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Frequently Asked Questions

Warranty

Question:

How do I register my engine with Mercury, to ensure that it has warranty coverage?

Answer:

If you purchase your engine or boat from an authorized Mercury Marine dealership, they should process the warranty registration and provide a copy during pre-delivery review.

If you purchase your engine (30hp and below) from a retailer or over the Internet, you will need to complete and return the Warranty Registration card found in the box with the engine.

In either case, your engine must be registered with Mercury within fifteen (15) days from the date of purchase.

 

Question:

If I purchase a used engine or boat from someone, can the warranty be transferred to me?

Answer:

To transfer the remaining factory warranty into the new owner’s name, please fax a copy of the bill of sale to 920-907-6663, email to registration_support@mercmarine.com, or mail to:

Mercury Marine
Registration & Warranty Dept.
P.O. Box 1939
Fond du Lac, WI  54936-1939

Be sure the following information is included on your bill of sale:
•    Date the engine was purchased
•    Engine serial number
•    Your name and address
•    Your telephone number

Question:

When does my warranty coverage begin?

Answer:

Your new Mercury outboard or sterndrive is covered by our factory warranty from the date the product is first put into service or your date of purchase, whichever occurs first – provided that it is registered with us. For example, a Verado sold and registered in July 2010 will have a three-year limited, non-declining warranty through July 2013.

Question:

Can I purchase additional warranty coverage?

Answer:

Mercury Product Protection plans are available for purchase on select models to extend the factory-backed coverage on your engine. Combined, the standard factory warranty and a Mercury Product Protection plan can give you up to seven years of coverage.

Visit the Mercury Product Protection section of our Web site for more information.

Question:

Is the warranty provided by a third party?

Answer:

Mercury warranty coverage is factory-backed. Your dealer works directly with us, so there are no third-party claims to file – and no adjusters to contend with. This simplifies the claim process and gets you back onto the water quicker.

Question:

Are my Mercury gauges, controls, and rigging components covered by warranty?

Answer:

Mercury’s standard warranty coverage could also extend to the controls and rigging components on your boat. If the boat builder used genuine Mercury Precision Parts when installing the engine on your boat built after May 2007, the warranty coverage for those rigging components matches the total standard warranty of your engine (up to three years for Mercury outboard-powered boats; one, two or three years for MerCruiser-powered boats). This means you could have up to an additional two years of control & rigging component coverage.

To find out if your gauges, controls and rigging qualify for the additional warranty, please contact your local Mercury dealer.

Question:

What does ‘non-declining’ mean?

Answer:

‘Non-declining’ means that the warranty coverage is the same on the last day of your warranty as it is on the first. The coverage doesn’t decline based on the age of your engine, or the number of hours you’ve put on it.

Question:

How can I tell if my engine is still covered by warranty, or how much coverage is left?

Answer:

Using the serial number of your engine, your local authorized Mercury dealer can quickly and easily check your warranty coverage. They can verify that your engine is registered with Mercury, whether it is covered by our standard factory warranty, and if there is any additional promotional coverage or if it is covered by a Mercury Product Protection plan.

Question:

If I need service work done, how do I file a claim?

Answer:

Any warranty work done on your engine needs to be done by an authorized Mercury dealer. Your dealer will perform the work on your engine and file the claim with Mercury for you. There is no need for you to file a claim.

Question:

Will the use of fuels containing ethanol void my engine warranty?

Answer:

Fuels containing up to 10 percent ethanol are considered acceptable for use in Mercury engines. Fuels containing higher levels of ethanol are not considered acceptable for use, and the use of fuels containing ethanol higher than 10 percent can void the warranty.

Question:

What is the standard warranty on Mercury outboards?

Answer:

All Mercury outboards have a standard limited, non-declining warranty. The length of warranty coverage can be one, two or three years depending on the model. Please refer to our Warranty Coverage Chart or contact your local authorized Mercury outboard dealer for more details.

Question:

Is there a warranty against corrosion?

Answer:

All Mercury outboards and MerCruiser sterndrives, inboards and tow sport inboards come standard with three years of limited corrosion protection.

MerCruiser SeaCore sterndrives come standard with four years of limited corrosion protection.

Question:

What is the standard warranty on MerCruiser sterndrives?

Answer:

MerCruiser sterndrives, inboards and tow sport inboards have a standard limited, non-declining warranty. The length of warranty coverage can be one, two or three years depending on the model. Please refer to our Warranty Coverage Chart or contact your local authorized Mercury MerCruiser dealer for more details.

Certain boat brands, whose manufacturers have met the requirements for the Mercury Installation Quality Certification Program, carry an additional year of warranty on the MerCruiser engine. The program is the first of its kind in the boating industry and the only comprehensive manufacturer-installation certification system. This rigorous system identifies areas of improvement and implements resolution before the product leaves the factory. With the addition of the Installation Quality Certification Program, Mercury not only advances the marine industry to new standards but also ensures that you get the highest-quality products possible so your boating experience will be the best it can possibly be.

Question:

Will modification of my engine or sterndrive void the warranty?

Answer:

The warranty does not apply to damage or failures caused by use of an accessory or part not manufactured or sold by us. See the appropriate MerCruiser warranty policy for your product or in your Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual.

Question:

How do I get warranty coverage for my engine?

Answer:

Your engine must be registered with Mercury Marine in order to have warranty coverage. If your engine is not registered with us, it will not be covered by any warranty.

Outboard Winterization & Storage

Question:

Where do I find maintenance and lubrication information for my engine?

Answer:

The Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual outlines the typical maintenance and lubrication items. If your manual is missing or damaged, please order online or through any authorized Mercury dealer. Please have your outboard or sterndrive serial number before placing the order.

Question:

Can I start my engine momentarily out of the water?

Answer:

No. NEVER start or run your outboard without water circulating through the cooling water intake in the gear case. Cooling water prevents damage to the water pump (running dry) and overheating of the engine.

