Never allow a used boat motor purchase to become an Outboard Motor Repair. Read below for a few key checks you can do yourself. There are a couple steps you can take to keep from getting ripped off along with reduce the chances of buying someone else’s problems.
When searching for second hand outboards it is crucial to have them inspected before you pay for them. It is not a large cost to get an outboard repair shop to look them over. The cash saved in the long term is well worth it. I have found time and time again people buy second hand outboards on good faith. The previous owner swears that they are in excellent condition and running order. When the new owner brings the motor in for a tune up or a once-over, more often than not there is something wrong with it. I have experienced lots of motors purchased in good faith that are in reality very badly damaged and will need an expensive repair. An outboard motor repair may be extremely high priced.
A workshop can go over the motor from top to bottom. They will check the motor mounts and bushings, the propeller and gearbox condition. They will also run the outboard and verify the tuning, gear shift function, charging and have a good listen to the sound of the motor, listening for any inner bearing clatter or unwarranted piston slap etc that could require an outboard motor repair.
A compression test will be performed on the motor and most shops possess the capacity to check in the outboard by means of a small flashlight or bore scope. The state of the cylinder bores or liners will be noted, and this provides a very important clue of piston and ring condition. The time required to carry out an inspection is approx 1-2 hours. With repair shops charging about $75 dollars an hr, it’s a very inexpensive and sensible step to take to protect yourself against possible unforeseen costs.
But always remember– there is no assurance that the service technician can learn everything that might possibly be wrong with the motor. There is only so much they can test to preclude an outboard motor repair.