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Author Topic:   Winterizing Motors; Is There Really Any Need Or Purpose; Is it Really a Gimmick To Boost Dealer Service Revenue; E-TEC Self-Winterization Nothing More Than a Sales Gimmick
noextratime posted 10-07-2009 11:32 AM ET (US)   Profile for noextratime   Send Email to noextratime  
I have had [an unidentified] boat for four years, and this time of the year--fall--bothers me. I have not winterized my [1999 Mercury 125-HP engine] since I've had it because I can't find any drain plugs like my small 25-HP engine. I had a guy tell me you don't do [some unidentified task] with larger motors. Well, I put up [the 1999 Mercury 125-HP engine] every winter expecting to find the lower unit split when I get it out in the spring. Explain how I winterize this motor. I just know I have to drain the lower unit, and I need to check the lubricant level in the summer.
Buckda posted 10-07-2009 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
You can't find your oil drain plugs after 4 years of ownership?

Worry no more! Call your Mercury service center and have them winterize the motor.

If you can't find the plugs, this is not a job for you.

There's no shame in not being mechanical. That is why Mechanics have jobs.

Good luck.


L H G posted 10-07-2009 02:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Haven't winterized your engine the last four winters? And your engine still runs fine? You're on to something.

Mostly, I think "winterizing" is a waste of time, and mostly a service gimmick for Service Departments and selling of "winterizing" products. Unless the engine is going to laid up for a long period of time, like 2 years or so. Then you need a little fogging oil.

I own seven Mercury 2-strokes 90-200HP, from 1984-2006, all bought new except for one, and have NEVER winterized one of them here in the Chicago area. All I do is use a strong dose of Stabil/Startron, and Mercury QuickClean, in the fuel for Fall season boating. That's all you need to worry about. And my engines still all run beautifully and start easily in the Spring. If you do necessary routine service during the year, WHEN IT'S NEEDED ON A REGULAR SERVICE INTERVAL, you don't need to bother with all this stuff typically found on a "winterizing" checklist. For most of us the non-use period is only about 4-5 months, no big deal. Do you "winterize" a car with a fogging oil treatment that hasn't been run for 4-6 months? I don't.

Evinrude finally figured it out, and simply programmed the engine to run a little extra oil into it, calling it "automatic winterization", a sales gimmick. What does the engine do for the lower unit, propeller shaft and grease fittings? Nothing.

Let's look a typical "winterization" list of things to do:

1. Grease propeller shaft. If you keep it well greased all the time, as you should, nothing else is required for "winterization".

2. Run engine for 15 minutes to circulate all the additives you've put in. Well, if you've been using the engine in the Fall, the necessary Stabil and Quickclean (or equivalents) will already be in the carbs, EFI/DFI and engine systems.

3.Replace Water Separating fuel filters. If you've been checking these on a regular basis anyway, stopping use of the boat during winter changes nothing. Best time to check this is actually in the Spring, after a tank has been runthrough the engine, looking for any water. In 30 years of boating, I have never found any water in my filters.

4. Use fogging oil. Not necessary if your non-use time is only 4 or 5 months. The Stabil and Quickclean, combined with regular engine oil residue, will protect and coat the internals.

5. Service Spark Plugs. The winter makes no difference here. If you are changing plugs as needed during the season, nothing else is required. In my Mercury, the surface gap plugs easily last at least 200 hours, unrelated to when it's cold outside.

6. Change gear lubricant. This makes no sense at all. You WANT oil in the gearcase during periods of non-use, and this should be done on some regular service interval based on engine hours, unrelated to winter time. I use 100 hour increment on my hour meters, unless I've wrapped some fishing line tight around the prop shaft seal, then I check for water immediately.

7. Lubricate grease fittings. This should be done on a regular basis as needed during the season, and is not related to any period of non-use. I include the mechanical steering ram in this.

So I keep my engines up to speed in all these areas during the regular season, and have no need for a separate "winterization" waste of time and money.

