How much does it cost to service an outboard?

The cost of an outboard service depends on many factors such as the brand, type, size, age and condition. The type of service required, the way it has been serviced in the past, the way it has been used and whether you are planning to keep the outboard or sell it are all considerations.

Outboards used in the harsh salty environment need to be thoroughly serviced by an experienced outboard mechanic to a high standard on a regular basis. Outboard service standards need to be of a high quality and include batteries, anodes, water pumps, thermostats, fuel supply, power trim, recoil starters, splines, propeller, oil and filters to name a few. All of these items can cause your outboard to break down but they are not always part of a service.

A service may be just a set of spark plugs, oil and filters and will be quite cheap to complete. A more thorough service may include compressions tests, valve clearances, carburettor vacuums, thermostats, anodes, primer bulbs, fuel connectors, fuel hose and stainless steel hose clamps, water separating fuel filters, low pressure fuel filters, entire water pump kits, battery terminals and cable lugs, distilled water, battery electrolyte and load tests, steering friction, control cables and many more items.

Labour and parts costs will differ depending on circumstances such as seized bolts, salt build up problems, running adjustments, access to the outboard, fitted accessories such as hydrofoil stabilisers, engine covers, canopies and transducers, access to filters, hoses and batteries, dual batteries, replacement parts required and previous service standards.

A typical mid-size 4 stroke outboard will take 4 – 5 hours labour to service thoroughly including compressions, spark plugs, valve clearances, thermostat, anodes, battery, water separating fuel filter, fuel lines, low pressure fuel filter, anodes, power trim, electrical connections, starter motor, timing belt, water pump, gear oil, propeller, grease, oil, filter, vacuum synchronisation, computer fault code and monitor checks, temperature checks, voltage checks and test running. Add to this around $250 in parts if most things are in good condition and even more if the outboard has not been serviced thoroughly on a regular basis.

A typical small 2 stroke outboard will take about 2 - 3 hours to service thoroughly including compressions, spark tests, spark plugs, visible bore inspections, electrical connections, fuel filter, fuel lines, thermostat, head and flywheel torque, recoil and rope, clamp screws, water pump, gear oil, propeller, anodes, grease, test run and temperature checks. Add to this around $80 in parts if most things are in good condition and even more if the outboard has not been serviced thoroughly on a regular basis.

The cost of these services can be reduced by not doing some of the items mentioned.Talk to your outboard mechanic and find out exactly what they are doing in the service and what they are not doing. The items that are not serviced still need to be serviced and you should discuss with them about getting these items done or you may be able to do some items yourself.

Some very costly repairs and break downs can be avoided by thoroughly servicing the outboard to a high standard from an early age.

Cairns Outboard Service only charge for time and parts that are used. We can modify the service to suit your particular needs and recommend the vessel owner have an input into the outboard maintenance planning.

- Contact Cairns Outboard Service for your outboard service requirements.

< Back