamalube provides specific protection other oils don’t, using a proprietary blend of anti-wear additives, shear-stable polymers, corrosion inhibitors, detergents, dispersants and viscosity index improvers. Yamalube is far superior to automotive engine oils in its strength of protection, durability and corrosion resistance.

  • Outboard Maintenance – Lower Unit

    Check your lower unit. Your outboard’s lower unit is a vital component in its overall performance. Simple maintenance procedures, regularly performed, mean hours of enjoyment and increased value.
    Check it out. Regularly inspect your lower unit, in particular the propeller. Any signs of damage or evidence of fishing line entanglement, consult your Yamaha dealer. Check for signs of gear oil leakage and if found have your Yamaha dealer inspect oil condition. Water ingress/oil leak can cause failure without warning.

    Change the gear lube. The extreme pressures exerted inside any outboard’s lower unit will eventually break down the lubricant’s effectiveness. Using Yamalube® Gearcase Lube (Gearcase Lube HD for V8 models) according to the schedule in your owner’s or service manual is one of the best ways to protect your investment. Insist your Dealer uses Yamalube gear case lube when servicing your outboard.

  • Outboard Maintenance – Power Trim & Tilt

    Check your Power Trim & Tilt. From hole shot all the way up through wide-open throttle operation, it adjusts the thrust angle of the outboard for maximum performance. Simple checks on your PT&T unit will help keep it operating at peak efficiency.

    PT &T? The Power Trim &Tilt unit is electro-hydraulic, meaning an electric pump moves hydraulic fluid, which moves the outboard. It’s a very simple, reliable system that under normal conditions needs only minimal maintenance.

    Check the rams. Periodically lubricate the tops of the rams and their contact points using Yamalube® Marine Grease. It’s specially formulated to withstand extreme pressures and resist corrosion and “wash-away,” even in saltwater environments. Also, the trim and tilt rams should be free of corrosion and show no signs of fluid leaks. If leaking is present (which usually causes the outboard to return to the “down” position by itself over time), have your authorised Yamaha Marine Dealer check the system.

    Top it off. Periodically check the fluid level in the PT&T unit, and if low, top it off using Yamalube Performance Power Trim & Tilt Fluid. Non-foaming, it resists the intense heat and pressures found in PT&T systems to provide smooth operation and reduced wear. It’s also excellent for use in marine power steering systems.

  • Outboard Maintenance – Electrical System

    Verify your volts. The marine environment is tough on your electrical system, and it’s one of the most important. Make sure it’s up to the task by using Genuine Yamalube® maintenance and care products and Yamaha-recommended components.

    Don’t forget the battery. Make sure to use the right size and type recommended in your owner’s or service manual (see chart for general specifications) and that all battery/cable connections use self-locking nuts (not old-fashioned wing nuts). Also consider adding one or more “house batteries” to power accessories. Most large Yamaha outboards (150hp and up) have separate battery isolator/charging leads specifically for this purpose.

  • Outboard Maintenance – Propeller

    Check your propeller. Horsepower does you no good if you can’t get it to the water effectively. You need a propeller designed specifically to work with your Yamaha outboard. You need a Yamaha propeller.

    Yamaha offers a full range of propellers. They’re designed to help you get the most from your Yamaha outboard.

    Large offshore props. High-speed props. Polished stainless steel props. Painted stainless steel props. High Thrust™ props. And cost-effective, lightweight aluminum props.

    Tips on proper propping. Correct propping depends on your specific application, but a general rule is that your Yamaha outboard should run at, or very near, its maximum-allowed RPM at wide-open throttle with an average-to-full load.

    Pick the right prop. The correct style of Yamaha propeller is vital to the proper operation of your boat. Make sure you have the one that best suits your type and style of boating. Your authorized Yamaha Marine Dealer can help.

    Props need love too. Keep your prop in good condition and periodically remove it to check for fishing line. While you’re there, grease the prop shaft with Yamalube® Marine Grease before re-installing the prop.

