Off-Season Storage Essentials
Temperature and humidity changes while in storage can cause corrosion of internal and external engine parts if they are not protected.
If left untreated, fuel will go stale in a few weeks. The fuel system should be stabilized with 2 + 4 Fuel Conditioner, following the instructions on the container.
Adding 2+4 Fuel conditioner to the fuel tank during the last hours of operation ensures the fuel system will be stabilized. Otherwise, add 2+4 Fuel conditioner when performing the off season storage procedure. Operate the engine at 1500 RPM for five minutes to stabilize the entire fuel system.
If you are running the engine out of water, remove the propeller before starting the engine, to prevent contact with rotating parts.
When working on any component that could turn the flywheel, remove the spark plug leads to prevent the engine from accidently starting.
Remove propeller then Re-attach the spark plug leads. Never start the outboard out of water without supplying water with a flushing device or by attaching a garden hose.
This will prevent water pump and powerhead damage. Run the engine to stabilize the fuel system.
Always keep the engine under 1500 RPM when running it out of water to prevent powerhead damage.
Because there is no back-pressure on the exhaust system, the engine will run lean.
Oil tank - Fill the oil tank with the recommended oil to reduce or prevent condensation from forming during the storage period. On four stroke models, change the crankcase oil. Drain the crankcase while the oil is warm.
If the outboard has an oil filter, change it. Refill with evinrude/Johnson Ultra 4-Stroke oil. It is very important that the bearing surfaces be coated with clean oil before entering a period of storage. Be sure to run the engine after changing the oil.
All Evinrude E-TEC models have a self-winterization feature that automatically fogs the engine. If the boat is equipped with I-Command, you can activate this feature through the gauge; follow the directions in the I-Command User´s Guide. If the boat is equipped with I command, you can activate this feature through the gauge; follow the directions in the I-Command User´s Guide.
To winterize engines that are not equipped with I-Command, follow the directions in the owner's manual.
On non-E-TEC models, use Storage Fogging Oil to protect internal components during storage. A maintenance valve is built into the primer solenoid on many carbureted outboards. Connect a pressurized injection can of Storage Fogging Oil to the maintenance valve.
Run the engine at a fast idle - do not exceed 1500 RPM.
The Storage Fogging Oil conveniently injected into the crankcase and all of the cylinders at once. For outboard without a primer solenoid, including DI and four-stroke models, use a pressurized non-injection can of Storage Fogging Oil.
You must spray the Storage Fogging Oil through each carburetor or throttle body into the intake manifold. You can read and follow the instructions on the can, and in the Operator's Guide.
Then stop the engine, if you are preparing a four-stroke or carbureted two-stroke model, remove the spark plugs.
Spray a liberal amount of Storage Fogging Oil into each spark plug hole.
Rotate the flywheel several revolutions in the correct direction. This distributes the fogging oil throughout the cylinders, and drains excess water from the outboard. Examine the spark plugs and clean or replace them.
Gap, install and tighten the spark plugs to the specifications in the Operator's Guide. Leave the spark plug leads off all the spark plugs. This will help prevent accidental starting of the engine during storage.
These spark plugs must be indexed, following the procedure in the correct service manual. Clean or replace the fuel filter or filters.
Inspection and Lubrication
Inspect the entire boat steering system for damage due to corrosion, aging, abuse, or lack of maintenance. Inspect mechanical steering cables for deterioration or cracks. Inspect hydraulic steering for fluid leaks or other external signs of problems.
Follow the steering system manufacture´s maintenance and lubrication recommendations. Examine the shift and throttle cables for deterioration. Clean and lubricate the cables.
Check the fluid level of the power trim and tilt reservoir. Add fluid if necessary, following the procedure in the Operator´s Guide. Remove the battery form the boat. Check its condition, water level and charge. Store the battery in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight. Check the water level. Periodically charge the battery during storage. Check the propeller for damage.
