Frequently Asked Questions

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MerCruiser Storage

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:

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.

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.

Click here for tips on winterizing.

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. 

Click here for tips on winterizing.

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.

Click here for tips on winterizing.

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