What are the likely causes? What should you check first? In fact, only one of the things to check even requires a tool and that is just a small flat-blade screwdriver ; that screwdriver and a roll of tape I like Rescue Tape — read about it here are all you need for any of the simple solutions and jury-rigs presented here.
Admittedly, there are going to be times when there is no simple fix. If not, find someone who is. BUT — and this is the important part — the vast majority of problems do not require any special knowledge to find and fix at least well enough to get home.
Row or paddle back and tie on or drop your dinghy anchor.
And as a side note, always have your basic safety gear in the boat — see my article on Things to Carry in the Dinghy. I will undo it, and then put it back into place.
In my experience, this is the most common cause of failure to start! NOTE: Always wear the kill cord — read more here about why and an easy way to do it if you need your hands free. Check that there is gas in the tank. It can easily get bumped to the wrong position when the motor is removed or put back on the dinghy, or when the motor is tilted up and down.
If you have an electric-start motor, it may be that the battery is low or dead. For most of us, the upper limit of pull-starting is more like 20 or 30 HP. Try to start it both with and without using the choke, regardless of what the standard starting procedure is.
Try varying the throttle position a little. If your outboard has an external gas tank, there can be a number of problems between it and the motor. Do a quick visual inspection from the tank to the motor and then run your hand along the fuel hose.
Many times, the problem will be very apparent when you do this. If you are using an external tank, make sure the vent on it is open. If it is not, air cannot flow into the tank to replace the volume of gas as it is used. The fuel line can come just slightly disconnected at either the tank or motor end. Just like with a garden hose, a kink or pinch in the line will stop the flow of gas.
Common culprits are the hose going under the tank, getting pinched between a corner of the tank and the hull, someone stepping on the hose or placing something on it. I was able to hand-hold the hose straight to get back to the boat, then could cut the crimped section off and re-attach the end. Squeeze the bulb in the fuel hose to get fuel up to the motor. If you have just replaced the fuel hose or bulb, double-check that the arrow on the bulb points from the tank to the motor it has one-way valves in it.
If you squeeze the bulb and smell gas, you almost certainly have a cracked, cut or nicked fuel hose between the bulb and the motor, or the fuel line is not securely connected to the motor. Many fuel hoses have a liner, which can delaminate and more or less wad up see my post about this.
Check for this by removing the fuel hose at the motor. Use a small flat-blade screwdriver to depress the ball valve in the fitting on the hose end, holding the hose end over your bailing bucket or something else that will catch any fuel.
Fuel usually will squirt out immediately. If it seems like there is a blockage, the long-term solution is to replace the hose. As a get-home measure, keep your speed low so as to need less fuel and keep pumping the bulb to help force fuel through the blockage. This will work for a brief stint but once the delamination starts, it quickly gets worse.Check out this list of 25 reasons why your boat motor won't turn over or boat engine won't start. Don't spend your time aimlessly poking and prodding; instead use this list to help identify the problem.
Chances are the answer to your boat engine problem is somewhere on the list. Or, at the least, the list will help you identify the actual boat engine problem you're experiencing. Empty gas tank 2.
Gas tank air vent not open 3. Fuel lines kinked or severely pinched 4. Water or dirt in fuel system 5. Clogged fuel filter or screens 6. Motor not being choked to start 7.
Engine not primed -- pump primer system 8. Carburetor adjustments too lean not allowing enough fuel to start engine 9. Timing and synchronizing out of adjustment Manual choke linkage bent -- auto choke out of adjustment Spark plugs improperly gapped, dirty or broken Fuel tank primer inoperative pressurized system Ignition points improperly gapped, burned or dirty Loose, broken wire or frayed insulation in electrical system Reed valves not seating or stuck shut Weak coil or condenser Cracked distributor cap or rotor or shorted rotor Loose fuel connector Poor engine or ignition ground Faulty ignition or safety switch Low cranking speed Low voltage to ignition, when cranking Low Compression Takeaway: If your engines won't start, don't just keep cranking the ignition or you'll drain your batteries and add one more thing to the list above.
