How to Flush an Outboard Engine | BoatUS


Good afternoon, boaters! Lenny Rudow here for BoatUS Magazine. You know, if you have an outboard powered boat, one of the most important things you can do to extend the lifespan of that motor is to give it a freshwater flush after each and every use. And you folks who boat in lakes and rivers, don’t think you’re off the hook. There’s still plenty of contaminants, algae, grit ,and dirt that can get sucked up into the motor in all kinds of waterways. So when you get home, you should still give it a thorough freshwater flush. Let’s see how it’s done. Rule number one is to always follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedures. Now, in many cases with modern outboards, including this one, you may have a flushing port. These make the job really easy. All you have to do is pull it, and then attach your garden hose. No big deal, right? Some other engine manufacturers put the flushing port down here on that piece of the lower unit itself. Either way, again, just follow the manufacturers recommended directions. And remember when you flush with a port like this, you do not need to start or run the motor. Different manufacturers recommend different lengths of time to let the freshwater run through there. Some say 5 minutes some say 10. Bottom-line, longer is better. You just want to make sure that freshwater has plenty a chance to get through the system. And then of course when you’re finished, you’ll want to put that flushing port right back where it was. If your engine does not have a flushing port, then you need a pair of earmuffs. First you want to screw these one of the hose. Now once the hose is attached, the key thing here is to slide these muffs right over top of the water intakes in the engine’s lower unit. With the muffs in place, give a second look; make sure that all the water intakes are covered. Then turn on the water. In this case, you do need to run the motor. That’s what draws the freshwater up and through the cooling system. So let’s fire it up. [ENGINE STARTING] Now with the engine running, the first thing I’ll do is I’ll move back here and watch the telltale and make sure that water is coming out. I want to make sure the engine has a good flow of water running through that cooling system. Whenever an outboard is flushing on earmuffs don’t touch that throttle. You want to leave it in neutral, and you certainly don’t want to shift it into gear. One other thing: It’s very tempting to get this thing running and then turn around and start cleaning up, maybe from your day of fishing or washing down the boat. I’m going to say don’t do it. You really want to keep a constant eye on that engine. Watch the telltale, make sure the waters flowing. Sometimes the vibrations from the engine can actually cause the muffs to shift a little bit and come off of those intakes. So this is a job you really want to eyeball as it’s happening. After its run for the manufacturers recommended amount of time, you’re done. With the motor thoroughly flushed, we’re ready to shut off the water, remove the earmuffs, and go up there on the dock and start cleaning our fish. Well, folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed this video. Please don’t forget to leave your comments below and subscribe to the BoatUS Magazine YouTube channel to learn more about boats and boating. [WAVES BREAKING]

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