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Author Topic:   99 200Merc Optimax engine check light
MFRED posted 02-05-2002 07:13 AM ET (US)   Profile for MFRED   Send Email to MFRED  
Bought a 99 Whaler with a 200 merc optimax and had it checked out before i bought it. They said it checked out great and had 107 hrs. on it and recommended getting a 100 service on it. Both checks cost $650. Drove it out of marina,throttled up, and got a check engine light. Took it back,2 weeks later they now say its the 4th or 5th coil? Haven't picked it up yet,so I don't know the $ damage yet. Any ideas on this,and could they have done something during the 100 service check? Engine ran just fine before I bought it.
Clark Roberts posted 02-05-2002 08:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
MFRED, it's likely they did something during the check up... here's why this could have happened... the wiring and tubing is really a rat's nest and one has to be very careful, especially changing/checking plugs. The injector elec connectors are sometimes removed to get clearance etc... I have been into these engines and know first hand of the care that must be used... On the other hand you say the light came on at throttle up. Seems that it would have come on at start up... but there could be some delay in the alarm circuit! I would suggest that you pull that cowling and get aquainted with all the stuff inside, especially the air and fuel filters etc... I ran a 135 Opti for almost three years without a hiccup and I gave it a visual every week and changed my own filters and plugs... Happy Whalin'... Clark... Motor Pool Div. of Spruce Creek Navy
MFRED posted 02-05-2002 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for MFRED  Send Email to MFRED     
Thx Clark,
Yeh, my first boat and boy am I a novice. the light only comes on with throttles up, not at low rpms. Sometimes it's not steady and flickers. The first time they looked at it, he said it was a loose connection. However since he "fixed it", it pretty much stays on all the time now...except at low rpms. I get the boat back today, so I'll have more info. Again, thanks for all the info.
Bigshot posted 02-05-2002 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Whatever it is, don't agree to pay.....yet. Make sure it is unrelated. Those guys will wack you another $650, just because you were gullable enough to pay the first. I have never heard of a 100 hour tune-up, much less one for $650. They change plugs and lower unit oil every 100 hours, maybe torque down some stuff. Under $200(being plugs are $20each). Get a new mechanic.
captreils posted 02-05-2002 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for captreils  Send Email to captreils     
if they say the problem is #4 or5 coil it could be a spark plug problem on #3 or 4.the ecu has no diagnostics for spark plugs,but it usually shows up as an ignition problem on the next cylinder
MFRED posted 02-06-2002 08:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for MFRED  Send Email to MFRED     
They said the ddt showed it was the #5 coil. They changed it, but it didn't help. They called Merc and the rep told them to check #4 coil. It was bad and the plug was fouled. I had just spent $200 for them to check the engine out before I bought it, and another $450 for a 100 hr service( yeh, seemed high to me,too) This time around..$28 spark plug,$100 coil, $130 labor. They said they had 40 hrs of labor invested, but would only charge me 2 hrs...probably because they had already gouged me. When I went to pick up the boat, it wouldn't start. Didn't sound like it was getting fuel to me, but they said the battery was a little low. After recharging, it still didn't start. They took the cowling(cover) off the engine and lo and behold, they had crimped a wire to the fuel pump when they put the cowling back on.
I still think they did something to cause my check engine light to come on during the 100hr service when they changed the plugs. Before this check, the engine ran great with no light. Immediately following this is when I got the light...too much of a coincidence if you ask me. Anyways, I did pay the bill reluctantly just to bring my dealings with these "guys" to a close. Time to find an honest and smart mechanic.
Clark Roberts posted 02-07-2002 06:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
MFRED, if the fuel sys and/or oil sys lines are ever disconnedted or blocked you must re-prime the systems. Easy to's how! Control in neutral, turn key to on, put control lever in fwd and pump three swift strokes and return to neutral! This will signal the engine control module (ECM) to auto prime/bleed the fuel and oil systems. You will hear a whirring/clicking sound as the electric jockey pumps do their thing. About 3 minutes and you are good to go. Also , to clear a check engine fault you can remove the neg terminal from battery for about 5 minutes and the ECU will clear the fault. The "check engine" light will come on again if it's really a fault and it will not come on again if it was a transient! Don't do the above if the oil or temp alarm come on and if the "water in gas" alarm comes on just dump the contents of fuel filter and reinstall (I carry a small sears "strap wrench" for filter removal and it works great on the small optimax filter. You must first remove the wire from sensor located at filter's bottom... pulls straight off... tight space so a practice run with boat on trailer is helpful and removes all the mystery. To change plugs you will need a pair of plug wire forcips, small size spark plug socket (a good one with complete internal rubber support for spark plug), a 3/8 drive ratchet with 6" extension and universal joint, and lots of patients. Removing the injector elec. connectors makes it easier! Hope this info helps... Happy Whalin'.. Clark.. Spruce Creek Navy

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