Question:

What is phase separation, and how do I deal with it?

Answer:

If significant amounts of water are present in a fuel tank with gasoline that contains ethanol, the water will be drawn into the fuel until the saturation point is reached for the three-component mixture of water + gasoline + ethanol. Beyond this level of water, phase separation could cause most of the ethanol and water to separate from the bulk fuel and drop to the bottom of the tank, leaving gasoline with a significantly reduced level of ethanol in the upper phase. If the lower phase of water and ethanol is large enough to reach the fuel inlet, it could be pumped directly to the engine and cause significant problems. Even if the ethanol water phase at the bottom of the tank is not drawn into the fuel inlet, the reduced ethanol level of the fuel reduces the octane rating by as much as 3 octane numbers, which could result in engine problems.

The level at which phase separation can occur is determined by a number of variables, including the amount of ethanol, the composition of the fuel, the temperature of the environment and the presence of contaminants. It is very important (A) that the system is inspected for significant quantities of water in the tank before using gasoline with ethanol and (B) to limit exposure of the fuel tank to excess water. If phase separation has occurred, it is necessary to completely remove all free water from the system and replace the fuel before continuing operation. Otherwise, engine problems could occur.

Question:

What is the purpose of the Corrosion Control Anode?

Answer:

We recommend a liberal coat of one of the following Mercury Precision or Quicksilver Marine Lubricants on the propeller shaft: Special Lubricant 101, 2-4-C Marine Lubricant, or Anti-Corrosion Grease. These lubricants are available from any authorized Mercury Marine dealer.

Note: Always use the correct mounting hardware and torque the propeller nut to the correct specifications. Verify the propeller tightness after 20 hours of operation. DO NOT operate the boat with a loose propeller.

Question:

The oil I used to purchase is not available or has a different label. What should I do?

Answer:

Oil recommendations can be found in the Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual.  If you have questions on the currently offered Mercury or Quicksilver oils and lubricants, consult with your authorized Mercury dealer or contact Mercury customer service to ensure maximum protection for your outboard.

Question:

Is there a simple solution to water condensation in the tank as a result of ethanol?

Answer:

It is best to maintain a full tank of fuel when the engine is not in use. This will reduce the void space above the fuel and will reduce the flow of air in and out of the tank with changes in temperature. This will reduce condensation on the internal walls of the tank and will limit exposure of the ethanol in the fuel to humidity and condensation.

Question:

Is an additive available that can prevent phase separation?

Answer:

There is no practical additive that can prevent phase separation from occurring. The only practical solution is to keep water from accumulating in the tank in the first place.

Question:

Should I add an additional fine-micron filter to the system to prevent debris from entering the engine?

Answer:

The addition of another filter to the system will create another possible flow restriction that can starve the engine of fuel. Mercury already provides the appropriate level of filtration to protect the engine from debris.

Question:

Are older fuel lines prone to failure from ethanol-based fuels? What about gaskets?

Answer:

During the 1980s, many rubber components for use in fuel systems were developed to withstand exposure to fuels containing ethanol. If rubber components in a fuel system are suspected to be of this vintage or older it may be advisable to replace them with newer ethanol-safe components before using fuels containing ethanol. Check with the manufacturer for advice or frequently inspect these fuel-system components for signs of swelling or deterioration and replace if problems are noted.

Question:

What should I do to prepare my outboard engine for out-of-season storage or prolonged storage?

Answer:

The major consideration in preparing your outboard for storage is to protect it from rust, corrosion, and damage caused by freezing water that may be trapped in the engine. We recommend taking your engine to an authorized Mercury dealer to perform the work. Damage from improper storage procedures is not covered under the Mercury Marine limited warranty policy. If you choose to perform the storage procedure, follow the storage procedures outlined in your Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual.

Question:

How can a marina prepare for the change from MTBE to ethanol as the fuel oxygenate?

Answer:

Check with the manufacturer to make certain the tank and lines won't experience problems with ethanol. Inspect the tank for water and, if present, pump out all water and thoroughly clean the tank. Install ethanol-compatible filters. The tank should be less than 20 percent full before adding the first load of fuel with ethanol.

This will help avoid difficulties of dealing with and selling fuel that is a mixture of two different fuel blends to a boater who may have a third blend in the tank. And the marina is dealing with larger stationary tanks that will not allow the two different blends to mix very easily. Ethanol and MTBE should be compatible with each other chemically, but different amounts are used for oxygenation and octane adjustment purposes, and having a tank with two different chemical compounds floating around trying to redistribute could produce unpredictable results. With a tank containing less than 20 percent fuel to begin with, there will be less potential for stratification or other unexpected behavior to enter into the picture. This is consistent with typical practice in the oil and fuel industry and is intended to minimize interaction between blends with different chemical content. It is critical that marinas know their tanks are free from water.

Question:

What should be done when storing boats with ethanol-blended fuels for extended periods?

Answer:

Follow the instructions for normal storage preparation found in the Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual. When preparing to store a boat for extended periods of two months or more, it is best to completely remove all fuel from the tank. If it is difficult or not possible to remove the fuel, maintaining a full tank of fuel with a fuel stabilizer added to provide fuel stability and corrosion protection is recommended. It is best to add the stabilizer and fuel treatment to the tank at the recommended dosage, run the engine for 10 minutes to allow the system to be cleaned, shut off the fuel valve to interrupt the fuel supply and allow the engine to run until it stops, and top off the tank until it’s full to reduce the amount of exchange with the air that might bring in condensation. Do not cap the tank vent and do not fill with fuel to the point of overflowing. Some extra space should be maintained in the tank to allow for expansion and contraction of the fuel with temperature changes. A partially full tank is not recommended because the void space above the fuel allows air movement that can bring in water through condensation as the air temperature moves up and down. This condensation could potentially become a problem.

