To look your best and stay in shape, you need to take regular exercise, eat well and have regular medical check-ups. Such a holistic approach could add years to your life.

Maintaining a boat’s engine has similarities but water’s detrimental impact is the key difference. It’s far more corrosive than air can be on the human skin and body.

Find out why regular Mercury engine maintenance and servicing are the secrets to boat longevity as we examine their effects.

DIY Maintenance Tips

Giving your boat’s engine a lot of TLC is part of the picture. It is not, however, a replacement for regular servicing at a Mercury outboard supplier’s certified workshop. Nonetheless here are some actions you can take that are good practice:

  • Flush out the engine after every outing, even those in freshwater
  • Check the water pump to make sure it has a good water flow
  • Disconnect the fuel line if you intend to store the boat for a long time
  • Ensure you turn off the key and, if there’s a battery switch, turn it off
  • Remove the engine cowling and check for fuel or water leaks
  • Wipe and spray accessible mechanical parts with an anti-corrosive
  • Put the cowling back onto its fittings

Carrying Our Regular Maintenance

You should always replace spark plugs and plug wires as necessary. There is no hard and fast rule about the normal life cycle for your spark plugs. If you use your boat a lot or do not perform maintenance regularly, they will wear out more quickly.

If your engine does not rev up sufficiently or has started burning surprisingly high quantities of fuel, you might have a spark issue. To check them, unscrew them with a wrench and mount them on a spark tester. You can simply screw new plugs into place and snap the plug wires on over their ends.

Many people prefer to replace the plugs and plug wires at the same time. This makes sense given that plug wires do not last particularly long. Ensure you know which plug wire goes with which plug. You must re-attach them in exactly the same arrangement.

Fuel and Water Pumps

You should check for water in the fuel on a regular basis. If you get water in an engine, it can reduce its performance considerably and damage components like spark plugs. Have a check of the fuel line fittings too. Ensure you seat them correctly so they don’t leak. Bear in mind that fuel lines can corrode with age.

As a rule of thumb, you should replace the water pump impeller every 2 years or every year if it gets used mainly in seawater. The impeller is one of the components in the pump. Its job is to move water around to mitigate the risk of overheating.

Impellers can get clogged up with dirt and you should replace them regularly. Always ensure you only ever use fresh fuel. Boat motors can be particularly sensitive to impurities in fuels.

Once fuel begins to age, it can cause damage. If you use a boat seasonally, always empty your fuel tanks and lines before leaving it for a long period of time. Remember to get rid of any unused fuel or oil responsibly by taking them to a recycling point.

Regular Servicing and Maintenance

This is the secret to making sure your engine offers you years of trouble-free enjoyment. Mercury Authorised Dealers, like Mike’s Marine, have the training and expertise to take care of all of your engine maintenance needs.

Some boat owners will use their Marine engines for an extended time at wide open throttle (reaching 6000rpm on certain models). This is under the harsh sun and in corrosive salt water. The boat may then get stored for up to 6 or 7 months over the cooler months without ever getting used.

If you only use a boat occasionally, you may not become aware of minor Mercury engine maintenance needs. These could ultimately cause starting or reliability issues while you’re out on the boat.

Issues such as minor oil leaks or fuel system contamination can cause costly repairs if the problems don’t get fixed quickly. This is why it’s vital to get your engine serviced and inspected at least every year by an authorised dealer. That applies even if you don’t reach 100 hours.

This does not mean that manufacturers have only designed the normal service and maintenance items to last for 12 months. It does mean, however, that your authorised dealer can carry out a tune-up, service or warranty issues to make sure you get ultimate pleasure and trouble-free running from your engine.

Recommended Service Intervals for Your Engine

It is essential that you stick to a routine service interval timespan, such as once a year. This is because many owners may rack up less than 100hrs of running during a one-year period.

Manufacturers design most engine types whether they be for cars or boats for regular use. Many mechanical components will start to deteriorate if you underuse them.

To ensure the reliability and durability of your engine, the idea behind a lot of recommended maintenance is to prevent future problems. Rather than waiting for components to become exhausted or near to failing, it’s better to make sure your engine starts and runs reliably when you’re about to go boating.

The months or hours specified for service intervals relate to the engine purchase date. These are the recommendations:

3 months (from Purchase Date) or 20 hours

One year (from Purchase Date) or 100 hours

2 years (from Purchase Date) or 200 hours

3 years (from Purchase Date) or 300 hours

4 years (from Purchase Date) or 400 hours

5 years (from Purchase Date) or 500 hours

Book in with Your Mercury Outboard Supplier Today

Mike’s Marine is a specialised Mercury dealer and Mercury-certified workshop. We have a combined 80 year’s experience within the marine and boating industry.

We see it as our mission for you to get the most from your Mercury engine. Let us take care of all your Mercury engine maintenance issues. Get in touch with us today.