If you are one of those guys who "drives it until it drops", doing nothing on a regular basis, then some of this makes some sense, which is simply a once-a-year maintenance program called "winterization". But if you do regular maintenance as needed and keep your engine in top condition all year long, forget it.

The most important "winterization" thing to do, IF YOU HAVE AN ALUMINUM BELLY TANK, is to either completely empty, or completely fill, your tank if E-10 is involved. With on-deck plastic tanks, just leave them with whatever fuel you have in them, which should be pre-stabilized anyway.

Buckda posted 10-07-2009 03:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Here is what Mercury has to say about the importance of winterization for your motor:
The major consideration in preparing your outboard for storage is to protect it from rust, corrosion, and damage caused by freezing water that may be trapped in the engine. We recommend taking your engine to an authorized Mercury or Mariner dealer to perform the work.


This is their recommendation for "out of season" storage. Meaning, that they intend for you to do something to protect your motor from rust, corrosion and damage. Annually (seasonally). Further, they seem to think that it is an important enough job that they recommend you have an authorized Mercury mechanic do the work.

+sarcasm+ Larry, it couldn't possibly be "mostly a service gimmick for Service Departments and selling of "winterizing" products." That is not possible. It came from on high at Mercury Motors. They don't do anything to slant information in the favor of the company. Their information is beyond reproach. You know this - you cite their information as such all the time. /sarcasm

The two most important things to do to prepare your motor for storage are to drain and change the lower unit oil - Any water in there will cause corrosion/rust on your gears and/or freeze and potentially cause larger problems (in northern climates) - and "fog" or otherwise protect your cylinder walls from corrosion. The fogging oil is sticky - and it clings to the sides of your cylinders providing a layer of protection. Incidentally, that is why it is not recommended for direct injection motors, including the OptiMax and E-TEC. The injectors need to be freely lubricated.

+sarcasm+ The "sales gimmick" that Evinrude has is a really stupid marketing tactic. Mercury has it right. They are referring customers to an authorized dealer. Evinrude encourages people to keep their motors at home and save their money. How dumb is that?! Perhaps the reason you don't need to fog your motors is because they 'self fog' the whole area when you run them with that cheap Wal-Mart oil? /sarcasm

But...since noextratime has not had any extra time to winterize his motor for the past 4 years, he should just forget about it. I mean, why waste time when you have so little of it? You're on a 4 year streak! I'm sure you have the time to maintain your motor during the season as diligently and meticulously as Larry recommends...

Buckda posted 10-07-2009 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Incidentally, most car afficionado sites recommend preparing an automobile for seasonal storage as well.

This seasonal ritual is just part of good personal property maintenance. I "winterize" my lawn mowers and my snow blowers....just at different times of the year.

jimh posted 10-07-2009 08:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Moved to REPAIRS/MODS from another area.]
jimh posted 10-07-2009 08:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
noextratime--Where are you located?

Quickleen is not a lubricant and does not provide protection against corrosion like a coating of oil would provide.

STABIL is not a lubricant and does not provide protection against corrosion like a coating of oil would provide.

jimh posted 10-07-2009 08:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Bombardier is leading the charge to end this ridiculous trip to the dealer for winterization by providing simple self-winterization automated procedures built into their motors. Compare with other brands. Mercury continues to recommend to all of its owners that they take their motor to a Mercury dealer for winterization.
tbirdsey posted 10-07-2009 11:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
Remember the Nauset I had back in the mid 70's with the 65 Merc? One winter way back then, I discovered the lower unit split wide open. Water in the lower unit had frozen. Ever since then I admit being a bit obssesive/compulsive about changing lower unit oil in the fall. How can you be sure that a seal has not gone bad over the summer?

It was good to see you in Chicago.