Mercury Marine Quickstor can help maintain fuel systems in storage. Quickstor contains oxidation inhibitors to reduce oxidation and gum formation, metal-chelating agents to protect metal components from corrosion, and water-absorbing agents to reduce the presence of free water. 

Question:

My dealer is recommending that I shrink wrap my boat before storage, are there any items affecting my engine that I should be concerned about?

Answer:

Shrink wrap is a very effective method of protecting the boat during periods of storage; however, it is very important to ventilate the hull. Even in the driest conditions, without ventilation, the plastic cover will trap moisture. This moisture can create rust on some metal components, corrosion on others and mold/mildew on the carpet and upholstery. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for ventilation.

Question:

What should be done when storing boats with ethanol-blended fuels for extended periods?

Answer:

Follow the instructions for normal storage preparation found in the Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual. When preparing to store a boat for extended periods of two months or more, it is best to completely remove all fuel from the tank. If it is difficult or not possible to remove the fuel, maintaining a full tank of fuel with a fuel stabilizer added to provide fuel stability and corrosion protection is recommended. It is best to add the stabilizer and fuel treatment to the tank at the recommended dosage, run the engine for 10 minutes to allow the system to be cleaned, shut off the fuel valve to interrupt the fuel supply and allow the engine to run until it stops, and top off the tank until it’s full to reduce the amount of exchange with the air that might bring in condensation. Do not cap the tank vent and do not fill with fuel to the point of overflowing. Some extra space should be maintained in the tank to allow for expansion and contraction of the fuel with temperature changes. A partially full tank is not recommended because the void space above the fuel allows air movement that can bring in water through condensation as the air temperature moves up and down. This condensation could potentially become a problem.

Mercury Marine Quickstor can help maintain fuel systems in storage. It contains oxidation inhibitors to reduce oxidation and gum formation, metal-chelating agents to protect metal components from corrosion, water-absorbing agents to reduce the presence of free water, and dispersants to help suspend and disperse debris. When placing the boat back in service, be sure to reopen the fuel valve to the engine.

Question:

Can ethanol-blended fuels affect the performance of traditional carbureted two-stroke outboards?

Answer:

Two-stroke outboards should experience little or no decrease in performance due to gasoline fuels containing up to 10-percent ethanol when operated according to Mercury's standard recommendations. When gasoline with ethanol is used for the first time after a fuel changeover from MTBE, the tank must be completely free of water prior to introduction of gasoline with ethanol. Otherwise, phase separation could occur that could cause filter plugging or damage to the engine. (It is probably better for a boat owner to fill the fuel tanks with ethanol fuel for the first time when the tank is low on fuel, but that is not critical. There should be no difficulties if the tank is clean and free from water. If the tank is not free from water, a partial load of fuel will more easily phase separate because with less ethanol in place it takes less water to cause phase separation. The important thing for boaters to concern themselves with is the presence of water in their tanks.)

If an engine is a 1990 or older model, frequent inspections of all fuel-system components are advised to identify any signs of leakage, softening, hardening, swelling or corrosion. If any sign of leakage or deterioration is observed, replacement of the affected components is required before further operation.

Question:

I accidentally reversed the battery connections when I reinstalled the battery. What potential damage could I have caused?

Answer:

We strongly recommend that you have an authorized dealer inspect the vessel before returning it into service. The potential damage will vary from model to model. Although we try to design in protection for each component, limitations do exist.

The first item to check is the fuse or fuseable link. Most models have some type of protection in the circuits. You can replace the fuse with the correct size and test the system. If the fuse fails again, dealer involvement is recommended.

Other items on the engine that may be damaged include, but are not limited to the following: voltage regulators, rectifiers, tachometers, Electronic Control Module, isolation diodes and melted wiring. Boat-related items may include the following: radios, radar, lights, wiring, etc.

Question:

How does ethanol affect my fiberglass fuel tank?

Answer:

Fiberglass tanks manufactured prior to 1991 may not be compatible with gasoline containing ethanol. It has been reported that, in the presence of ethanol, some resins may be drawn out of fiberglass and carried into the engine where severe damage could occur. If an older fiberglass tank is used, check with the manufacturer to determine if gasoline with ethanol can be safely used.

Question:

What should I look for when draining my gear lube?

Answer:

Inspect gear lubricant for metal particles (lubricant will have a 'metal flake' appearance). Drain lube into a clean pan/container. The presence of fine metal particles (resembling powder) in the gear lube indicates normal wear. The presence of metal chips in the gear lube indicates the need for gear housing disassembly and component inspection by an authorized dealer.

Note color of gear lubricant when draining. If the color is white or cream it MAY indicate the presence of water in lubricant. Gear lubricant which has been drained from a gear case recently in operation will have a yellowish color due to lubricant agitation/aeration. Gear lube which is mixed with assembly lubricant (Special Lube 101 or 2-4-C) will also be creamy white in color. This is normal and should not be confused with the presence of water. If water is suspected to be present in the gearcase, a pressure check of the gearcase should be completed by an authorized dealer. Pouring a portion of the gear lubricant into a glass jar and allowing the lubricant to settle will allow any water in the lube to separate and settle to the bottom of the jar.

The presence of water in gear lubricant indicates the need for inspection by an authorized dealer. The dealer will disassemble the gear housing and inspect the oil seals, seal surfaces, O-rings, water pump gaskets, as well as the gear housing components for damage.

Question:

Can I leave my lower unit empty of lubricant over the winter?

Answer:

We do not recommend leaving a lower unit empty during storage periods. An empty oil cavity may allow moisture to collect on the gears, bearings and shafts. Rust will form when the moisture reacts with the air, damaging the internal components.

Note: If water was present when draining the gear oil, the lower unit should be inspected by an authorized dealer.

Question:

Ethanol is replacing MTBE in my region - what should I do?