    Contact your Yamaha Marine Dealer. Additional information about Yamaha propellers and actual boat /outboard combinations, is available from your Yamaha Marine Dealer.

  • Outboard Maintenance Check Over

    Check over. Make sure you have a safe and enjoyable day on the water by giving your entire boat a “once over” each time you take it out or return to port. In most instances, this is nothing more than a simple checklist and visual inspection to make sure you’re ready for maximum safety and enjoyment.

    Check the bottom of the boat. Also check the sacrificial anodes (replace these if over 50% of the material is gone).

    Check the electricals. Verify tight connections on all batteries and that bilge pumps and navigation lights are all operative.

    Check the safety equipment. Are there life jackets of the correct type available for all aboard? What about other safety equipment such as a flashlight, EPIRB, first aid kit and the boat’s horn or other signalling device?

    Check the engine oil and all fuel lines. They should be tight and proper. Also, make sure you have sufficient oil (including extra) on board.

    Check the on-board maintenance supplies. Do you have a metric tool kit? Spare spark plugs and a wrench? Got spare wire, connectors and crimping pliers? Spare fuel filters, a spare prop and a prop wrench? High-quality versions of all these items can be found at your Yamaha Marine Dealer

    Don’t forget to flush. Make sure you have and use the correct flushing attachment upon your return. You can obtain these from your authorised Yamaha Marine Dealer.

  • Outboard Maintenance Extended Storage

    Time for a check up. Preparing for extended storage efficiently and effectively (the first time) means you’ll have a worry-free experience when you return to using your Yamaha outboard. This is not the time to compromise or settle for lesser-quality products. You want Genuine Yamaha.

    Fog it down. Fogging oil helps protect vital internal engine components during periods of inactivity by coating them with a thick petroleum-based lubricant. This prevents rust and corrosion from forming on them, and protects them during start-up when the outboard is returned to service. An excellent choice is Yamalube® Stor-Rite Engine Fogging Oil, and it’s easy to apply.

    Keep it dry. Water can form in the fuel system during extended storage periods due to natural convective condensation. In addition, ethanol fuels can draw water directly from the atmosphere through the tank’s vent. Make sure to run Yamalube® Fuel Stabilizer and Conditioner through the entire fuel system prior to shut down, and always store with the tank nearly full of fuel to help prevent overaccumulation of condensation. If it’s stored outside, make sure to lower the engine fully or place a tightly sealed plastic bag over the lower unit to help keep out moisture. Never plug or cap the fuel tank vent, as this allows for natural expansion and contraction within the fuel system.

    Check it out. Just prior to extended lay-up is an excellent time to perform routine annual maintenance, and to take care of any outstanding service issues. Is it time to install a new high-quality Yamaha water pump? Have you been meaning to install a new Yamaha depth finder or radio system? Now is the time to schedule or perform this work. All these items are featured at YamahaOutboards.com and available through your local authorised Yamaha Marine Dealer.

    Get it ready. Rather than wait for next season, take the time now to check the anchor, chains, dock lines, fenders, etc. Replace any worn or damaged items now so you’ll be ready to hit the water when it’s time. Also check the boat for any loose items that need repair. Many of these items can easily be fixed using one of our exclusive Yamalube® Yamabond® formulas, available through your authorised Yamaha Marine Dealer.

    Trailers and lifts. Take the time to check your trailer bunks or your lift straps. Any loose, sagging or rotted bunks, straps or rollers should be replaced. Check trailer wheel bearings for signs of water intrusion and repair as necessary. Grease trailer bearings and lift roller assemblies using Yamalube® Marine Grease and a Yamalube® Marine Grease Gun. Its high-pressure, corrosion-resistant formula is great for these areas. Yamalube® Yamashield™ is an excellent choice for lubricating winch cables, and Yamalube® Brake and Contact Cleaner will help clean and restore Proper taillight and dock light connections, while helping keep your trailer’s brakes clean, too (if applicable).