by Ted Lund
Regular maintenance is critical for the continued proper operation of any engine — outboard, inboard, or otherwise. Add in the fact that an outboard operates under some of the harshest environmental conditions imaginable, and maintenance becomes even more critical. High load, high-RPM operation, extreme temperatures, high moisture, and periods of non-use all take a toll on your outboard. Following simple maintenance procedures, sticking to a schedule, and using recommended products will help to enhance the performance and extend the life of your Yamaha outboard.
There are three main reasons why maintenance matters:
First, it’s easier (and more cost-efficient) to maintain an outboard than to fix one. Second, your boat will be ready to go when you are ready to use it. Lastly, you’ll have more hours of trouble-free enjoyment on the water.
More than 2,000 dealers in Yamaha’s network stand ready to help you maintain your outboard’s reliability. They offer Yamaha’s full line of Genuine Yamaha components and Yamalube oils and care products. They also have factory-trained technicians who can handle everything from regular maintenance to part and accessory installation.
But here are a few things you can do to make sure you have the most positive experience you can on and off the water.
Freshwater flushing is the single most important maintenance procedure a boater can perform to prevent corrosion in an outboard motor. Flushing dislodges any buildup of mud, sand, or silt ingested by the outboard’s water pump. Left unchecked, that debris can accumulate in an outboard’s cooling passages, restricting the amount of water available to cool the engine. An improperly cooled engine also encourages exhaust system corrosion—because it increases exhaust temperatures. Remember to freshwater flush after every use in salt- or freshwater.
Follow a Maintenance Schedule
Follow Maintenance Schedules
In addition to following the recommended maintenance in your outboard’s owner’s manual, Yamaha helps you stay on top of your outboard maintenance by letting you know when it’s time to service your outboard. An engine hour meter is easy to install; it tracks your engine’s operating hours. Yamaha’s Command Link or Command Link Plus gauges even feature built-in reminders, eliminating an extra gauge.
Check Your Lower Unit
There are plenty of other things to look at, but one thing you definitely want to check out is your lower unit. It is vital to the overall performance of your outboard, and a few simple, regularly performed functions will translate into hours of trouble-free enjoyment and increased value.
You’ll want to regularly inspect the lower unit following these steps; First, remove the prop and apply marine grease to the prop shaft. Next, remove the lower drain plug and check the color of the lubricant if you notice any fishing line or other entanglement around the prop shaft. If the gear oil is white or milky in appearance, that means water has gotten into the gearcase. The lower unit should be disassembled and inspected, and the seals should be replaced before using your outboard again.
You’ll also want to change the gear lube in the lower unit. Extreme pressures exerted inside an outboard’s lower unit eventually break down a lubricant’s effectiveness. Use Yamalube Gearcase Lube (Gearcase Lube HD for V8 models) according to the schedule in your owner’s or service manual to protect your investment. Authorized Yamaha dealers can do this, or it’s easy to do it yourself. For DIYers, be sure to replace the vent and drain screw seals each time.
Taking the time to do a little preventative maintenance on your outboard investment means increased enjoyment opportunities for you and your family on the water. For more information on how to perform this maintenance, how to find an authorized Yamaha dealer or more on Yamaha’s innovative line of maintenance products, visit www.yamahaoutboards.com or follow them on Facebook.
Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle.com