Winterize Your Outboard Engine, Part 1

Its that time of year again, time to winterize. One of the areas that comes up, especially since most outboards are now switching to four-stroke is the matter of changing the crankcase oil. With a little ingenuity, you can turn this from a messy job to one with a minimum of mess.  Now there are several approaches to this. On my larger four-stroke engines I use a suction pump arrangement to draw the warmed up oil out of the crankcase of the engine. This approach is super clean because the ...

4Stroke oil change2_001

Its that time of year again, time to winterize. One of the areas that comes up, especially since most outboards are now switching to four-stroke is the matter of changing the crankcase oil. With a little ingenuity, you can turn this from a messy job to one with a minimum of mess.  Now there are several approaches to this. On my larger four-stroke engines I use a suction pump arrangement to draw the warmed up oil out of the crankcase of the engine. This approach is super clean because the pump pretty much does all the work.

For smaller engines, you could also use the suction pump, but in the case of many of the engines the drain plug for the oil sump is in plain sight on the side of the engine’s mid-section. So, how do you get the oil out without it drooling all over the side of the engine? Simple, tilt the engine up as shown and tilt it over so that the drain hole is at the lowest point as you can see in the photo above. Set up you drain pan just below the drain as shown and remove the hex-headed plug. Again, make sure the engine has been run for a while to warm the oil up first so that it will flow freely. Once the oil stops dripping out, reinstall the hex plug, and make sure the sealing ring is in place on the plug. Snug it up with a socket or wrench and refill your engine with fresh oil. If equipped, make sure you change the oil filter as well. Of course always remember to follow the engine manufacturer’s recommendations for what oil to use.