Stevebaz posted 10-08-2009 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Stevebaz  Send Email to Stevebaz     
For most people 4-5 months is no big deal if everything is ship shape going in. But how may boats get stored for the winter and life gets in the way and now that storage goes from 5 months to a couple of years? Everyone goes through a bad spell now and then. How many boats here on this site have been resurrected from the dead so to speak. Wish I woodda, shodda if I coudda do it all over again. Just do it and save the next enthusiast the all hassle. I personally don't see the need for the dealer to do it unless the motor is under warranty then you better do it because if something happens your on a bad foot going in if the dealer didn't do the proper maintainance.
It's much harder to change a tire than to pull the plugs and fog the cylinders and then dump and change the gear oil.
its also much better to find out now that your gear seals leak in water and you have 4 months to get it fixed and ready for that early spring boat ride rather than find out in the spring and loose a couple of months of boating season trying to get a busy shop to make room for you.
dfmcintyre posted 10-08-2009 12:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Here's my schedule, without the hyperbole:

1 - New plugs before layup if needed, and while they are out either for replacement or cleaning, quick squirt of fogging oil.

2 - Stabil in fuel and a ten minute run. If I'm close to a fuel station, I'll fill, if not close will not bother. Like Larry, after four decades of boating with I/O's and outboards I've yet to find water in the filters in the spring.

3 - Drain and refill the lower unit lube. If there's water, replace the seal. Keeps inside from rusting. And if there's a major problem to repair, it's done during the off season.


Blackduck posted 10-08-2009 05:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Blackduck  Send Email to Blackduck     
I think spraying a little fogging oil, treating the fuel, and changing the oil in the lower unit, are all things that most of us should do, or have done, if the motor is going to be left idle for a number of months. I don't think paying hundreds of dollars for the service makes sense, learn to do it yourself, or find a guy who will do it for a reasonable amount.
deepwater posted 10-08-2009 08:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
Well to get back to the question,,Is it necessary,,yes to some degree,,if you live in the north you do it every year and in warmer areas it only needs to be done if the boat sits for several mons at a time,,Boost the dealer what?,, Well if you cant use a screw driver or a socket set than the dealer it is at ,,what guys ??,,$85+ an hour min 1 hr + parts and 3 to 5 days for a $20 job,,Its not hard,,Just get a basic manual and read it,,
jimh posted 10-09-2009 06:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I will be taking advantage of the self-winterization feature of my Evinrude E-TEC engine very soon. If I understand the implication of what has been said so far, I should just stop using my motor and take no action to prepare if for the lay-up over the winter. If I were to perform the simple winterization procedure on my E-TEC, I guess I would be deluding myself into thinking I would be doing something useful. E-TEC winterization has been described above as just a sales gimmick. I can't believe I fell for that when I bought this motor!
capedave posted 10-09-2009 08:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for capedave  Send Email to capedave     
One more for the list, lube the top end of the drive shaft when you pull the lower unit!
number9 posted 10-09-2009 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
Breaking CW News...New record set for length of Topic Title.
number9 posted 10-09-2009 09:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
E-Tec winterization procedure sounds like a very nice feature.

If the motor may be subject to freezing conditions the lower unit gear case should probably be checked for the presence of water to prevent possible damage. Doubt BRP would cover a cracked case due to their warranty exclusion for water ingestion.

newt posted 10-09-2009 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
Evinrude's term "self-winterization" is misleading. Unless the engine drains it's own lower unit lube, sprays it's own power-head with T-9 or equivalent, removes and charges it's own batteries, and then covers itself up with a cozy tarp, than "self-winterizing" is only a marketing gimmick. "Self-fogging" would be more appropriate.
Peter posted 10-09-2009 10:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Evinrude does not use the term "self-winterization". Evinrude uses the term "auto storage" for the mode of operation that is described as follows:
The engine fogs itself automatically in minutes, with no trip to the dealer....

Nothing misleading.

With an E-TEC and a 100 hour per season usage, my winterization routine would be:

- Run the motor in the auto storage mode;

- Crack the drain screw on the gearcase to see if any water is present;

- pump some grease into the grease zircs.

At the 300 hour mark, I'd vary the above procedure slightly by changing the gearcase oil and spark plugs.

prj posted 10-09-2009 10:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
Perhaps Evinrude hasn't been misleading, but there are apparently a lot of confused E-TEC owners on this forum that believe their motors "self-winterize" when in fact they simply "auto fog".

