Bill's Business Blog

3 Critical Inspection Areas When Buying a Used Outboard Engine

There is nothing more important on a boat than the outboard engine because it provides the driving force. Therefore, proper care of the engine is mandatory for any boat owner that wants their motor to last the entire service life. However, you are forced to replace your engine when it fails prematurely. What if you do not have the cash to buy a brand-new engine? You do not have to worry because you can buy a used outboard engine. With thorough research and a little bit of luck, you can get yourself an engine in good condition at a bargain. If you want to get value for money, here are key areas to inspect when buying a used outboard engine. 


It is a small part of an outboard engine, but an impeller performs a critical role in the functioning of a motor. Notably, the behaviour of the impeller can tell you the health of the engine. If you find an engine you are interested in, ask the vendor to run it in water so you can determine the health of the impeller. A healthy engine with a good impeller should produce a strong stream of water from the pipe located at the bottom of the engine. If the flow coming from the pipe appears weak, it is an indication that the impeller has a problem. If not repaired, the used engine will overheat the first time you start it. Therefore, ensure that the impeller is in tip-top conditions on a used engine. 

Shaft Seals

The propeller on a used outboard engine has made trillions of revolutions during the service life. Therefore, the shaft seal must always be in good condition to prevent seawater from entering the propeller's shaft compartment. If you restrict your inspection to the condition of the propeller itself and neglect the shaft seal, you will be opening yourself up for trouble ahead. Detach the propeller and its shaft and take a close look at the shaft seal. Are there any weak points, such as cracks or tears? If these are present, then the chances are that the shaft has been in contact with seawater and is corroded. Only buy a used outboard engine with a shaft seal in good condition. 

Fuel Reservoir

If a used outboard engine stays too long in the store, it is run at sea to ensure it remains functional. That is why buyers must inspect the lower unit, which holds the fuel. The best approach is to remove the drain plug and drain the oil inside. If the lower unit is in excellent condition, then the oil will be free of metal deposits and water. Therefore, the oil will be brown. However, if you see a milky appearance in the oil, then it is a direct sign that seawater breached the compartment and sipped into the oil reservoir.    

Contact a supplier of products like Yamaha outboard engines for more information.