Answer:

Before gasoline with ethanol is introduced to your fuel tank, ask your boat manufacturer if any special precautions should be considered with the use of fuel containing ethanol. Check for the presence of water in the fuel tank. If any is found, remove all water and dry the tank completely. As a precaution, it is advisable to carry a few extra filters in case filter plugging becomes a problem during boating.

Question:

What is the purpose of using Storage Seal in my outboard engine?

Answer:

Storage Seal Rust Inhibitor is a blend of corrosion-inhibiting additives designed to coat engine components during engine storage to reduce the formation of surface rust. Use Storage Seal Rust Inhibitor as directed in your Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual, following the directions on the container.

Consult your Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual for your specific engine. 

Question:

How can I prevent the propeller from sticking onto the shaft?

Answer:

We recommend a liberal coat of one of the following Mercury Precision or Quicksilver Marine Lubricants on the propeller shaft: Special Lubricant 101, 2-4-C Marine Lubricant, or Anti-Corrosion Grease. These lubricants are available from any authorized Mercury Marine dealer.

Note: Always use the correct mounting hardware and torque the propeller nut to the correct specifications. Verify the propeller tightness after 20 hours of operation. DO NOT operate the boat with a loose propeller.

Question:

Are there any additives that can allow the phase-separated mixture to remix when added to the fuel tank?

Answer:

No, the only way to avoid further problems is to remove the water, dispose of the depleted fuel, clean the tank and start with a fresh, dry load of fuel.

Product Protection

Question:

Is there a third party involved with this plan?

Answer:

No, Mercury Product Protection is a factory-backed extended service contract. With MPP there are no claims adjustors or inspectors to work with to determine the cause of failure. In fact, the claims process is exactly the same as the standard factory warranty.

Question:

Are there added benefits to purchasing MPP?

Answer:

Yes, MPP Gold and Platinum pay up to $200 for on-water towing necessary to perform approved repairs. MPP Platinum also pays up to $200 for hoist-haul out fees for boats that are 26 feet or larger.

Question:

Who will work on my engine if I have a problem?

Answer:

The contract is between you and Mercury Marine, so you can have your engine serviced at any of more than 4,300 Authorized Mercury dealers in the United States or Canada. At the Authorized Mercury service center, a qualified Mercury Service Technician will assess the failure and process the claim through Mercury Marine.

MotorGuide Trolling Motors need to be delivered to an Authorized MotorGuide Servicing dealer.

Question:

Is there a deductible?

Answer:

MPP has a $25 deductible per claim.

Question:

What is the difference between Mercury Product Protection Platinum and Gold?

Answer:

Mercury Product Protection Platinum covers mechanical and electrical failures that are the result of a defect in material or workmanship. Mercury Product Protection Gold covers mechanical failures that are the result of a defect in material or workmanship.

Question:

What is Mercury Product Protection and what does it cover?

Answer:

Mercury Product Protection (MPP) is a factory-backed extended service contract for Mercury® and MerCruiser® engines and MotorGuide® Trolling Motors. MPP covers a wide variety of parts and systems, not to mention labor. Our Gold and Platinum plans are intended for new engines, or engines that are still in their standard warranty period and meet all other eligibility requirements.

Question:

What are some of the eligibility requirements?

Answer:

The plan is available for consumers that are residents of the United States or Canada and boat in the United States or Canada. Engines must be used for recreational purposes and have fewer than 500 accumulated engine hours. Our contract specifically excludes any commercial professional, not-for-profit, work-related, local, state, or federal government use, or used product imported from outside the United States or Canada.

Question:

When does the Mercury Product Protection contract begin? How much coverage can I purchase?

Answer:

The coverage begins when the factory warranty ends; there is no duplication of coverage. The combination of any factory warranty, promotional warranty, and MPP cannot exceed eight years. Three-year contracts are available for select High Performance Products. For eligible MotorGuide Trolling Motors, two-year contracts are available.

Question:

When does the Mercury Product Protection Plan have to be purchased? Is the Plan renewable?

Answer:

Coverage can be purchased within the standard factory warranty period as long the model was originally manufactured in the current and four proceeding model years. The plan is not renewable.

Question:

Is the Plan transferable?

Answer:

Yes, Mercury Product Protection is fully transferable to subsequent recreational use owners. 

MerCruiser Corrosion

Question:

What do I need to know about corrosion?

Answer:

The good news is that corrosion can be prevented! Marine corrosion is a fact of boating life, but you can protect your investment with diligence & proper maintenance. As the boat owner, YOU are the most important key to effective corrosion protection. Here are some things you should know:

All MerCruiser sterndrives come standard with aluminum sacrificial anodes a three-year warranty against certain types of corrosion (see your Operation, Maintenance and Warranty manual for more details). SeaCore models receive a four-year limited corrosion warranty.

Bravo sterndrives are also equipped with a MerCathode, optional on Alphas.

Magnesium anodes are suggested for fresh water use ONLY & can be purchased from your authorized dealer.

Anodes & sterndrives should be inspected on a regular basis for signs of corrosion. Do not paint anodes.

Not all anodes are created equal. Don't sacrifice your sterndrive's protection with the use of poor-quality aftermarket anodes.

The MerCathode should be tested annually by an authorized dealer for proper operation. Do not paint or power-wash the MerCathode.

Your particular boating environment may require that you install additional anodes or other protective devices.

Whenever you add stainless steel accessories (for example props or trim tabs) it's a good idea to have the corrosion resistance checked to make sure it is still adequate

If you use shore power, you should have an approved galvanic isolator installed to protect against stray current corrosion (electrolysis) from your dock, from your boat's accessories or from other nearby boats.

Corrosion can be caused by many factors, such as the wrong type or improper application of anti-fouling paint, marine growth, stray electrical current (electrolysis), an improperly wired or damaged MerCathode, etc. These types of conditions are not covered by the warranty.

