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What to Do If an Outboard Motor Is Submerged or Flooded?

Boat Max Management |

If your motor gets submerged, acting quickly can prevent lasting damage. While it's best to have a professional marine mechanic inspect and repair it, there are steps you can take if immediate servicing isn't available.

  1. Immediate Response: Remove the motor from the water as quickly as possible.

  2. Safety First: Turn off the power to prevent any electrical accidents.

  3. Rinse the Engine: After removing the motor cover, wash the engine with clean water to remove salt, mud, and seaweed.

  4. Drain Excess Water: Take out the spark plugs and manually turn the flywheel to push water out from the cylinders.

  5. Oil Inspection and Draining: Check the engine oil for water contamination. If water is present, drain the oil and replace it. Ensure you securely tighten the oil drain plug afterward.

  6. Fuel System: Drain the fuel from the carburetor, fuel line, and filters. Be cautious of gasoline – keep it away from flames and dispose of it properly. If your boat's tank and vent were submerged, inspect the fuel to ensure no water contamination.

  7. Lubricate: Pour a tablespoon of engine oil into each spark plug hole and into the carburetor. Use the recoil starter to turn the engine over, spreading the oil inside. Additionally, lubricate all moving parts, cables, and linkages to prevent rust and corrosion.

  8. Inspect Air System: Check the air intake and filters. Water can damage or clog them, so dry, clean, or replace as necessary.

  9. Try Starting: Once you've cleaned and inspected everything, attempt to start the engine. If it runs, keep it at low RPM to listen for unusual sounds. If you feel any friction or resistance, stop immediately to prevent damage.

  10. Consult a Suzuki Marine Dealer: Regardless of your initial success, have an authorized Suzuki marine dealer inspect the engine as soon as possible.

Remember: Regular maintenance can help avoid future issues. Always prioritize safety and consult a professional when in doubt.