If you have decided to get into motor sports, you will want to make sure that you have all of the gear and accessories that you need. I am not some kind of expert but I do have some experience of taking part in various motor sports such as track racing in cars and high-speed sailing in a powerboat. My girlfriend introduced me to these activities and I suddenly realised what fun it was when I had a go. It didn't matter that I wasn't very good. I hope you like my blog and that it inspires you to get out there and have some fun.
Most smaller boats rely on outboard motors for their momentum. If yours breaks down, you could be looking at extensive repair work, not to mention a tricky trip back to shore of you happen to be caught out on the open water. Overheating is one of the prime causes of engine problems, so it's well worth knowing the common causes of overheating to ensure you can move against the issue as soon as possible.
Here are just four common reasons why your boat's outboard motor might be overheating.
1. Blocked Intake
Unlike the motor in your car, the motor at the back of your boat is built to rely on a steady flow of water to keep itself cool. Unfortunately, overheating can quickly occur if the flow of water is reduced. The most common cause is a blocked intake. Anything from weeds to common marine debris can cause a blockage, and smaller blockages will quickly develop into larger ones. If you start to notice your engine overheating, the first thing you should do is check the intake for foreign objects.
2. Broken Pump Impeller
Even a completely clear water intake won't count for anything if water isn't being pump through it. The part responsible for moving water through your engine is the water pump impeller. It's a round, bladed disc that rotates to circulate water. If it's ever damaged, water won't flow through and the engine will overheat. Luckily enough, it's relatively easy to replace the water pump impeller.
3. Clogged Exhaust Manifolds
The exhaust is responsible for moving hot air out of the engine. However, the manifolds can sometimes become clogged, which means less hot air will be able to escape the engine. Additionally, a clogged exhaust manifold will restrict the flow of water through your engine. This is a more common problem in salt water, but it can happen anywhere.
4. Low Engine Oil
Finally, don't forget about engine oil. Though water is used to somewhat cool outboard motors, they also rely on engine oil to keep all the moving parts slick. If there's not enough engine oil, those moving parts will create excess friction that leads to overheating. If water appears to be moving easily though the outboard, check that there's enough engine oil and top up if necessary. If it's been a long time since the oil was replaced, it may simply be dirty and require changing.
Speak to a boat mechanic to learn more.