Before you notice signs of corrosion, contact your authorized MerCruiser dealer to arrange for an in-the-water hull potential test where the boat is primarily moored. This test will help the dealer determine if your protection level is adequate.

See your Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual for more information.

A very informative pamphlet on corrosion "Marine Corrosion Protection Guide" (#90-88181301) is available. Please call 1-800-MERCURY to request one.

Question:

What is a MerCathode and what does it do?

Answer:

The Mercury Precision MerCathode system provides automatic protection against galvanic corrosion. It is a solid-state device that operates off a boat's 12-volt battery and provides protection by impressing a reverse blocking current that stops the destructive flow of galvanic currents. If your power package does not come already equipped with a MerCathode system, Mercury strongly recommends that you install one, particularly if your boat is equipped with a stainless steel propeller or other submerged stainless steel hardware. The MerCathode should be tested annually by an authorized dealer for proper operation.

Question:

When my boat is stored in the water, should my sterndrive be stored in the “up” or “down” position?

Answer:

Sterndrive should be stored in the down position to ensure that the anodes are in the water for maximum corrosion protection.

Question:

My sterndrive paint is peeling and/or blistering. What is going on?

Answer:

One of the first signs of galvanic corrosion is paint blistering (starting on sharp edges) below the waterline, with a white powdery substance forming on the exposed metal areas. As the corrosion continues, the exposed metal areas will become deeply pitted, with the metal actually being eaten away. Galvanic corrosion of aluminum sterndrive units, or any other underwater aluminum on your boat, is accelerated by attaching stainless steel components like propellers, trim planes (if connected to engine ground) and after-market steering systems. Whenever you add stainless steel accessories, it's a good idea to have the corrosion resistance checked to make sure it is still adequate.

Question:

What is the length of the corrosion warranty?

Answer:

The corrosion warranty is for three years from the original date of purchase of the complete power package for 1988 and newer MerCruiser product. SeaCore models receive a four-year limited corrosion warranty. See the complete corrosion warranty under the section titled Warranties or in your Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual. Protection against certain types of corrosion damage must be provided by using such systems as the Mercury Precision MerCathode system and/or galvanic isolator. These certain types of corrosion damage include damage due to stray electrical currents (on-shore power connections, nearby boats, submerged metal), etc. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure that all necessary anti-corrosion devices are in good working order and are providing adequate protection.

Question:

What is a galvanic isolator and what does it do?

Answer:

The Mercury Precision Galvanic Isolator is a solid-state device that is series connected in line into the boat's green safety grounding lead ahead of all grounding connections on the boat. This device functions as a filter, blocking the flow of destructive low voltage galvanic (DC) currents, but still maintaining the integrity of the safety grounding circuit. A galvanic isolator is only necessary on boats utilizing a shore power connection.

MerCruiser Winterization

Question:

Can I leave my lower unit or sterndrive empty of lubricant over the winter?

Answer:

We do not recommend leaving a lower unit or sterndrive empty during storage periods. An empty oil cavity may allow moisture to collect on the gears, bearings and shafts. Rust will form when the moisture reacts with the air, damaging the internal components.

Note: If water was present when draining the gear oil, the lower unit or sterndrive should be inspected by an authorized dealer.

Question:

Do I need to put antifreeze into the raw-water/seawater section of the cooling system after draining?

Answer:

MerCruiser requires the use of propylene glycol antifreeze (with a rust inhibitor for marine engines) in the seawater section of the cooling system. Damage caused by freezing or improper winterization is not covered by the limited factory warranty. 

Question:

What is the warranty on parts?

Answer:

Genuine Mercury or Quicksilver Precision Parts carry a limited 12-month warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. For specific details, contact your local dealer.

Question:

My dealer is recommending that I shrink wrap my boat before storage. Are there any items affecting my engine that I should be concerned about?

Answer:

Shrink wrap is a very effective method of protecting the boat during periods of storage; however, it is very important to ventilate the hull. Even in the driest conditions, without ventilation, the plastic cover will trap moisture. This moisture can create rust on some metal components, corrosion on others and mold/mildew on the carpet and upholstery. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for ventilation.

Question:

Do I still need to have winterization performed by my dealer if I have a self-drain system on my engine?

Answer:

The drain system on your engine is NOT intended to replace full winterization. It is for extending your boating season by allowing the cooling system to be drained after use if there is a risk of light freezing weather and you will be boating the next day. For full extended winter storage, after completely draining the cooling system, Mercury MerCruiser requires the use of propylene glycol antifreeze (with a rust inhibitor for marine engines) in the seawater section of the cooling system. The fuel system must have fuel stabilizer added and the system must be fogged with 2-cycle oil. We recommend that your product be winterized by an authorized MerCruiser dealer. Damage caused by freezing or improper winterization is NOT covered by the limited factory warranty.  This is also a good time to have scheduled maintenance performed on your engine by your dealer.

Question:

Should my sterndrive be stored in the up or the down position?

Answer:

If you store your sterndrive installed on your boat, you should keep it in the down position. Otherwise, the rubber bellows in the transom assembly can become permanently deformed and fail.

Question:

Can I use propylene glycol (RV antifreeze) in my engine?

Answer:

Propylene glycol antifreeze with a rust inhibitor is approved for use in the raw water cooling system for cold weather storage purposes ONLY. However, if your engine is equipped with a closed cooling system, you should always use a 50/50 mixture of ethylene glycol antifreeze and water in this system. Even if you don't live in a freezing climate, you should still use an antifreeze/water mixture rather than plain water. Antifreeze mixtures have superior anti-corrosion and boil over protection properties.

Question:

How many drain plugs are on my engine and where are they located?

Answer:

It depends on which drain system your engine is equipped with.  For specific information and product identification, check with your local authorized dealer.

Question:

How often should spark plugs be changed?

