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Ask the Pro: Should I Warm Up My Boat Engine?

Timely advice for fall and winter engine operation. 

Ask the Pro: Should I Warm Up My Boat Engine?

Mercury Ask the Pro answers your questions about boating and Mercury products. For each Mercury Ask the Pro article, we’ll put one of your questions to the Mercury service team, and share their response right here.

For this installment of Mercury Ask the Pro, we address a question that many of you have, especially when the temperatures are dropping: Should I warm up my marine engine before getting underway?

Here’s what the Mercury service team had to say:

  • Fuel-injected engines: It’s important to let a fuel-injected engine warm up to operating temperature before getting underway. Doing so will allow the oil enough time to properly lubricate and protect internal engine components before putting a load on the engine. This shouldn’t take more than 1-2 minutes, unless you’re starting in extremely low temperatures (late fall or winter). In this case, it’s best to allow your engine to warm up a bit longer.

  • Carbureted engines: Carbureted engines also need to be warmed up, and in colder weather, they require a few extra minutes than fuel-injected models.

  • Warming up an engine an excessive amount of time is not only unnecessary, it also wastes fuel. 

Remember, simple things like allowing your engine to warm up are easy ways to ensure that your engine performs at its best over the course of its lifetime, giving you more time to enjoy being on the water.

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