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How To: Flush Your Outboard Motor

How To: Flush Your Outboard Motor

Routine engine maintenance is an important part of owning a boat. The motor is what keeps the boat moving. Simply flushing your motor after every saltwater or dirty/contaminated freshwater trip can keep your motor running for years!

How To: Flush an outboard motor that does not have a flushing port

Now-a-days, most new OB motors have a flushing port but if yours does not, don’t fret. There is another simple way to flush any outboard. First and foremost, you will need to go out and purchase a pair of flushing muffs. These muffs are placed around the tail of your motor and are used to flush the system with freshwater while the motor is running.

Follow these simple steps and you will have yourself a perfectly flushed motor in no time:

  1. Remove the boat from the water and locate it near a freshwater hose port.
  2. Attach the flush muffs to the hose.
  3. Slip the muffs over the tail motor, fully covering the water intakes.
  4. Turn on the freshwater source and make sure the water is flowing around both sides of the intake spots.
  5. Start the motor and make sure water is flowing through the tell-tale.
  6. Keep the motor running for a minimum of 3-5 minutes (be sure to not let it rev over 1000 rpm’s)
  7. Turn off your engine.
  8. Turn of your water.
  9. Remove the flush muffs.

There are a few things you will need to keep in mind with this method of flushing. If you have more than 2 intakes on the gear case, you will need to cover them with tape to seal them to prevent overheating. If your motor is old and does not have any intakes on the gear case, you will need to purchase a flushing bag.

How To: Flush an outboard motor with a flushing port

  1. Remove the boat from the water and locate it near a freshwater hose port.
  2. Tilt the engine up until the outdrive has drained.
  4. Remove the cap of the flushing port and attach the hose to it.
  5. Turn the freshwater on and let it run for 3-5 minutes
  6. Turn the freshwater off and remove the hose.
  7. Replace the port cap.

If you have a choice of buying an engine with or without a flushing port, we highly recommend buying one with a port. This is because they no longer require power when flushing and make it quiet enough to do at your home or at night, and they are much more fuel efficient.

Why do I need to flush my outboard engine?

After every fun day on saltwater, you should make the time to properly flush your outboard engines with freshwater. If you don’t follow proper engine maintenance, salt buildup, scaling and corrosion can form inside of your motor.

Scaling can lead to overheating and blocking of the cooling system, essentially killing your engine from the inside out. Simple freshwater flushes remove the salt from the day’s trip and prevents the disaster that salt build-up can cause.

Our Conclusion

The Ingman Marine team cannot state it enough: FLUSH YOUR MOTORS AFTER EVERY SALTWATER TRIP! Additionally, we also want to point out that this doesn’t necessarily mean you should only flush engines after saltwater trips. If you take your vessel out in dirty or contaminated freshwater, you will want to perform a freshwater flush in those instances as well. Keep up with your routine cleanings and have as much fun as you can!

Happy boating…and cleaning!

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