Answer:

Every 300 hours or 3 years, whichever comes first.

Question:

What should be done when storing boats with ethanol-blended fuels for extended periods?

Answer:

Follow the instructions for normal storage preparation found in the Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual. When preparing to store a boat for extended periods of two months or more, it is best to completely remove all fuel from the tank. If it is difficult or not possible to remove the fuel, maintaining a full tank of fuel with a fuel stabilizer added to provide fuel stability and corrosion protection is recommended. It is best to add the stabilizer and fuel treatment to the tank at the recommended dosage, run the engine for 10 minutes to allow the system to be cleaned, shut off the fuel valve to interrupt the fuel supply and allow the engine to run until it stops, and top off the tank until it’s full to reduce the amount of exchange with the air that might bring in condensation. Do not cap the tank vent and do not fill with fuel to the point of overflowing. Some extra space should be maintained in the tank to allow for expansion and contraction of the fuel with temperature changes. A partially full tank is not recommended because the void space above the fuel allows air movement that can bring in water through condensation as the air temperature moves up and down. This condensation could potentially become a problem.

Mercury Marine Quickstor can help maintain fuel systems in storage. It contains oxidation inhibitors to reduce oxidation and gum formation, metal-chelating agents to protect metal components from corrosion, water-absorbing agents to reduce the presence of free water, and dispersants to help suspend and disperse debris. When placing the boat back in service, be sure to reopen the fuel valve to the engine.

MerCruiser Maintenance

Question:

How often should I flush my engine in saltwater use?

Answer:

For maximum corrosion protection, we recommend that the engine be flushed with freshwater after each saltwater use.

Question:

My Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual lists the oil capacity for my engine, but when I change the oil it won't take that much without being overfilled. Why?

Answer:

The engine oil capacities given in the Operation, Maintenance & Warranty and Service manuals are approximate and indicate what the capacity of the entire lubrication system is. A small amount of oil remains in the crankcase, oil lines, etc. This is why it is difficult to get the indicated amount of oil in the engine without it being overfilled. You should always fill the crankcase according to the dipstick when the engine is level, preferably with the boat at rest in the water. If the oil is at the full mark on the dipstick, then it is at the proper level regardless of how much you put in. It is important not to overfill or under fill the crankcase. The engine oil level should always be between the add and the full marks on the dipstick. 

Question:

Where do I find maintenance and lubrication information for my engine?

Answer:

The Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual outlines the typical maintenance and lubrication items. If your manual is missing or damaged, please order online or through any authorized Mercury dealer. Please have your outboard or sterndrive serial number before placing the order.

Question:

How can I obtain parts or service for my Quicksilver generator?

Answer:

You can contact the Generac Corporation for this information at 1-800-333-1322.

Question:

Do you have any tips for do-it-yourself maintenance?

Answer:

If you are a person who likes to do-it-yourself, here are some suggestions for you:

Your MerCruiser power package is an advanced technological piece of machinery. Electronic ignition and special fuel delivery systems provide greater fuel economies, but are also more complex for the untrained technician.

Do not attempt any maintenance or repairs which are not covered in the service manual unless you are aware of the precautions and procedures required. Your safety is very important to us.

The service manual is written for the trained technician. Do not attempt repairs if you do not understand the procedures.  

There are special tools and equipment that are required to perform some repairs. Do not attempt these repairs unless you have these special tools and/or equipment.

Please do not contact the dealer, customer service office, or the factory to request troubleshooting help or to request the repair procedure. It is difficult to diagnose a problem over the telephone.

Remember, your authorized dealer is there to provide service for your power package. Dealers have qualified, factory-trained technicians.

Question:

Why do I have to periodically check my engine alignment and lubricate the engine coupler?

Answer:

With time and usage, the engine will sometimes get out of alignment with the transom assembly and sterndrive. For longest engine coupler life, it is important that the engine alignment be as accurate as possible. We recommend using Quicksilver Engine Coupler Spline Grease for proper lubrication. Damage caused by improper engine alignment or lack of lubrication is not covered under the limited warranty.

Question:

Do you have a freshwater flush kit to flush the engine while the boat is in the water?

Answer:

Currently we offer flush kits for all 1988 and newer MerCruiser engine applications. And, we now offer kits that can be used with Bravo sterndrive, inboard, and towsport engines when the boat is in or out of the water. The flush attachment kit for Alpha engines can only be used when the boat is out of the water.

In all applications, the engine must be running when using a flush kit. See your MerCruiser dealer for details on the appropriate kit and additional components that will fit your engine and best suit your needs.

Question:

Where can I get factory Service manuals, Parts manuals, or Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manuals?

Answer:

You can order all available literature online. You could also order all literature through any authorized Mercury dealer. Please have your outboard or sterndrive serial number before placing the order.  You can also order manuals through our Publications department by calling  920-929-5110.

Question:

How often should I change my sacrificial anodes?

Answer:

Because they are self-sacrificing, the anodes must be inspected often and replaced when 50% consumed. Anodes may also become coated (calcified) with a white chalky coating or marine growth. Either of these will prevent the anode from sacrificing itself and, therefore, prevent it from protecting your drive and other underwater components. Use sandpaper to remove any coating. DO NOT use a wire brush.

Question:

How often should maintenance be performed?

Answer:

Maintenance intervals vary depending on the specific engine and drive model. Recommended maintenance intervals are included in your Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual or service manual.

Question:

How often should coolant be changed on engines with closed cooling?

Answer:

Every 5 years.

For optimum performance and maximum protection use Mercury /Quicksilver Extended Life Coolant / Antifreeze.

Question:

The paint on the top of my sterndrive is dull and seems to have some type of deposit adhering to it. How can I make it look nice again?

Answer:

The dullness comes from mineral deposits in the water. When the boat is on plane, the top portion of the sterndrive is out of the water. As the water evaporates from the top of the sterndrive, it leaves behind mineral deposits. You can remove them by using a liquid cleaner for bathroom tub and tile, followed by a coat of wax to help protect the surface.

