Top 9 Common Outboard Motor Problems and How to Fix Them


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For boat enthusiasts, outboard motors are a must, but they can be problematic if not properly maintained. While some outboard motor issues can be resolved quickly, others call for more involved fixes or expert assistance. We’ll talk about ten typical outboard motor issues in this article, along with solutions.

No Start to the Engine

An unresponsive engine is one of the most frequent issues with outboard motors. A dead battery could be the problem if the engine won’t start or makes a clicking noise. To see if it helps, check the battery connections and try jumping it. A blocked gasoline filter, which needs to be replaced on a regular basis, could be another problem.


Another frequent issue with outboard motors is overheating, which can seriously harm the engine. A broken thermostat or water pump could be the problem, which would explain why the motor was running hot. Overheating may also result from a clogged water intake, so be sure to frequently check for obstructions and clean the intake.

A rough idle

Carburetor issues could be the cause of the motor’s harsh idle. You must take out and clean the carburetor, or replace it if necessary, to solve this issue. A spark plug that is fouled, worn, or has an improper gap is another problem that can result in rough idling. The issue may be resolved by changing the spark plug or correcting the gap.


If the engine stalls while it’s running, the problem may be a carburetor that’s been misadjusted or a blocked fuel filter. It’s also conceivable that the gasoline pump is broken, so make sure it’s working correctly and replace it if necessary. Stalling can occasionally be brought on by electrical problems, such as a damaged ignition coil that needs to be replaced.

Sluggish Acceleration

A dirty carburetor, clogged fuel filters, or fouled spark plugs can all contribute to poor acceleration. When necessary, inspect, clean, or replace these parts. The performance of the motor can be impacted by a worn-out propeller, which is another potential cause. The propeller can be changed to increase acceleration.

No Power Trim and No Tilt

The outboard motor must be raised and lowered using power tilt and trim systems. Low hydraulic fluid levels, a clogged hydraulic fluid filter, or a broken hydraulic pump could all be the cause of the system’s dysfunction. Inspect and replace these parts as necessary.

Heavy Smoking

The outboard motor may be emitting excessive smoke as a result of a number of problems, including a filthy air filter, fouled spark plugs, or a blocked fuel filter. When necessary, inspect, clean, or replace these parts. Make sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper fuel-to-oil ratio to avoid this potential cause.

Fuel with Water

The outboard motor will struggle to operate properly if there is water in the gasoline. Check these parts for wear or damage since the problem may be a leaky gasoline tank or fuel line. A blocked gasoline filter, which needs to be replaced on a regular basis, may also be the cause.


Water exposure to outboard motors over time may result in corrosion. Check the gasoline tank for damage or leaks as the problem may be a corroded or worn-out fuel tank. Examine the cabling, connectors, and battery terminals for any signs of rust or damage because corrosion can potentially impact the electrical system of the motor.

Whatever issue you’re having with your outboard engine, give us a call and we’ll help you with your issues. If it’s something we can help you fix on your own, were happy to be here for you. If it’s something bigger, maybe we can repair it for you. We are expert outboard engine rebuilders and are here to help.


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