A slightly bent propeller blade can hardly be noticed, but will affect the performance of the engine. Check for and remove any fishing line from the propeller shaft or fish line trap.
Clean the propeller shaft, and lubricate it with Triple-Guard grease. Install the propeller, following the procedure in the Operator´s Guide.
It is a good practice to change the gearcase lubricant before storage, because contaminants in the lubricant could corrode internal parts. For most models, this should be done at least every year.
For normal recreational use, the gearcase lubricant in E-TEC models requires changing only once every three years or 300 hours. Drain the gearcase, and if there are any signs of water in the lubricant, pressure and vacuum test the gearcase.
Refill the gearcase with HPF XR Gearcase Lube. If the gearcase is equipped with a speedometer tube, disconnect the speedometer hose at the upper connection.
Using air pressure less than 25 psi, blow all water from the gearcase speedometer pickup. Reconnect the hose after all water is removed.
Lubricate all fittings and linkages with Triple-Guard grease, carefully examine the powerhead. Check for any loose, missing or worn fasteners. Check the electrical and ignition systems for misplaced leads or damaged parts. Be sure the starter solenoid terminal boot and all connectors are in place.
Check the oil and fuel systems for deterioration. Make sure fasteners and clamps are tight and in good condition. Failure to repair electrical, ignition and fuel system components could cause electrical sparks and fuel leakage under the engine cover. THIS COULD RESULT IN A FIRE OR EXPLOSION:
Spray the powerhead and its components with Anti-Corrosion Spray and replace the engine cover.
Clean off any marine growth from the outboard, this is a good time to touch up the paint and apply a coat of automotive wax to the exterior of the outboard.
Store the outboard on the boat or an engine stand in a vertical, self-draining position. If the outboard is equipped with a portable fuel tank, disconnect the fuel hose from both the outboard and the fuel tank. To reduce the risk of fire and explosion, store all portable fuel tanks in a well-ventilated area, away from any sparks or open flames.
If the outboard is removed from the boat, examine all hardware you loosened or removed from the outboard and its control systems.
Replace damaged or missing items with genuine replacement parts. These fasteners are made of special materials to resist weakening and corrosion. Please do not replace these fasteners with hardware that merely looks the same.
Place the hardware in a bag, and fasten it to the outboard.
Failure to carefully reattach the outboard and its control systems with factory-specified hardware can result in sudden, unexpected loss of boat control.
If the outboard cannot be stored in the recommended vertical position, be sure the cooling system is drained completely.
Never place the gearcase higher than the powerhead. Any water remaining in the exhaust passages can drain into the cylinders and cause serious damage.
Do not lay the outboard on the shift lever. The weight of the outboard could damage or break the lever.
Temperature and humidity changes while in storage can cause corrosion of internal and external
engine parts if they are left unprotected. Much of the routine preventive maintenance can
also be performed at this time. This will simplify preseason preparation and ensure customer
This is a good time to discover other needed repairs and schedule them for the off-season.
Some off-season storage procedures are:
• Fuel system – stabilize the fuel with 2+4® Fuel Conditioner. Clean or replace the fuel filter(s).
• Oil system – fill the oil tank with the recommended oil to reduce or prevent
condensation from forming during the storage period.
• Four-stroke models – drain the crankcase oil and refill with Evinrude®/Johnson® Ultra 4-
Stroke oil. Change the oil filter, if equipped.
• Internal components – use Storage Fogging Oil to protect internal components during
• Steering system – perform lubrication and maintenance requirements
following the manufacturer’s recommendation.
• Power trim and tilt – check for proper fluid level in the power trim and tilt reservoir.
• Gearcase – change the gearcase lubricant.
• Control cables – examine the shift and throttle cables for deterioration. Clean and lubricate
• Battery – remove the battery from the boat. Check its condition and charge.
• Portable fuel tank – store in a well ventilated area, away from any sparks or open flames.
The outboard should be stored in a vertical, self-draining position.
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