• Check external
gasoline tanks for corrosion, and replace if necessary. Look for cracks
in the priming bulb, and test it for firmness and resiliency. If it collapses,
• Note the
color of the lube oil in the lower unit. If it’s cloudy, there’s
probably a leak around the prop-shaft seal. Fix it and change the oil.
• Look for
leaks around the trim cylinders.
• Clean flame
air filter, if installed.
• Once you’re
up and running and the engine is under load, note the color of the exhaust.
This can tell you what is going on inside your engine. Black exhaust indicates
either too much fuel or not enough air or an unsuitable prop. Check for
a clogged air intake or improperly adjusted fuel system. Blue smoke indicates
that oil is burning in the combustion chamber. Possible causes could be
worn piston rings or cylinder walls, worn valve guides, or a clogged crankcase
ventilator. Refer to your engine log and note last year’s oil consumption.
If it gradually increased over the year, do a compression test on each
cylinder before calling in a mechanic.
• If your
oil filters are spin-on units, apply a thin film of oil to the gasket
and hand-tighten when replacing. If the filter is a cartridge, make sure
the O-ring gasket is properly seated before reinstalling. Filters should
be topped off with clean oil before starting your engine.
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