If you own a recreational boat and you have almost exhausted the service life of its outboard motor, then it is a good idea to replace it immediately instead of waiting for total failure. However, if you are strapped for cash, then buying a new one is likely out of the question. Nonetheless, the good news is that there a many used outboard motors for sale that can serve you well. That said, you need to know how to examine a used outboard motor properly. This article highlights the parts that most boat owners forget to inspect when buying a used outboard motor.
Cowl Cover Gasket -- When inspecting used outboard motors, most buyers tend to focus on the interior and give little attention to the exterior. One thing you should understand is that if the exterior is damaged, then it doesn't matter whether the interior is in tip-top condition or not. Therefore, the first thing you should check is the condition of the cowl cover gasket. The seal helps to keep the interior dry, which is vital for the efficient running of an outboard motor. Therefore, inspect the seal for weak points and possible wear and tear. If it is in excellent condition, then you can go ahead and examine the rest of the motor. However, if the gasket shows signs of wear and tear, then you need to give that particular outboard motor a pass and move to the next one.
Inspect Serial Number Tabs -- Like on any other machine component, outboard motors have a serial number tab which is always mounted on the transom bracket as well as on the engine cover. The serial numbers and any other information on the two tabs should match. Therefore, it is essential to compare both tags during the inspection process and make sure there is a match. Otherwise, you might end up buying an assembled outboard motor which is not reliable.
Lower Unit Oil Reservoir -- This is another area that most outboard motor enthusiasts fail to inspect when getting a used motor. The lower unit is enclosed with a screw and can be easily accessed using a flat-head screwdriver. Just unscrew the fastener and inspect the colour of the oil that comes out. If the oil looks creamy or white, then the oil in the lower unit contains water, which means that seals in this section have worn out and need replacing. However, if the oil is black, then the seals are still in good condition and don't need replacing.