Routine maintenance of the Outboard Marine Motor: when?

It is possible to carry out in an autonomous way the routine maintenance of the 4-stroke or 2-stroke outboard motor saving money but, at the same time, having the maximum safety during sailing?

First of all, it is necessary to make a distinction among routine, extraordinary routine and service the marine motor.

By routine maintenance it is meant a series of arrangements that can extend the life of your outboard marine motor and that can be carried on also autonomously.

These are routine maintenance interventions to carry on every time the boat is pulled ashore.
The DIY maintenance can, for example, include the check of deposits of dirt or salt, avoidable with a washing with headphones after every use (in case obviously the boat does not stay in water permanently).

As for the service, the main recommendation is to bring the marine motor only in certified workshops, with specialized personnel able to perform a well-documented and high-quality work.
Often we are attracted by affordable and competitive prices that are then translated into the use of not certified personnel and not original spare parts, of doubtful quality.

For example, Yamaha Marine, brand we are official dealer of, includes the costs of service directly in the official price list to the public. In this way all costs are transparent, and they avoid surprises.

In order to understand when it is time to go to the workshop for the service of an outboard motor, it is sufficient to read the relevant manual, in which there is a series of intervals of hours or years (for example 20, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 hours) with the relevant interventions requested.

Let’s go to the “DIY” procedures to preserve the health of your marine motor.

As we have already mentioned, the routine maintenance must be carried on every tine the boat is “pulled ashore”.

Here you can find the procedure we recommend.


  • Rinse the motor totally without removing the motor shell.
  • Subsequently, by the aid of a kit for rinsing or soaking the sterndrive in fresh water, make the motor turn.
  • Start the engine and let it turn for at least fifteen minutes to remove salt. Verify that the speed of the motor is not too high, to avoid the propeller to turn over the safety limit. Always keep the safety distance from the propeller.
  • While the motor circuit cleans, pay particular attention to the proper functioning of the pump verifying that the water inside it circulates well. Water must run abundantly and regularly, and has to be cold or warm, and fresh. If water is hot or its flow is not sufficient, stop the motor to avoid damaging it.
  • While the motor turns, disconnect the fuel line and let the motor turn to burn the fuel remained in the carburettor. The motor will switch off when all the fuel present in the carburettor will be consumed. This allow to eliminate the deposit or films that risk to compromise the start of the motor in the next trips (never accelerate during this step; the risk is to damage the seals).
  • Once the motor is switched off, interrupt the contact.
  • Remove the motor shell and verify that there is no water or fuel leak.
  • With the help of a cloth, wipe the motor and lubricate it insisting on the moving parts.

Do you have an outboard Yamaha motor that needs extraordinary maintenance or service? Please, contact us and ask for information.

Instead, if your motor has come to an end (maybe you’ve read this guide too late?!), or you simply want to by one, you can contact our business expert and ask for the available models.

Do you want to have an appointment with our business expert Gaetano? Click here

If you have no intention to buy it because you don’t have a boat but you desire to buy one, here are 6 good reasons to buy it!

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