Outboard Motor Warranties:

How Long Do Outboard Motor Warranties Run?
What's Covered? What's Not?

Modern outboard motors are long-living and reliable. Even better, should some sort of malfunction should occur, the manufacturer's warranty covers payment to an authorized dealer for all repair parts and labor needed. That said, outboard motor warranty coverage is contingent upon certain factors.

For example, ignoring scheduled maintenance voids a warranty. Here's an example. After the first 20 hours of operation, outboards need fresh lower unit gear case oil. Four-strokes need fresh crankcase oil and a new oil filter. Some of the four-stroke outboards require a valve lash adjustment.

Check the fine print in the warranty to determine whether you're required to return the outboard to the service department or if you can do this work yourself. If you have an Evinrude E-TEC direct-injected outboard, it requires no scheduled maintenance for the first 100 hours of operation.

No matter what brand of outboard you buy, be sure to find out what you must do to fulfill its warranty requirements, especially as the essentials can vary from state to state, because state governments have differing warranty regulations. Obviously misuse or neglect voids a warranty, things like racing, hitting a submerged object like a log, ignoring break-in procedures and improper winter lay-up. Using the wrong type of oil is also on this list. Unauthorized modifications are another mortal sin.

Another mistake to avoid is hiring anyone other than an authorized dealer to make repairs this will void some warranties if the work is done improperly. In some cases, the requirement for certified service can be annoying, because some dealers adamantly refuse to work on an engine they didn't sell. One solution to this problem is to use dealer locator services, easily found on the Internet or by phoning the manufacturer directly.

This ongoing need for approved service can mean that buying a marine engine essentially marries you to a dealership. So, it's vitally important to shop based not only on the best price, but also on the reputation of a dealer's service department. Before closing the deal, first talk to the service manager. Determine whether or not the technicians have recently attended factory schooling. Ask to see the diplomas. Inspect the shop floor and rigging area for neatness and cleanliness. In short, if you must use a particular shop for scheduled maintenance, make sure that it's well organized and that the technicians are competent.

Evinrude

Honda

Mercury

Nissan

Suzuki

Tohatsu

Yamaha

2-Stroke

2

2

2

2

4-Stroke

5

3

3

4

3

3

DI-2-stroke

3

3

3

3

Depending on the type and brand of outboard motor, an original warranty term typically runs from two to five years.