4 Stroke Head repairEvery boater knows that replacing an outboard is something that may have to do eventually at some point in their lives, especially if the outboard is old or worn out.

If buying a new engine isn’t a financially viable option, then purchasing a rebuilt engine or repairing your existing engine are two good alternatives that you should consider.

Outboard motors that were built anywhere between the 1980s to the early 2000s usually have the following:

  • Power trim and tilt – both are great for fishing, skiing, docking, and even storage.
  • Oil injection – for two-stroke outboards, it is less polluting than pre-mixing gas and oil; makes fueling a lot easier.
  • Sound-deadened cowl exhaust – outboards that were manufactured during the 1970s and years prior were a whole lot noisier.
  • Prime starting vs. choking – fuel gets shot into the carburetors by an electric primer, allowing for easier and faster cold starts.
  • Electronic fuel injection – first appeared during the early 1980s on high-performance engines from Mercury, EFI technology makes it easier for outboard motors to start, and it is less smoky for two-strokes; more efficient fuel consumption; and far less polluting than a carbureted engine.

As for newer outboard motors, engines built after the early 2000s are typically direct-injected (DFI) two-strokes (Yamaha, Mercury, Tohatsu, and Evinrude) or four-strokes (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Mercury). They are much more costly to purchase compared to their predecessors, and their complex nature makes them more expensive to rebuild. But there’s no denying that the ease of operation and running quality of newer engines are far superior to older carbureted two-stroke engines.

Here are a few notable advantages of newer four-strokes and DFI two-strokes:

  • They consume 35-50% less fuel than their carbureted counterparts.
  • They provide better starting ease, noise levels, and running quality.
  • They lessen emissions by up to 50%.

What’s the Best Option?

The best option for you depends on several factors.

If your budget doesn’t permit you to buy a rebuilt outboard motor, rebuilding your existing engine is the best course of action. And if you purchase a rebuilt or low-hour engine from your local dealer, you are likely to enjoy a quicker turnaround time as opposed to visiting a discount dealer that’s located hours away. It also helps to ask about a warranty or get cost estimates from the dealer.

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