Although you can
winterize your outboard yourself, most dealers will
perform this service for you at a very reasonable rate.
Tips are presented by Tohatsu America Corporation (TAC).
TAC is in no way
responsible for any damages or injuries that may occur
as a result of this information.
It is highly
recommended that only qualified outboard technicians
perform any type of work on your outboard.
Winterizing Your Carbureted Outboard
To help keep your engine in tip-top condition for years to
come, it is important that you “winterize” your outboard for
off-season storage. By winterizing your outboard, you will
help ensure that your outboard will be ready to go at the
start of next year's boating season.
Thoroughly flush your engine with clean,
All Tohatsu outboards are water cooled;
running your outboard without an adequate
source of cooling water will result in
severe damage to your outboard!
Smaller Horsepower Outboard (2hp through
For our 4-stroke models 2hp-6hp and our 5hp
2-stroke models you can use the optional
flushing plug or attachment. For smaller
outboards, you can also flush your outboard
by using a large container (large bucket or
garbage can) of water. Be sure the container
is large enough to completely cover the
water intake ports and the lower unit of the
outboard. Also be sure that the container is
wide enough so that no part of the motor
will touch the sides/bottom of the bucket.
Securely mount your outboard on a sawhorse
or some other type of apparatus that will
allow safe operation of your outboard.
With the 8-140 hp you can either use the
optional flushing plug which can be attached
to a hose for flushing the engine with fresh
water or purchase a set of “ear muffs”
(available at your local marine dealer).
This equipment attaches to your garden hose
and clamps on to your outboard's lower unit,
covering the water intake ports. Turn the
garden hose 1/2 to full before starting your
engine to get a good water flow without too
much pressure (to minimize air bubbles).
outboard at normal idle speed for 5-10
minutes to allow the engine to warm up. It
is best to use a mixture of stabilized fuel
with fogging oil. (follow brand directions
and be sure 2-stroke pre-mix models have the
appropriate oil also in the fuel). Or, you
may remove the air box and spray fogging oil
through the carburetor/s throat(s) while
running the engine just before you shut it
down. This will cause excessive smoke and
ensure that all internal parts are
lubricated. If you plan to leave the
stabilized fuel in the tank (for short
seasonal periods-usually 3 months or less),
then be sure it is full to keep evaporation
and condensation to a minimum. Or you may
drain the fuel system completely for longer
periods (see Step 2). Fuel quality can be
different in many areas. Check with your
local Marina or Dealer to have your motor
winterized, or see which procedure is best
in your area.
flushing the outboard, allow the water to
completely drain from the engine (see Step 2
before you shut off your engine if you plan
to "fog" your engine manually). Your
outboard should be in a vertical position
for the water to completely drain. While
you're waiting for your engine to drain,
wipe off any dirt, grease, etc. from the
exterior of the engine.
fogging the motor manually, disconnect the
fuel line at the motor and continue running
the motor until it runs out of gas. It is
extremely important to ensure that the fuel
system is completely drained. If not
completely drained, deposits (gum, varnish,
etc.) may form inside the carburetor.
drain the fuel from the carburetor you
can use one of these techniques:
fuel begins to run out and the motor starts
to "die", choke the engine a little until
the RPMs pick back up. Continue choking the
engine as the engine starts to die out until
the fuel supply is finally exhausted.
the drain screw from the carburetor bowl and
allow all fuel to drain out. Replace the
screw when finished. Although this technique
requires a bit more effort than the first,
it is recommended to use this procedure to
fully ensure that all fuel has been removed
from the carburetor.
have fuel left in your tank, add Fuel
Stabilizer to it and fill the tank to keep
condensation and evaporation to a minimum.
carbureted 2-stroke motors: If your outboard
is not an oil-injected model (i.e. you mix
your gas/oil manually), we highly recommend
you do not store the gasoline for extended
periods of time. Over time, the gas and oil
will separate which will lead to a lack of
lubrication to your engine.
your outboard with “storage oil” (also
called “fogging oil”), unless treated or
sprayed as in Step 1.
oil comes in an aerosol spray can and is
used to prevent rust on the engine's
cylinder, crankshaft, bearings, pistons,
etc. and can be purchased at most local
marine dealers. Follow the oil
manufacturer's recommendation on the amount
of storage oil to use (generally about 2
ounces for each cylinder).
remove the spark plug(s) and the stop switch
lanyard cord from your outboard. It is also
a good idea to disconnect the spark plug
wires from the spark plugs to prevent
Slowly turn the engine over a few times
using the pull cord while spraying the
storage oil into the spark plug holes.
Electric Start Outboards:
Be sure you have water hooked up to your
water intakes before turning over your
outboard to prevent damage to your water
pump. While spraying the storage oil into
the spark plug holes, turn the engine over
in 5 second bursts using your electric
starter. Do not over “crank” your engine or
you could damage the electric starter.
water resistant grease to propeller shaft.
Using a wheel bearing grease (or something
similar), thoroughly grease the prop shaft
and prop shaft threads.
the gear oil in the lower unit (step-by-step
4-Stroke models you should also change your
crankcase oil to remove any acids and
moisture from the oil.
water resistant grease to all moving parts,
joints, bolts, nuts, and plastic fittings.
keep your factory finish looking new, apply
a light coat of oil (or spray lube) to the
exterior. Or you can also wax the exterior
of your outboard using a high grade
engine vertically in a dry area. If you
store your boat in the water there are
several schools of thoughts regarding
whether you should store your engine in or
out of the water. There are advantages and
disadvantages of both ways and unfortunately
there is no one “correct” or “best” way.
Numerous factors such as temperature,
salt/fresh water, algae growth, corrosion,
etc. must be taken into account when
deciding whether to leave your outboard in
the water or tilt it up out of the water.
out which is “best” way we recommend you ask
your local marina, fellow boaters in your
area, etc. how they store their
boat/outboard during the off-season.
Factors to keep in mind:
Storing in water allows algae and
corrosion to affect your outboard.
Storing out of the water could cause
damage if the outside temperature
reaches freezing and there is water in
your lower unit.
you store your motor tilted up, we
recommend you remove your prop to
decrease the temptation of someone
stealing your prop.
Storing down in the salt water
drastically increases the potential for
Disconnect the battery cables and clean the
battery terminals using a wire brush.
the battery to full strength. You should
also recharge the battery once a month
during the off-season to prevent electrical
discharge and degradation of the
exterior of the battery.
grease (Vaseline works nicely) to the
your battery in a dry place.