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Maintenance - Infrequently Used Engines

We all know how important it is to care for an outboard motor after use to ensure a long, reliable, and enjoyable experience with a boat and motor package. Regular Maintenance is part of properly caring for any outboard motor. Yamaha recommends to service your engine at 20 hours, known as the 20 Hour Service. The importance is to review key components to make sure everything is running properly. The next service of your Yamaha Outboard Engine is at 100 hours or 12-months from purchase. Why is service needed every 12 months even though it might take several years to reach the specified 100 hours? Annual service reduces the harmful effects caused by the normal deterioration that occurs to motor oil, gear lube, water pump impellers, and other components. It also provides an opportunity to find and correct issues caused by unusual events, such as overheating and impacts, before they cause major problems. For example, motor oil becomes acidic during normal use as it becomes contaminated with the by-products of the combustion process. With prop shaft seals damaged, the lower unit may obtain water and damage the gear lube. While both Yamaha and other quality brands of motor oil and gear lube are designed to minimize the effects of acidity and water on internal components, postponing service past 12 months and increases the likelihood there will eventually be internal damage. Oil and gear lube changes at the prescribed intervals will minimize the effects of the contamination. Plus, if impending major issues are found and corrected during the offseason, the boat will be ready to go when the next boating season starts.

Low hours of use typically mean long periods between uses. It's likely these same customers are not considering the harmful effects age is having on their gasoline and fuel systems. Properly treating the gasoline deterioration and future fuel system issues the next time the boat is used. The customers who are putting minimal hours on their boats each year often are the ones who have limited time available to use them. Even a small problem caused by lack of regular maintenance can mean they will miss the few days or weeks they have to use their boats. To avoid the disappointment of not having their boats ready and the expense of major repairs, educate your customers on the importance of following the maintenance schedule prescribed in the owner’s manual. The free Yamaha Maintenance Matters booklet is a great resource to help with customer education.

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