Winterize your outboard
Shorten your spring commissioning list for the next boating season; winterize your outboard now so you’ll be ready to launch.
Proper outboard engine and stern drive lower unit winterization includes cleaning, lubrication and replacing sacrificial anodes.
To lubricate your engine, remove the vent on the unit’s bottom and allow a small amount of lubricating oil to run out. Inspect this oil for cleanliness and moisture. If either dirt or moisture is present, drain and replace the gear oil after first determining and repairing the cause.
Outboard engine lower units contain a small amount of gear lubricant, which should be drained and refilled at the end of each boating season.
Lubricate the upper and lower pivot pins and gimbal bearings on stern drives and lubricate the pivot bearings and tilt pins on outboard engines.
Replace sacrificial anodes that are more than 50 percent consumed. Test the tilt mechanism, check the fluid in the tilt reservoir and replenish if low. Lubricate mechanical tilt units.
With the stern drive raised, inspect the bellows for cracks or leakage points. Store the stern drive in the normal operating position to protect the bellows from abnormal stretching, which could cause cracking later.
Wipe the unit’s exterior and repaint areas where paint is missing. Do not use a copper-based paint; refer to your owner’s manual or consult the dealer for an approved paint.
Taking these steps to winterize your outboard now will help ensure your boat is ready to launch next season.
Become an engine guru; take the Engine Maintenance course by self-study or at a squadron or club near you.
Become a better boater
Learn the basics so you can boat with confidence and have more fun on the water. Take America’s Boating Course today.