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Author Topic:   2004 OptiMax: SmartCraft Gauge Warning: CHECK PITOT
kline posted 07-31-2005 11:10 PM ET (US)   Profile for kline   Send Email to kline  
I had a CHECK PITOT message come up on my Smartcraft gauges on my 2004 135-HP Mercury Optimax. Has any one any experience or information on this? The engine ran fine. I idled down. Checked everything I could. Put her back on plane, and cruised home. Looking in the manual, CHECK PITOT refers to water pressure. Any information?
Chuck Tribolet posted 07-31-2005 11:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The pitot tube is an opening on the front of the lower unit.
It's used to measure speed. The faster you go, the harder
the water pushes into the hole, and there's presumably a
sensor behind it somewhere that senses speed.

Best guess is that something has obstructed the hole or the
tube behind it. This confused the engine management computer
because it thought it was doing everything to make lots of
power, but the sensor behind the pitot tube said it wasn't
going very fast.

They may use the speed sensor to give it a little extra
torque (more advance, richer, +++) at high throttle opening and
low speed to get more holes shot.

It's also possible that the sensor has died or a wire has
come off it. In any event, it's Merc's problem as your engine
is still on warantee, right?


jimh posted 08-01-2005 12:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am surprised the manual does have more information to help you interpret the warning message. I would assume the message is instructing you to check the PITOT opening on the engine. The PITOT opening is probably located on the leading edge of the lower unit and looks like a small hole. Perhaps it is blocked by some debris and the sensor is not getting any pressure differential.
tombro posted 08-01-2005 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
Happens all the time to me with my new Verado 225 on New Jersey's Barnegat Bay. The excessive sea grass is the culprit. I noticed it in particular yesterday, as I trimmed the motor out of the water in my slip. The tube had several pieces of the long grass hanging out. Usually works out on it's own. My speedometer on the dash usually reads fine...although I trust the GPS more.
kline posted 08-01-2005 10:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for kline  Send Email to kline     
Thanks to all. I flushed the engine for a good long while when I got home. I will investigate the front of the lower unit. If the warning comes on again I will probabaly get it checked. I hate to take it in and not be able to use her.

My speed (by gps) was not affected throughout the rpm range.

Safe boating!

TightlinesPE posted 08-01-2005 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for TightlinesPE  Send Email to TightlinesPE     
I have had CHECK PITOT SPD (or speed)on the System View for twin 250 Verados. I don't know why I get it, but one time the speed went down to about 20 mph when I was really doing about 35 so I think grass and such from weed lines out here gets stuck in it and clears it with speed. If it continues, when I shut the motors down and hit the ignition buttons, it turns the System View off and resets it.

If this is the paddle wheel that detects speed, just shut everything down and your smart craft should reset, however, I know Verado system does this, Smartcraft for OptiMax they make DTS for the 135?

bkloss posted 08-01-2005 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for bkloss  Send Email to bkloss     
2004 135 Optimax - same problem; it's the paddle wheel/dauntless 180. If it even detects the smallest amount of kelp/seaweed; it shows "check pitot". The only way to clear it is to shut the system down to reset the gauge. Anybody know of another way to clear the gauge rather than shutting down the whole system? Sometimes its not real ideal to shutdown everything - dead in the water, to clear the gauge especially in a heavy traffic lane.
LHG posted 08-01-2005 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
The engine mounted pitot pick up's in the engine lower unit get clogged up occasionally, especially if you hit a piece of floating wood, palm branch, etc. Sometimes they will self clear, but sometimes you have to use a safety pin or stiff wire to clear it out.
kline posted 08-04-2005 09:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for kline  Send Email to kline     
Thanks I checked the hole and it was caked with something. I cleaned it out with a pin. I can't get out until this weekend, but hopefully it will be ok.
Thanks for everyone's suggestions.
Tango posted 05-08-2007 10:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tango  Send Email to Tango     
I have been dealing with this false alert problem on my 135 for some time. I have about 375 engine hrs. Once it's on plane it runs fine. Thank you guys. I will clean the PITOT.
Tango posted 05-10-2007 11:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tango  Send Email to Tango     
I hung off the dock and cleaned the PITOT with a safety pin. Someting was growing in there. Took a few minutes to clear. Put 4 hours on the engine , today. Thanks again.
Scott Grey posted 05-20-2007 12:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Scott Grey  Send Email to Scott Grey     
My dealer had a tool for cleaning this hole out. It was a stiff piece of wire about 12" long with a little loop bent on one end and a larger loop on the other end. I wade one out of a large paper clip that works just fine.

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