While this "auto fog" feature is indeed nice, it certainly isn't the most complicated or time consuming aspect of a typical outboard winterization project.

I do winterize my Yamaha, but find Larry's argument for continued and regular maintenance quite compelling and believable.

L H G posted 10-09-2009 11:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
So, using Peter's quote above, does an Evinrude E-tec:

1. Carry a separate reservoir of "storage seal heavy weight fogging oil" so that it can self-fog? NO.

2. Simply spray a little more regular outboard oil, XD-50 or XD-100, whatever your engine is using, into the regular DFI lubrication process? YES. This is not how most here would describing "Fogging". Running a 25-1 rich mixture through a conventional 2-stroke would be a very similar process. Nobody would call this "self winterization", NOR SELF FOGGING.

3. Does the E-tec inject pure, thick, "fogging oil" into the cylinder at the spark plug hole, followed by rotating the engine by the flywheel with no compression, as in conventional "manual" fogging? NO

So is Evinrude's "self winterization", or Peter's quoted statement above, using "fogs itself" a sales gimmick?
MOSTLY. In reality, it is to PREVENT an owner from doing the old fashioned thing: fogging the engine!

Actually, Mercury and Evinrude agree: Just use regular 2-stroke lubrication oil, if you must, for any extended storage of an EFI, EFI 4-stroke, or 2-stroke DFI engine, NOT FOGGING OIL. And if you don't need it in those models, you probably don't need it in a carb 2-stroke either, as I have said, unless you are doing EXTENDED storage of two or more years.

andygere posted 10-09-2009 12:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I live in a relatively mild climate, typically with no freezing weather, and certainly no extended periods below freezing. As a result, boating can be done more or less year round. A few winters ago, all of the available sport fishing seasons were closed for several months during the winter, so I decided to pull the boat out of the water until things opened up again. I ran the auto fogging feature on my E-TEC in the driveway, but I was out of fogging oil for my Mercury 15 h.p. kicker, and eventually forgot about getting more and completing the job. In the spring, I prepped the boat for launching, and was horrified to find that the 15 was frozen, and the flywheel would not turn with the electric starter or the recoil. I pulled the spark plugs, and sprayed a generous dose of penetrating oil in each hole., then tilted the motor up to allow the oil to flow past the rings. I did this for a few days, and was eventually able to free the motor up by gently working the flywheel back and forth with a wrench. Fortunately, the rings were not damaged, and I was able to get the motor started. It still runs fine today, but anytime I expect to go more than two months without using the boat, I fog both motors. The Evinrude is easier to do, and I don't have to remember to keep a can of fogging oil on hand for that one.

As a final precaution, anytime I use the boat, I fire up the kicker and let it idle for a few minutes to ensure that things get lubricated, the old gas is burned out of the carb, etc. I need this little motor to keep running at least until Evinrude starts making a 15 h.p. E-TEC, then I won't have to worry about it anymore.

newt posted 10-09-2009 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
Peter, thanks for the clarification.
Buckda posted 10-09-2009 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Here is why I reacted so strongly to Larry’s recommendation above: most people don’t do everything he describes in terms or “regular” maintenance. To assume so is to give bad advice – which is why all of the manufacturers recommend some kinds of protective measures for seasonal storage. They know their customers.

You should change the lower unit oil before winter lay up – not because you might have water INTRUSION and are at risk for cracking the gear case due to freezing (although that is a compelling, “let’s make sure” type of argument). The gear case is likely to contain some water in it due to condensation – you know, hot oil sitting in a metal container in a cold lake or ocean? That is regardless of what condition your seals are in.

The newest synthetic oils are able to trap and protect your bare metal gears from this moisture to a specified content level. Additionally, regular use of your motor “stirs” this fluid up and blends the water in – meaning the “trapping and isolating” properties of the oil are enhanced, and the longer you run the motor, the better chance that water will have a chance to heat up and evaporate out of the oil. Trailered boats probably don’t have quite the same level of this condensate as slip-kept boats do.