Question:

Is it better to change my engine oil/gear lube at the beginning or end of the season?

Answer:

It is better to change the oil and gear lube at the end of the season, prior to storage. Lubricants naturally accumulate moisture, combustion by-products, and other contaminants during use. It can be detrimental to store an engine or drive with large amounts of these contaminants present.

Question:

What kind of spare parts should I carry on my boat for my MerCruiser?

Answer:

Some suggested items would include a floating prop wrench, a spare prop and attaching hardware, spark plugs, belt(s), oil, power trim and steering fluid, High Performance gear lube, water separating fuel filter, and appropriate fuses.

Question:

What type of fluid should I use in my power trim system?

Answer:

Mercury/Quicksilver Power Trim and Steering Fluid – part # 92-858074K01

Question:

How often should spark plugs be changed?

Answer:

Every 300 hours or 3 years, whichever comes first.

Question:

Should I use Premium Blend or High Performance gear lube in my sterndrive?

Answer:

Mercury High Performance gear lube is recommended for use in all sterndrives.

Question:

How often should my seawater pump impeller be serviced?

Answer:

Every 300 hours or 3 years, whichever comes first.

Mercury Major Assembly Protection

Question:

What is the difference between a new Major Assembly and a Remanufactured Major Assembly?

Answer:

New:  Refers to Mercury powerhead or MerCruiser longblock which is new (not more than 10 hours of use) and previously unregistered that has been manufactured in the current calendar and four immediately preceding years.

Remanufactured:  All components have been inspected and repaired, machined, or replaced as necessary to meet the performance specifications of a new product and has been tested and verified to meet operating performance standards.  A remanufactured product may differ in cosmetic respects from a new product.

Question:

When can I purchase the plan?

Answer:

The contract must be purchased at the time of retail sale as recorded by Mercury from the information submitted by the selling dealer.

Question:

Who will work on my engine if I have a problem?

Answer:

The contract is between you and Mercury Marine, so you can have your engine serviced at any of more than 4,300 Authorized Mercury dealers in the United States or Canada. At the Authorized Mercury service center, a qualified Mercury Service Technician will assess the failure and process the claim through Mercury Marine.

Question:

How many years can I purchase and when does coverage begin?

Answer:

Your major assembly will come with a one (1) year P&A Warranty.  You may purchase 1 or 2 years of coverage which begins on the expiration date of the P&A Warranty.  This plan is not renewable.

Question:

Is there a deductible?

Answer:

Yes, there is a $25.00 deductible per claim.

Question:

What does MAP cover?

Answer:

MAP is factory-backed and covers the major assembly if there is a failure caused by a defect in material or workmanship. Parts and labor are covered on approved claims.

Question:

What kind of warranty comes with the Major Assembly component?

Answer:

Mercury Marine warrants each new or remanufactured Mercury powerhead or longblock a one (1) year Parts and Accessories warranty from the date of purchase.

Question:

I currently own a Mercury engine and recently had my longblock replaced. Can I purchase this plan?

Answer:

No, the contract must be purchased at the time of retail sale by an Authorized Mercury dealer.

Question:

What is Mercury Major Assembly Protection?

Answer:

The Mercury Major Assembly Protection (MAP) Plan is an extended service contract program for select new or remanufactured Mercury powerheads and longblocks purchased from Mercury Marine. To be eligible, the major assembly must come with a one year Parts and Accessories Limited Warranty and be installed by an Authorized Mercury Dealer. The parent engine must have an eligible serial number.

Question:

Is this plan transferable?

Answer:

This plan is not transferable.

Question:

Where can I purchase a Major Assembly component with this plan?

Answer:

Major Assembly components may be purchased at any Authorized Mercury Dealer.

Certified Pre-Owned

Question:

When can I purchase the plan?

Answer:

On Dealer CPO products, the plan must be purchased at the time of retail sale as recorded by Mercury from the information submitted by the selling dealer. On Factory CPO products, the plan must be purchased within the one year Parts & Accessories warranty.

Question:

Who will work on my engine if I have a problem?

Answer:

The contract is between you and Mercury Marine, so you can have your engine serviced at any of more than 4,300 Authorized Mercury dealers in the United States or Canada. At the Authorized Mercury service center, a qualified Mercury Service Technician will assess the failure and process the claim through Mercury Marine.

Question:

Are there added benefits to purchasing CPO?

Answer:

Yes, the plan provides up to $200 toward hoist/haul out on all boats 26ft or longer and up to $200 for on the water tow-in fees for approved repairs on covered product.

Question:

Is CPO renewable or transferable?

Answer:

CPO is not renewable and is not transferable to subsequent owners, or from one product to another.

Question:

Is there a deductible?

Answer:

Yes, there is a $25.00 deductible per claim.

Question:

What is Mercury Certified Pre-Owned?

Answer:

The Mercury Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Plan is the only factory-backed and administered plan for used engines. There are two types of engines that qualify for coverage - Dealer Certified and Factory Certified:

DEALER CPO: Refers to a used engine that has been traded into an Authorized Mercury Dealer, has no existing warranty, and has been certified by the dealership according to the contract. One or two year contracts are available on eligible Dealer CPO products.

FACTORY CPO: Refers to a used engine that has been inspected and certified at a Mercury Marine facility and receives a one year Parts & Accessories warranty upon resale. On Factory CPO products, one or two year contracts are available beyond the one year Parts & Accessories warranty for total coverage of up to three years.

Question:

What does CPO cover?

Answer:

CPO covers a wide variety of mechanical and electrical parts and systems that fail as a result of a defect in material or workmanship. Parts and labor are covered on approved claims.

Question:

I currently own a Mercury engine. Can I have my engine Certified and purchase the plan?

