More to Routine Maintenance Than Meets the Eye!

Over the past few months we have seen some significant challenges coming through our service department.

Mercury's customer service called our dealership recently with a request. The question was would we have time to take on an engine issue where a customer had been to five separate Mercury dealerships to repair a specific driveability problem. "We know your dealership can help with this, so may we refer him to you?

A Yamaha owner called, his engine also had a driveability issue and the Houston area service facility he took it to had the boat for a very long time, and eventually gave up. Can we help?

We had a Suzuki customer who brought in his boat saying the engine probably needed, "a tune up." He indicated that it would just not idle well and then after we looked into it, he thought the $2,500 repair estimate, "did not make good sense."

A customer with an older Mercury product indicated the engine was down on power and another owner indicated his twin engines would not idle after a period of running the boat.

Another Yamaha owner with an aged engine expressed concern over the amount of time his boat had been in our repair shop and still not ready. "It was just a few small items to fix," he said. Turns out he brought it in because it would not start though in his words it was running good the last time they had it out.

All of the above have a few common denominators and they are surprising.

1) Battery(s) and terminal connections were all 24 months or older and had dirty connections with loose cables and/or voltage drops during initial testing.

2) Engine history reports indicated high idle times with leak-down test showing as high as 20% compression loss per cylinder.

3) The majority of these engines displayed either high hour counts or, just the opposite, very low engine hours–simply not run often enough.

4) Corrosion issues in a couple of cases had been ignored for so long that bolts, brackets, holders and associated hardware had deteriorated to the point of requiring unusual service time to correct and/or breakage in the process.

All the above cases listed indicate four things that I hope you will find helpful to avoid these or similar scenarios with your equipment.

1). Run your boat regularly. Even if you are not going fishing, a 30-minute cruise at least once a month, including the full range of normal engine speeds, will do it a lot of good. Flush the engine carefully for at least 15 minutes on the water hose to allow the thermostats to open and water to flow through the entire cooling system every time you wash the boat!

2). Routine maintenance is all about getting the boat in for annual checkups and service where a qualified technician can identify signs of potential problems and correct them before they become costly to repair and/or strand you on the water.

3). All engines and subsystems are dependent on proper voltage and current to operate correctly, which starts at the battery(s) and the terminal connections.

4). Quality fuel additives and corrosion protection products are essential. We recommend PRI-G for the fuel system and Corrosion-X products for all your corrosion protection needs.

Thank you for your trust and confidence, and have a great fall season!

Chris Mapp
Coastal Bend Marine | Port O'Connor, TX | 361-983-4841