How to troubleshoot a boat engine
It’s not ideal when you find yourself stranded on the water with boat engine failure. Not even the most rigorous maintenance schedules can Prevent Engine Problems – it’s inevitable. Figuring out what’s wrong is the next problem!
There are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with engine issues, which may help keep your sanity and avoid the expense of a towing service.
On outboard engines, it’s important to start by checking the electrical components. First make sure the battery is not dead and that electrical connections are intact. Next, have a look at the spark plug; check its connection by removing and then reinserting into its threading.
If you have come to the conclusion that it is an electrical issue the best way forward is to have a professional mechanic fix the problem. It could be a simple fix such as a blown fuse, or potentially something more sinister so unless you are a qualified mechanic yourself, leave it to the professionals to avoid creating more damage.
If you’re not taking your boat out for a regular spin, then another issue could be old fuel sitting in your tank. It will be a real challenge to start your engine if your fuel has been exposed to the elements causing too much outside moisture to be mixed into the fuel which in turn will affect its smooth running. Flush out old fuel with fresh fuel and you’ll notice a big difference in performance. Just remember to have the correct mix of fuel for your engine type.
Limited fuel flow to the engine is another possible problem. Check that there is no visible damage to the fuel lines as this can create a drop in pressure. Wear and tear and just old age will affect the condition of the hose. There may be some sort of obstruction, so keep an eye open for twists in the hose pipe. Just make sure that fuel is flowing freely through the tube to your engine.
A healthy water flow to your engine is an essential part it acts as a coolant. This cooling effect prevents the engine from overheating. A blockage in the water intake manifold will affect the flow of water to the engine. Luckily this is a quick fix and you’ll soon be on your way.