OUTBOARD MOTOR FAULT FINDING FAQS

Outboard Motor Fault Finding FAQs Frequently asked questions to help you diagnose common outboard motor faults

Why is my outboard motor not starting?

There are many reasons why an outboard motor may not start, some of which are easier to fix than others. Here are some of the most common and easily fixed faults that can cause an outboard not to start.

If it is completely dead, it could be:
• The key is not properly engaged
• The kill cord or kill cord button is not properly engaged
• The battery is dead

If it starts, but then stops immediately, it could be:
• The kill cord or kill cord button is not properly engaged
• The fuel is not primed
• The fuel is old/contaminated
• A fuel line is blocked
• An air lock in the fuel tank or fuel tank pipe

If you need help with an outboard that is not starting, visit our repair page to book your repair or find out more about our services. You can also order spares via our spare parts page if you are capable of carrying out minor repairs yourself. If you would prefer to speak to someone, you can call us on: 023 80388 608.

Why is my outboard motor misfiring?

There are a number of reasons why an outboard motor may misfire, but the most common reasons are:

• The fuel is poor quality, old/contaminated
• The timing or ignition is misaligned
• One or more of the spark plugs need cleaning/replacing

If you need help with an outboard that is misfiring, visit our repair page to book your repair or find out more about our services. Alternatively, if you need to replace the spark plugs and can do it yourself, visit our spare parts page to order from our comprehensive range of genuine Mercury, Yamaha and Suzuki outboard parts and accessories. If you would prefer to speak to someone, you can call us on: 023 80388 608.

Why is my outboard motor not pumping water?

Firstly, stop your engine immediately if this happens, as running an outboard motor that isn’t pumping water, can cause serious damage.

There are a number of reasons why an outboard motor may not be pumping water, but the most common reasons are:

• The intake is not fully submerged in water
• The intake is blocked – mud, sand and other debris can get inside and cause a blockage
• A salt blockage in the water pipes that requires flushing
• The impellor is worn or broken

If you need help with an outboard that is failing to pump water, visit our repair page to book your repair or find out more about our services. If you would prefer to speak to someone, you can call us on: 023 80388 608.

Why is my outboard motor not running at full power?

There are a number of reasons why an outboard motor may not be running at full power, but the most common reasons are:

• The propeller is spun – caused by damage to the bond between the propeller and prop shaft
• The propeller has debris tangled around it – seaweed, old rope and fishing lines are the most common culprits
• There is an air leak in the fuel line
• The spark plug wiring is corroded

If you need help with an outboard that is not running at full power, visit our repair page to book your repair or find out more about our services. If you would prefer to speak to someone, you can call us on: 023 80388 608.

Why will my outboard motor not go into neutral?

There are a number of reasons why an outboard motor may not go into neutral, but the most common reasons are:

• A faulty shift interrupter
• The shift cable is sticking/worn or needs adjustment
• A lubrication issue – insufficient lubrication and old lubricant can cause binding

If you need help with an outboard that is failing to going into neutral, visit our repair page to book your repair or find out more about our services. If you would prefer to speak to someone, you can call us on: 023 80388 608.

Why will my outboard motor not idle?

There are a number of reasons why an outboard motor may not idle, but the most common reasons are:

• The carburettor needs adjusting or replacing (if it has one)
• The fuel injection IAC valve is clogged (if it has one)
• The fuel filter needs to be cleaned/replaced
• The air filter needs to be cleaned/replaced
• The fuel is poor quality, old/contaminated
• There is a kink or leak in a fuel line
• One or more of the spark plugs need cleaning/replacing

If you need help with an outboard that is failing to idle, visit our repair page to book your repair or find out more about our services. If you would prefer to speak to someone, you can call us on: 023 80388 608.

Why will my outboard motor not shut off with the key?

There are a number of reasons why an outboard motor may not shut off with the key, but the most common reasons are:

• The ignition switch is damaged/faulty
• The wiring harness is damaged/faulty

If you need help with an outboard that isn’t shutting off with the key, visit our repair page to book your repair or find out more about our services. If you would prefer to speak to someone, you can call us on: 023 80388 608.

Why will my outboard motor not accelerate?

There are a number of reasons why an outboard motor may not accelerate, but the most common reasons are:

• The propeller has debris tangled around it – seaweed, old rope and fishing lines are the most common culprits
• There is an air leak in the fuel line
• The fuel filter needs to be cleaned/replaced
• The fuel is poor quality, old/contaminated
• One or more of the spark plugs need cleaning/replacing
• The impellor is worn or broken
• The fuel pump is malfunctioning

If you need help with an outboard that isn’t accelerating, visit our repair page to book your repair or find out more about our services. If you would prefer to speak to someone, you can call us on: 023 80388 608.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Regular outboard servicing and winterising can prevent a lot of these faults from occurring, which will ultimately save you time and money in the long run, so if you haven’t already, make sure you get your outboard motor booked in!

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Sean Nagle
Sean Nagle
30/07/2021
Mark's a very helpful guy who go the part I needed in two days from Holland - no mean feat in these Brexit days...! Recommend him and MB Marine
George Thompson
George Thompson
30/03/2021
We used MB Marine Sales to check over our boat to get her ready to be sold, as well as winterising the engines. There was clear communication throughout, really helpful and professional. Can’t recommend Mark and his services enough.
Darren Botting
Darren Botting
13/08/2020
Mark knows his stuff absolutely a top bloke bought several parts from him for my mercury 15 hp 2 stroke and decided to purchase an hour old mercury 4 stroke just waiting for Mark to fit if you want your engine s serviced mark is the man 5 * service
Andy Andy Murray
Andy Andy Murray
03/06/2020
Mark and Craig are 1st class. Ive used MB marine to service and maintain my ribs since I bought them. Nothing is too much, really helpful and always on the end of the phone to help.
Matthew Holland
Matthew Holland
30/05/2020
Mark has been an absolute life saver, provided the parts we needed to fix the impella on my Rib. He was really busy but then proceeded to spend lots of time on numerous calls helping us out with telephone support which was invaluable! I have never experienced service like this and someone who will go the extra mile to help! I recommend everyone puts a MB Marine sticker on their engine for when you need him, you won’t find better!
Tim Lees
Tim Lees
30/05/2020
Absolutely fantastic help and service this morning especially considering the difficult covid restrictions. So very impressed with the positive and helpful attitude and advice We will definitely be going back in future when we need repairs service or anything else Also so very glad you are now supporting and servicing the Lymington area Will most highly recommend Thankyou
AquaMarine Yacht Repairs & Refits
AquaMarine Yacht Repairs & Refits
24/05/2020
We have been using MB Marine for a numbers of years now, very reliable and a professional set up workshop for outboards for repairs and servicing, always been there when we needed them and with realistic prices.
Portsmouth RIB Charter
Portsmouth RIB Charter
18/05/2020
Excellent service as always - have been using Mark to service and repair both my outboards since I bought both ribs. Great and reliable work every time! We use both our ribs as commercial charter boats so always need them in perfect working order - they have never let us down with care and maintenance that Mark provides. Would highly recommend.
Elev8 Fitness
Elev8 Fitness
18/05/2020
Fantastic service - very knowledgeable and was able to diagnose the issue with my engine. Would recommend 100%
August Race Greece
August Race Greece
11/05/2020
I have always used MB Marine for all our boats servicing and repairs. Friendly efficient service from everyone there. Would highly recommend!