How to Do Affordable Outboard Motor Repair

Whether it’s a lil’ kicker or a 200-horsepower V-6 powerhouse, an affordable outboard motor repair is a major investment. That’s why, for the do-it-yourselfer who likes a challenge, learning how an outboard engine works and doing routine inspections can keep repair costs down — and perhaps even save you a few thousand dollars.

The most important step is to learn the fundamentals. If you’re a novice, it’s worth finding a local outboard mechanic who can teach you. In most cases, these are cheaper than boat dealership mechanics, especially if you can find one who’s certified by the outboard manufacturer.

Affordable Outboard Motor Repair: Cost-Effective Solutions without Compromise

A basic maintenance task is changing the lower unit oil. This oil is vital to lubricate the engine and protect it from corrosion, but it’s not expensive if you do it yourself. Just don’t ignore corrosion and other signs of neglect, as these can be a sign that the engine isn’t in good condition.

Another cost-effective step is repairing bent or corroded propellers. This is an easy fix that can make a big difference in outboard performance, and it’s far less costly than buying a new propeller.

For the truly ambitious, it’s possible to purchase a non-running outboard from Craigslist or other sites and fix it yourself. This requires a bit of courage, but a lot can be learned about an outboard’s construction, how to diagnose problems and how to fix them. Just be sure to get an OEM service manual so you don’t make things worse.

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