Menu Sign Up.I was towing my granddaughter on her tube when the engine stopped right in the middle of the lake. Had to be towed back to the marina. I tried to start it again to no avail. I let it sit for a couple of hours, then it started, but died again in one minute.
I cranked it over for a full minute, but no luck. I opened the engine compartment and saw water dripping from under the starboard side of the engine, and some black oil splatters on the floor of the compartment.
How to Troubleshoot Johnson Boat Motors
There's plenty of motor oil and transmission oil. Is it overheating? The temp gauge says it's normal. Is the ignition supposed to make a loud whine when the key is turned on? It's always done that. Is my granddaughter's vacation ruined?? I forgot to mention that, just in case I ran out of gas my gas gauge doesn't workI put four gallons of gas in the boat from a gas can. Should I have put more in? How was the boat running prior to this? Step 1, check that oil. If your oil is "milky", then you've got water and oil mixing together, which is a serious issue.
Step 2, pull each plug 1 by 1, this will help in diagnosing possible ignition causes. If you did run yourself out of gas completely, this may be dry. You'll need to add some fuel to it to prime the pump. Heck, just replace it if it wasn't done very recently. And I would have added far more than 4 gallons. If you did run out of gas completely, you could have quite a bit of crud blocking the pickup, or just flat out not have enough in there.
Also, never crank for a full minute, it doesn't do anything but run your battery down. Remember, you need pleasure boatsfuel, fire and air Remember, you need fuel, fire and air My 1st guess is that is was an ignition problem, but the water and oil you mentioned have me concerned. Hopefully that was there before. Get it to a mechanic. Thank you all very much. The mechanic put a new impeller in it and said the engine was in great shape. It only had hours on it.
I will try adding a lot more fuel this morning. Hopefully, that's all it is. I'll let you know later today. I had a 7. Okay, I put 15 gallons in it and filled the fuel filter with gas. It started and ran for 30 seconds then quit.
I couldn't get it to start again. So it's not the kill switch and it's not the fuel.Troubleshooting with most newer outboards has become more complicated because of technological advances such as kill switches, start-in-gear protection, electronic ignition and fuel injection, and computer-controlled ignition timing. But this flow chart will help you isolate the problem, so that you may be able to solve it at the dock or ramp with minimal tools in a short amount of time.
If not, at least, you'll be able to speak intelligently about the problem to a mechanic. This is by no means a complete troubleshooting guide for starting problems. These are designed for technicians so the information may be hard to understand, but they can be a great aid in helping you diagnose and fix problems, if you're mechanically inclined and have the temperament to do so.
If you turn the key to crank the engine and nothing happens, keep the key in the "on" not all the way over to start position and check to see if other components such as lights and gauges operate. If you turn the key and the engine won't start but other components are working, check the gear shift to ensure it's solidly in neutral, as most outboards will not crank with the engine in gear.
9.9 outboard stalled and won't start
Depending on your setup, the engine might not even crank if the kill switch is out. If your battery's reasonably charged, check the battery cables from the battery to the engine. If the starter engages and cranks slowly or not at all, your battery may be low.
Check it using a voltmeter. A minimum of 12 volts is needed. Check the outboard's main fuse. Typically located in a large red holder on the engine wiring harness, it's usually a amp fuse that's easily replaced. If it still won't crank, check the neutral switch.
If you hear a clicking sound or a low whine but the starter won't engage the flywheel when you turn the key, the starter solenoid may be bad. Some advise against this, but often I'll tap it lightly with a small hammer as a helper turns the key.
Check to see that fuel is getting to the engine. Pump the primer bulb if equipped and ensure it gets firm after several squeezes. If it doesn't, check for leaks in the line, the tank or filter, the engine, and a bad valve within the bulb. Check filter s for water and sediment.Log in or Sign up. Boat Design Net. I'm sorry if I'm submitting this in the wrong space. I didn't see any areas that seemed appropriate.
