Steps for winterizing your engine and sterndrive from a former Chicago marina owner!
WARNING ---- Fuel vapors can be present in the engine compartment. Avoid injury or damage caused by fuel vapors or explosion. Always check for leaking fuel or the smell of gasoline and ventilate the engine compartment prior to starting the engine or performing any work! Keep a fully charged fire extinguisher close at hand
Before starting any of the procedures shown here make sure you have the proper knowledge and experience to do the job!
That's it for the engine!
If you have a sterndrive, see below.
A few pointers – always store with the drive down. This puts the least strain on the bellows & hoses. This also allows the water intake and exhaust passages to drain.
Fall is the best time to change the gear lubricant so any accumulated moisture does not have a chance to corrode the bearings and gears over the winter. Or even worse – freeze and crack the lower unit. It is also a good time to actually pull the drive and inspect the bellows, water hose, u-joints, engine coupler, engine alignment and gimbal bearing. Older drives will have grease fittings on the u-joints and this is the only way to reach them. There is also a grease fitting for the gimbal bearing on older units.
At the very least pull the drain plug out of the lower and let a little lube out to make there is no water!
This is a great time to inspect hoses, belts, engine mounts and anything else you can put your eyes on so you have plenty of time between now and spring to make needed repairs.
See our list of winterization products for everything you may need.
Have a great winter and we'll see you in the spring!