The point is, that 3 months of sitting with water and oil separating out, means that some water is going to be touching your bare metal gears….and forming rust. This effect might be minimal, who knows for sure – but it’s not a big deal to drain the lower unit oil and put fresh oil in on an annual basis. The same is true for powerhead maintenance – fogging or coating the cylinders. There is a thread going on right now on this site about a guy whose life intervened this summer and he didn’t get to use the boat at all. It was stored “not winterized” last fall and still hasn’t been used – what to do?! If you’ve winterized your boat, no worries- squirt some more fogging oil in the cylinders, turn over the flywheel a few times, spray and wipe down the powerhead and put her back in the garage.

E-TEC never mentions “Self-Winterization” in their literature – but I refer to it as that, because coating the cylinder walls of the powerhead is perhaps the single most important storage ritual you can do – after all, the powerhead is the most expensive component to your outboard engine. Protecting it is of utmost concern.

Larry makes an excellent point in that the “self fogging” feature of the E-TEC protects it from the sticky fogging oil that is NOT recommended for DFI engines. Instead of protecting customers by sending them to the dealer, they programmed the engine to protect the customer right there at the ramp or in his/her driveway. Brilliant.

Sadly, yet again, Larry cherry picks the language in the retelling. Read Mercury’s literature for the details, but they recommend protecting their engines for “seasonal” storage. To me, that means if it’s going to sit for more than a month, it needs some action.

Regarding his anecdotes that he doesn’t winterize/storage prep his automobiles or outboards, I submit that members should take that at face value for what it is – an anecdote. Any automotive/outboard manufacturer/dealer or fan club/group will tell you that if you leave mechanical equipment in storage – even seasonally, the best bet is to do some precautionary steps to prevent corrosion and/or damage. Depending on how long the equipment will be in storage dictates the lengths to which you will need to go to effectively protect your toy.

Personally, for one of my favorite toys, I’m going to put it to bed properly with some care and attention.

jimh posted 10-09-2009 05:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If I had seven outboard motors I probably would not winterize them all, either--too much work. With seven outboard motors to divide your boating time among, no single motor probably runs for more than 15 to 20 hour a year. Larry's routine maintenance performs all the same procedures as a winterization, so he essentially is continually winterizing his seven motors, all the time.

bloller posted 10-09-2009 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for bloller  Send Email to bloller     
I never winterize my outboards. I live in Maryland where it can drop below freezing for weeks at a time from around December to March. I just make sure to take my boat out on the water at least once every two or three weeks over the winter. If the ramps are frozen then I will just run the engine on the hose always making sure to drain out all water and store motor upright. I do make sure to do all routine maintence at regular intervals throughout the year.
jimh posted 10-10-2009 08:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If the longest interval in which my boat was not used was three weeks, I would not winterize their engines, either.

A good point was made earlier regarding laying up a boat for storage. You may anticipate that use of a boat will resume in a certain time period, however, you cannot be certain. Circumstances change, and future events may alter the pattern of use for a particular motor. About ten years ago I winterized my 5-HP dingy outboard. I have not used it since.

I have owned seven outboard motors. Three were purchased new, four purchased used. The most outboard motors I have owned at one time was five. Now I own two outboard motors, but only one was used this past season. My perspective about performing elaborate preparations for winter storage is likely different than some of the opinions expressed here due to the climate in my region, my pattern of use of my engine, the number of outboard motors I own, and the relative ease of performing certain procedures on the motors I own . Despite recommendations given that there is no need to perform any special procedure prior to lay-up for the winter, I intend to follow the manufacturer's advice and perform all the recommended procedures. It just seems like good sense. I do not really feel like I have been victimized by unscrupulous promoters of gimmicks to take money from me.

dfmcintyre posted 10-10-2009 06:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
One item I forgot to mention...

About every five years, I think it's wise to at least inspect, if not just replace the water impeller pump.


