Most boaters know it’s imperative to flush an outboard with freshwater after boating in saltwater or brackish water. Failure to do so can allow corrosion to take hold in your motor’s water passages, compromising your cooling system and shortening the life of your engine.
However, not everyone understands that it’s also a great practice to flush your outboard after freshwater outings. Why? If the water is murky – or if you, say, touch bottom with your lower unit – you could end up with mud, algae and other debris trapped inside those narrow water passages, keeping your engine from cooling efficiently. Also, an unflushed engine could cause you to unwittingly transfer invasive species from one body of water to another.
Here’s the good news: flushing with freshwater is a simple task which can be done in a few minutes. By the time you’ve unloaded your tackle and cooler, your engine is flushed clean and ready to put away until your next outing.
Here is how you do it!
- Your outboard needs to be in operating or tilted position.
- Disconnect the flush connector. This can often times be found on the side of your outboard. If not, consult your owner manual to find the flush connector.
- Thread a water hose into the flush fitting
- Turn on the water. Let the water run for about 15 minutes. You can now see that water is running out of your outboard, flushing away any debris that is logged in your engine
- Turn off the water and disconnect your hose.
- You’re ready to go!