I had a customer call to ask what the starting procedures for a four-stroke outboard motor would be for the first start of the day. I thought the question strange and asked him if he was having a specific problem.
He asked me to chronologically run through the sequence because he wanted to find out if I would address his issue as a part of the normal starting cycle. The customer thought I might hone in on the problem without stating why such an anomaly might occur.
The starting sequence is to prime the fuel bulb until it becomes moderately tight. The second step would be to turn on the battery switch and then turn the ignition key on and watch the tachometer or primary gauge go through the visual test to see if the alarm indicators are operational. Some systems also produce an audible alarm. (Note: On a Yamaha engine key switch, if the kill lanyard is removed and the engine is prompted to start, the audible alarm will sound.)
After the self-diagnostic test is confirmed, it is wise to cycle the key one more time for about ten seconds. Newer outboards have electric fuel pumps that prime when the key is turned on, so allowing the key a cycle or two before attempting to start will ensure a fully-filled fuel system under the cowling.
It was at this point the customer told me to stop and explained that the last factor is what he was asking about within the starting sequence. The outboard seemed to perform better during the day after this occurred, and sometimes if he did not cycle the key, there would be periods of hard starting.
Have a super summer season, and thank you for the great questions.
Chris MappCoastalBendMarine.com – Port O’Connor, Texas – 361-983-4841
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