Answer:

No, only engines that have been traded into an authorized Mercury Dealer that have no current warranty are eligible.

Outboard Model Year

Question:

How does model year elimination affect the resale value of my outboard?

Answer:

Organizations such as NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) typically establish values for boat packages based on the model year of the boat itself. From a propulsion standpoint, they place emphasis more on the horsepower of the engine than the date it was built. This is common practice in many applications, including sterndrive boat packages and automobiles, because the engine is merely a part of the entire package. From this perspective, eliminating model year will not affect resale value.

Question:

I live in a state that requires me to title and register my outboard engine. Will the agency in my state accept engine “Program Year” in place of engine “Model Year” on my title and registration paperwork?

Answer:

With the exception of South Carolina, all states that require the outboard engine to be both titled and registered (Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah) allow the use of the engine “Program Year” in place of engine “Model Year” on titling/registration paperwork. When titling an outboard engine in South Carolina, the “Manufacture Date” from the outboard engine MSO should be used.

Question:

How can I determine when my outboard was built?

Answer:

Every Mercury outboard has a serial number label located on the transom bracket area of the engine. The latest serial number labels display a 2-digit number in a box at the lower right portion of the label. These digits coincide with the last two digits of the year in which the outboard was manufactured. For example, if an outboard was manufactured in 2010, the number "10" would appear in the box at the lower right portion of the label.

Question:

How can I be assured I have the most up-to-date model?

Answer:

Mercury uses a code to identify each outboard model it produces. In the past, the second-to-last character in the code was used to identify model year. Because Mercury had a model year, that character within the code was automatically updated every 12 months. For example, a 1-225V23DD model code referred to a Mercury 225XL Verado and the "D" in the second-to-last position represented the 2005 model year.

Going forward, that same second-to-last character will now be used to identify the "production era" of a given model. Further, by eliminating model year, Mercury will no longer arbitrarily update the model code every 12 months. Instead that will take place only when a significant product change occurs, such as a new model introduction where the newest variation replaces a prior version.

With this system, any models sharing the same code are physically identical, regardless of when they were built. Your Mercury dealer can help you identify the model code(s) on the engine(s) you are interested in and ensure you are getting the very latest product. This is also of particular importance if you are re-powering a boat with twin, triple, or quad engines.

Question:

How can I make sure I get the most current product to re-power my boat?

Answer:

Outboards purchased individually (not part of a boat package) are normally pulled directly from your dealer's inventory. Dealers typically order a specific quantity of products up front in anticipation of selling them over the next several months. This helps to ensure they always have an ample supply of engines to fulfill your requirements quickly. That means you won't have to miss valuable fishing and boating time waiting for an order to ship from the factory. While these outboards are normally as current as the product shipped directly to boat builders, it is possible they were built 12-18 months prior to delivery. Your Mercury dealer can help you confirm you have the latest version by verifying the model code.

Question:

Why is "Program Year" now included on the Mercury Outboard Engine MSO?

Answer:

When completing the boat/engine registration and/or title paperwork, many states require the engine "Model Year" of the outboard engine. Since Mercury no longer has engine "Model Year," engine "Program Year" was created to provide customers an alternative.

Question:

Why did Mercury eliminate model year designations for its outboard engines?

Answer:

Eliminating the "model year" designation results in a host of benefits for consumers of our products and for the dealers who represent Mercury Marine.

In the past, Mercury waited for the model year changeover date before introducing new products and enhancements to existing models. But because the market continues to evolve, making new products and improvements available in "real time" is absolutely necessary. A major benefit of this initiative is that the very latest products are always available, often much sooner than in the past.

In addition, because our boat builder and dealer customers can more effectively manage their inventory levels, they generally will not have to deplete prior-year inventory before receiving the newest products. This also helps ensure consumers always have the latest models.

Finally, this is consistent with current trends within the marine industry. Mercury's MerCruiser sterndrive engines and MotorGuide electric trolling motors have not had model years for some time, and two other major outboard manufacturers have also eliminated model year designations.

Question:

What has changed on the Mercury Outboard Engine Manufacturer Statement of Origin (MSO)?

Answer:

For Mercury outboard engines invoiced to U.S. outboard customers as of June 30 2008, a field called "Program Year" will be added to the MSO form.

Question:

What does "Program Year" mean?

Answer:

"Program Year" uses the "Invoice Date" on the outboard engine MSO to reflect the current "Year" of Mercury Outboard engine pricing and programs.

Examples:

Invoice Date of July 2008 through June 2009 = 2009 Outboard Engine Program Year

Invoice Date of July 2009 through June 2010 = 2010 Outboard Engine Program Year 

Repower Financing

Question:

Can I get a higher horsepower engine on my boat?

Answer:

Yes, depending on the maximum horsepower for your boat. The dealer you are working with will be able to tell you the maximum horsepower rating for your boat, and how to optimize the boat’s propeller for best performance.

Question:

I've heard a lot about the new technology Mercury offers. What benefits are there to repowering my old engine with newer technology?

Answer:

Boaters may see significant savings in fuel cost, as well as better overall performance, from top end to getting on plane.

Question:

Do I need to get new gauges, cables and steering?

Answer:

That will depend on the engine, the components you currently have and the condition of your current products.  Your Mercury dealer can quickly and easily figure out what is needed when you go in to inquire about your repower.

Question:

Will the dealer take my old engine in trade?

Answer:

Some dealers will take engines for trade.  Make sure to talk to the dealer about trading in your old engine.

Question:

How long will it take to repower my boat?

Answer:

Dealers can repower a boat in as little as a few days. Their labor and maintenance departments are set up to get you back on the water as soon as possible.

Question:

If I finance my repower engine, can I include rigging and labor?

Answer:

Yes, the financing would include all the rigging needed to get rid of the old and bring in the new! You can even finance the labor involved to get your new power.

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