When to Change Your Oil
OIL CHANGE 101
A question I’m often asked is, “When should I change my boat’s motor oil?” It sounds like a simple question, but it is a core concept for protecting your boat’s engine for years to come. Don’t worry. Maintaining your engine is simple, affordable, and the best way to ensure you enjoy your time on the water.
If you have taken delivery of a new boat that has been properly broken in and you have 20 hours on the motor. Now is the point that the engine oil, oil filter, and lower unit lube are due for a change.
Most four-stroke manufacturers mandate an initial service at the 20-hour interval. This removes break-in period debris from the engine. Debris left in the motor can shorten the life of your motor.
After the initial 20 hour service, it is recommended that the oil is changed at 100 hours. Most boat owners may not reach 100 hours during a season. The question becomes, “Is it really necessary to change the oil before my boat is put away for the offseason?” My answer to that question is, “Yes.”
Although they have not reached 100 hours, the time spent using the boat has begun to break down the oil leaving deposits in the oil pan. As oil breaks down it becomes acidic and should be removed from the pan to avoid corrosion. Keeping your oil clean, by changing at scheduled intervals, is crucial to maintaining your investment.
Even if you don’t have a new boat my advice of changing your oil still remains the same. For specifics on which oil to use consult your owner’s manual or speak with your marine mechanic.
Be sure to use a suitable marine grade oil when you change your boat engine oil. They are formulated for use in the harsh marine environment. Standard automotive oils are not manufactured to withstand the high RPMs or constant load that you’re outboard motor is under.