When it comes to the health of your Harris pontoon’s outboard motor, your local dealership knows best. But there are several things you can do on your own to make sure your engine stays in good condition. Check out these three outboard maintenance tips to keep your Harris boat an enjoyable family retreat for years to come.
There are a few extra considerations to keep in mind when gassing up a boat. First, you should never use E15 fuel with outboard engines. Also, remember that ethanol deteriorates more quickly than regular gasoline, which can cause problems in your boat if you don’t treat it. Any time you fuel up, add a fuel additive to your tank.
Before you close the gas tank, consider how often you’ll use your boat in the coming weeks. If you think you may not use up all the gas within a few weeks, add a fuel stabilizer to prevent water from contaminating the fuel.
Every time you boat, you need to flush your outboard with clean water to rinse out particulate matter, mineral deposits, and other contaminants—even if you’ve only boated in a freshwater lake. Flushing the outboard each time helps your engine’s cooling system stay clean and free of corrosion. Mercury Marine’s Flushing an Outboard Motor video is an easy-to-understand how-to.
Your Harris owner’s manual will provide recommendations on how often to get your outboard serviced. The universal recommendation is once a year or every 100 miles, but this depends on the type of boat. Because most people drive their pontoon between 50 and 75 hours each year, an annual service is right for most boaters. Your dealership will inspect the outboard’s powerhead and lower unit oils, filters, and spark plugs in addition to the water pump impeller.
Wash, wax, and cover your outboard when it’s not in use. Doing this and following the first three tips will help you keep your Harris’s outboard in great condition for years.