I went fishing today with my 2 stroke 9. It started right up and got us as far from the boat launch as it could before stalling. It would run for a couple seconds after that, but again What I have done: checked the spark plugsthey are clean and they are sparking. When I opened up the hood, I can see that every time I push the choke IN, a lever lets off of a small blue button and gas sprays out a pencil-lead sized hole in the carburetor could possibly be the fuel pump It sprays it into the engine compartment.
What To Do If Your Outboard Won't Start
That doesn't make sense to me. That can't be normal I have two guesses: Guess 1. It's spraying this gas, the gas is not making it to the carburetor, so it's just stalling. Does that sound possible? The only problem is that I'm used to a hose going over the male end of an assembly. The part that is leaking is a hole flush with the fuel pump? Guess 2. I've tried pulling it out to see if it would make a difference, but it didn't.
Is there a way to check it with a voltmeter or something? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sorry if this was unorganized and noon-like.It's frustrating to launch your boat and realize the motor won't start.
If you own a Johnson boat motor, it's going to have the same problems as any other gasoline-powered motor. If you decide to troubleshoot the problem yourself, you'll need to understand some basic concepts on what makes the engine run. There are three elements required for your Johnson engine to run properly: compression, fuel and fire. If any of these elements are out of sync, your engine won't run properly--if it even runs at all. It would help to buy a handbook about your particular engine before you start troubleshooting.
Check for simple problems that may cause the engine to run poorly. If your engine isn't starting, check for a loose spark plug wire. Something as simple as a wire not connected properly can keep your engine from firing. Also, check to make sure the battery cables are connected properly and working to full capacity.
Simple and relatively inexpensive problems like this will make your motor not run. Make sure a fuel problem isn't the culprit. Fuel problems can sometimes be mistaken for ignition problems.
Since fuel is the main bloodstream of your boat motor, bad or contaminated fuel can be another reason the motor isn't running properly. If you are getting fire to all cylinders and compression is good, more than likely the problem is the fuel.
Many things can cause a fuel problem--bad gas, a bad fuel pump, loose fuel line, clogged carbs, or the fuel tank isn't venting correctly. Be sure to check out all of these basic problems before buying new parts.
Outboard Won’t Start 101
Parts replacement can be a timely and expensive purchase when dealing with any boat motor. Troubleshoot the ignition. This is where you might need to call for experienced help. Check the timing to make sure it's functioning fully. The problem could be as simple as a broken bare wire or something shorted out. If the problem seems more serious, take your motor to a licensed Johnson technician. Repairing ignitions can be a timely and costly expense. Since you most likely will not get a refund on parts you've purchased, the repair needs to be done correctly the first time.
Run a compression test. This will more than likely tell you if there are problems with the internal structure of your engine.In both cases, reliability is far better than it was in decades past, fuel efficiency has increased, and problems like smoky exhaust and ear-splitting sound levels are ancient history.
But that doesn't mean your new outboard is infallible. In fact, there are a few common problems with modern outboard motors that crop up again and again.Boat Engine won't start - Troubleshooting
These will leave some of us sitting at the dock, wishing instead of fishing. For those of us who know the quick fix solution, however, these problems are easy to take care of. Today's outboard motors are far more reliable and fuel efficient than those of yester-year, but you'll still want to know how to fix these common problems—and fix 'em fast.
Cheap fuel lines, hose clamps, and connectors commonly cause problems with your outboard engine. Back Explore View All. Back Types View All. Unpowered Boats Kayaks Dinghies. Personal Watercraft Personal Watercraft. Back Research. Reviews Boats Engines and Parts. How-to Maintenance Buying and Selling Seamanship. Boats PWCs. Boats for Sale View All. Or select country. Search Advanced Search. Personal Watercraft for Sale View All. Liked it? Share it! Facebook Twitter. Boating Guides. Boat Buyer's Guide.
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