Peter posted 10-10-2009 08:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
The following two statements

"Running a 25-1 rich mixture through a conventional 2-stroke would be a very similar process"


"if you don't need [fogging oil] in [EFI, EFI 4-stroke, or 2-stroke DFI] models, you probably don't need it in a carb 2-stroke either..."

show a general ignorance regarding how the lubrication system and fuel injection system of DFI 2-strokes operate.

First, Evinrude's instructions for off season storage for the Ficht direct fuel injection 2-stroke outboards includes spraying storage fogging oil through the holes in the throttle plates of the throttle bodies. The reason Mercury does not recommend fogging their Optimax and EFI products is that they are concerned that the thick fogging oil may gum up their injectors. Evinrude does not have similar concerns for the Ficht injectors.

Second, in a conventional non DFI 2-stroke (EFI or carbureted), the oil is mixed with the gasoline. The gasoline diluted oil combination enters the outboard's intake manifold then crankcase by way of the carburetor or fuel injector. There is a 50:1 gasoline/oil mist flowing through the crankcase. That mist is sufficient to lubricate the motor while its running as it is continually replenished, but if left over time, it will evaporate leaving the internals with little protection. Andy's problem shows how the gasoline diluted oil combination does a poor job of protecting against internal corrosion when its not replenished.

In a DFI 2-stroke, the fuel (mixed with a slight amount of oil to lubricate the injector in the case of a Ficht) is injected directly into the combustion chamber while oil is injected at a low rate at various places in the crankcase. In the DFI 2-stroke, there is an oil mist in the air flowing through the crankcase. Unlike the conventional 2-stroke, the oil coating the internal parts of a DFI 2-stroke is not diluted by gasoline. Under regular operation, that oil coating is continually replenished. When the auto-storage mode is activated, the concentration of that oil mist in the air flowing through the crankcase is increased and that lays down more oil on the internals making sure they are coated well given that it is expected that there will be no replenishment for a while.

A 25:1 mix of gas/oil is still oil diluted by gasoline rather than straight oil delivered in quantities to ensure the internals are soaked in oil. Good luck if you think the internals of your outboard are protected by a 25:1 mix rather than a fogging oil which Mercury apparently recommends using except in EFI and Optimax outboard which have delicate fuel injection systems that cannot tolerate the thick fogging oil.

Regarding Dave's concern as quoted below

"[t]he point is, that 3 months of sitting with water and oil separating out, means that some water is going to be touching your bare metal gears…and forming rust".

The formation of rust requires oxygen. Water touching metal gears will not cause the gears to rust without the presence of oxygen. Where is the oxygen coming from if the gears are immersed in oil and water with the water settling to the bottom and any air in the gearcase rising to the top with oil in between?

number9 posted 10-11-2009 06:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
"The formation of rust requires oxygen. Water touching metal gears will not cause the gears to rust without the presence of oxygen. Where is the oxygen coming from if the gears are immersed in oil and water with the water settling to the bottom and any air in the gearcase rising to the top with oil in between?"

Last I heard water = H2O.

Water and oil will mix, sometimes having a grease like consistency that doesn't separate unless heated. Potentially
exposing a lot of the area to water and corrosion.

Peter posted 10-11-2009 08:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
"Last I heard water = H2O."

As this is apparently in response to my query about where the oxygen is coming from, I interpret this as saying that the oxygen atom in a water molecule is the source of oxygen necessary to create rust (iron oxide). If that is correct, would you kindly explain the chemical reaction between water and iron to form iron oxide (rust) so I can understand how that works?

jimh posted 10-11-2009 08:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Peter--Thank you for the description of how the oil system works on an E-TEC. I think it helped people to understand why the automatic storage option on the E-TEC is such a handy and useful feature. Sometimes I think that a great deal of misinformation is presented about the E-TEC by people who are not very familiar with the E-TEC, and I don't understand if this is being done intentionally to try to create fear, uncertainty, or doubt about the E-TEC, or if it just comes from lack of knowledge about the E-TEC.

