USA. Mercury Marine advises owners on winter storage of outboard engines Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 October 2006
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With winter right around the corner, many boat owners are preparing to store their boats and motors for the season. Remember to keep in mind several factors when storing outboard marine engines for an extended period of time, such as: treat the fuel; protect internal and external engine components -check the gear case -position the engine for storage.

With the growing presence of ethanol and given the existence of poor-quality fuels, it is extremely important that boat-owners take steps necessary to protect their boat engines' fuel systems during the storage period. Fuel treatment can vary depending on the marine engine, and it's best to refer to the manufacturer's owner's manual for specific information.

Mercury recommends that, at the very least, a fuel stabilizer should be used to help prevent formation of varnish and gum. Allow the treated fuel to run through the engine at least 10 minutes. The consequences of improper storage can range from a varnished fuel system to more serious damage from trapped water that becomes frozen or creates internal corrosion.

Next, it is important to protect the internal and external engine components.

This includes, but is not limited to, changing the oil of four-stroke engines, checking spark plugs, fogging certain models, servicing lubrication points, flushing cooling systems, checking the water-separating fuel filter, and checking the power trim fluid.

It is important to drain and refill the gear case lubricant before storage. This provides an opportunity to check for the presence of water. Water in the gear case often produces a "milky" appearance. Any water discovered must be removed immediately, as frozen water can cause damage.

Also, the cause of water intrusion needs to be determined and repaired before storage. It is also important to check for excessive gear wear by examining the gear case lubricant for metal parts and/or shavings. When refilling the gear case it is important not to mix unlike lubricants, such as premium or hi-performance.

Finally, it's imperative to store engines in the correct position. Outboard engines should be stored in the upright position, allowing excess water to drain.

If you are unsure of the correct procedure for your engine it is best to refer to the manufacturer's owners' manual or to contact the engine manufacturer.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 October 2006 )
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