By the way, I utilized the automatic storage or fogging option on my E-TEC motor this afternoon to prepare my new E-TEC motor for lay-up for the winter. I followed the instructions in my owner's manual, and performed the auto-fogging in just a few minutes. It certainly was very much easier than the alternative. I cannot imagine why I would want to avoid the auto-fogging procedure in favor of the traditional fogging procedure--which is much more complicated, more time consuming, and requires disassembly of part of the engine.

So, if you will accept my first-hand experience with the E-TEC in preference to conjectures about it, I will be glad to tell you that the auto-fogging feature is very useful. At no time while I was using it, did I feel like I was duped by a marketing gimmick.

Buckda posted 10-12-2009 11:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I did my motors yesterday as well. It was too windy to do the touch-up paint for the skegs, but I got everything else done - the self-fogging feature was much appreciated in 40 degree weather - I could simply turn on the motor and sit under the canvas and work the throttle back and forth as appropriate rather than sit out in the wind and try to fog it the traditional way.

Quick wipe down of the powerhead, and all that's left for next weekend is to change the lower unit oil and paint the skegs, then she goes in to the barn for the winter.


TransAm posted 10-12-2009 11:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for TransAm  Send Email to TransAm     
I'm still confused at to what Evinrude's "self-fogging" or "winter storage mode" exactly does. Does this feature introduce actual fogging oil, or does it run a rich mixture of fuel and regular 2-stroke oil?
Peter posted 10-12-2009 03:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Unlike a conventional (carb and EFI) 2-stroke where oil is mixed with the gas before it enters the crankcase, a DFI 2-stroke does not, except for just a little bit to keep the injectors lubricated. In the case of a DFI 2-stroke, think of the internals, except for the combustion chamber, being covered with an oil film rather than a 50:1 gas/oil film. The oiling rate is increased in the auto storage mode. I presume the rate is sufficient to make sure that all of the oil doesn't burn off in the combustion chamber at the low engine speed so it ends up with a nice coating of oil.

The video at this link shows that the process is so easy even Larry could do it. ;)
L H G posted 10-12-2009 03:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Dave didn't "fog" his engine, since no "fogging oil" was used. His engine simply increased the amount of regular 2-stroke engine oil being squirted into the "oil mist" normally lubricating the engine, hoping that the extra lubricating oil "sticks" a little better than the regular dose, and said a HAIL MARY, hoping the that the engine's computer is actually doing what it's supposed to be doing (increasing the amount of oil it squirts in this mode). How does one know? You don't. You take it on faith.
Buckda posted 10-12-2009 03:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
My position: Faith in a computer algorythm to do as it is programmed to do is better than faith in a marketing department to act and divulge information that is wholly balanced and authoritative to consumers in the general populace.

The motor did what Mercury recommends that dealers do manually for the OptiMax - it added DFI oil directly into the combustion chamber. My guess is that it ran a richer mixture for a few moments and then suppressed the spark for the final few revolutions and continued to inject oil to the internals, leaving a coating on the engine block.

In any event, it is better than walking away without doing anything, as Larry has recommended above.

The interesting subtext to the recommendations for an exhaustive in-season maintenance regimen so you can walk away from the motor at the end of the season with no additional steps to prepare for seasonal storage is the one that suggests that perhaps all of that extra maintenance is necessary to keep certain motors operating optimally during the season. On the newer motors, this is not necessary.

jimh posted 10-12-2009 08:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
With seven motors, the chances that a motor will get used again is much lower than if you own just one boat. If you are trying to keep seven motors in running condition, you just have to prepare them for storage every time you use them. It might be a year or two between use for some of those seven engines.

It is much simpler for people who only have one boat and one or two engines. I can say with some certainty that I won't be using my E-TEC for several months, and it has been prepared for storage using the manufacturer's recommended procedure.

I am confused--how can one person simultaneously say fogging oil is a waste of time, then also say an engine is not properly winterized if fogging oil is not used. Isn't that a contradiction?

R T M posted 10-12-2009 11:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for R T M    
Would I buy an outboard from Larry? Of course. I wonder if he would part with one of those `84 Towers?


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