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Author Topic:   305 Conquest: VERADO Fuel Pump Failure
sideshow posted 01-26-2006 06:24 AM ET (US)   Profile for sideshow   Send Email to sideshow  
While out fishing today one of my 250-HP Mercury Verado engines failed. It took me two hours on one engine to get home. If ever there was a time I wish my 305 had more power!! In rough conditions 250-HP is painful with this boat and impossible to plane. Then again I got home, so I shouldn't complain. The engine suddenly stopped. I can start it and it will idle roughly for about ten seconds then it stalls. The engine also shakes a lot more than usual. Had a look under the cover and have no idea what is wrong, although it is still under warranty with only 40 hours.

The worst thing about it all is that I have to go back to my useless dealer who will take three months to fix it.

WhalerMark posted 01-26-2006 08:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for WhalerMark  Send Email to WhalerMark     
What did the smartcraft gauge indicate? Any alarms?
Peter posted 01-26-2006 10:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Sounds like it is fuel related. I'm betting a failed fuel pump. Apparently others have had fuel pump related problems with the Verado.
sideshow posted 01-26-2006 10:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for sideshow  Send Email to sideshow     
No alarms. The only alarm that my SC5000 seems to ever bring up is check pitot sensor. It always comes up, rather annoying actually cause it doesn't seem to mean much and is always on.
LHG posted 01-26-2006 12:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Where are you and boat located? Which Dealer?
nooner posted 01-26-2006 02:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for nooner  Send Email to nooner     
It seems to me that an engine of such high caliber shouldn't conk out at 40 hours...Are there less problems with say a merc/yamaha 225?
handn posted 01-26-2006 07:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
No trouble with 2004 Yamaha-made Mercury-branded EFI four 4-strokes in 500 hours of use.
No alarms, no shutdowns, no oil consumption, and no repairs other than routine maintenance. These are Yamaha engines other than the black cowl. There are tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands in service. Somewhere there must be a Yamaha owners' web site dealing with any problems, as nothing is trouble free.

I hope the Verado problems I am hearing about are aberations and/or problems that will get solved quickly, as the engines match Boston Whaler boat hulls well and Brunswick spent a ton of money on R & D.

The OptiMax on my old boat was forever scolding me with various false alarms and I was tempted to undo the bolts and let it slide over the side many times. I hope Verado engines haven't learned the same bad habits from their older brothers.

glen e posted 01-26-2006 07:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
Let's not get this thread off on a Verado bashing, "oh my gosh the Verado's are falling apart thread". Verado's have been known to have problems, no more so than other motor as that are manufactured by humans and robots. There are no design defects that have shown up yet, except an early cowl leak issue and a stering whine in the pump. I have heard amoung 175 owners and two service depatements so far of three fuel pump failures and this sonds like the 4th. Many verados are running upwards of 1500 hours now with no prolbems. Take it to a repeutable dealer that has more than one Verado Certified tech and put it on the cimputer. It's either the ignition or fuel pump. Look at the message board on the site for other problems people are having....
glen e posted 01-26-2006 08:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
siadshow -

you can eliminate that check pitot message by hooking your SC-5000 to read your speed from GPS. Will calculate better MPG and gallons to waypoint too. Send me an email and I'll walk you thru it. Simple 10 min install.

sideshow posted 01-26-2006 09:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for sideshow  Send Email to sideshow     
My dealer is located here in Brisbane, Australia. The boat has been great, love it. The only problems that I've had are mostly related to my dealers lack of interest in sorting things out. It's quite ridiculous, he had no problem phoning me every 5 minutes when I was interested in buying the boat however now he finds it impossible to find my number let alone ring it.

As for the confirmed failed fuel pump on the Verado, I still wouldn't change them for anything else. They're sensational!! These things happen, especially with boats. I've had Volvo's, Evinrudes, Cummins over the years and they've all needed to be repaired at some stage, even the best is not fool proof. The speed and efficiency of repairing the engine will be of more concern to me. No point in having the best motor yet it takes 3 months to fix and costs a fortune.

handn posted 01-27-2006 07:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
No Verado bashing here. I hope Mercury has gotten it right and sells enough of them to cover the cost of the r&d.
Control by wire is a trend setting inovation and will eventually be picked up by other outboard manufacturers.
Its not Verado bashing to expect those engines to be trouble free with out more failures or false alarms than competing Japanese engines.
Turn the key and forget about it is what most consumers want. If there is a record of problems and failures like with the Optimax, then the only Verados sold will be to people who like the boat enough to buy the engine.
glen e posted 01-27-2006 08:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
The has only been two design defects since the introduction [of the Verado]; some leaky cowls in some early production and steering pump whine that was fixed early last year. I thought a good indicator of their reliability came out of the recent Houston boat show where one of our members was discussing the Verado with a field service engineer who handles the south central part of the US. So far he has replaced three engines no questions asked that had problems. In addition there has not been any recalls on the engine and they are going on 18 months worth of production to the public.

My conversations with mercury have been very positive. They absolutely know they have to get this thing right after the early problems with the Optimax. If the Verado was hastily brought to market and started to have major design problems, people would never give merc another chance. So far , it looks a if they did their homework. I only see one problem with the 200+ engines and that is high fuel consumption above 5000 rpm vs the competition. They also could take a lesson from Suzuki when it comes to weight reduction/ That being said, it really is a system like no other. You have to spend time with the system to appreciate it.

whalerdude posted 01-27-2006 11:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerdude  Send Email to whalerdude     
Did you figure out the reason for your engine failure yet?

Glad you made it back safe and sound!

sideshow posted 01-28-2006 04:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for sideshow  Send Email to sideshow     
Fuel Pump
bigjohn1 posted 01-28-2006 06:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1    
Can you elaborate? I assume the Verado has both a high and low pressure pump - maybe not though. Was it fuel starved? The reason I bring this up is that you can ruin the high-side pump on the Yama-Merc's when you continually run the engine out of fuel.
sosmerc posted 01-28-2006 12:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
There are two electric fuel pumps on the Verado, both located inside the "fuel system module". One of the pumps is referred to as the "lift pump" and it is responsible for bringing the fuel from the boat to the engine's fuel system module. The lift pump is turned off and on as needed by the engine control module. The high pressure pump (capable of 100psi) sends fuel through a 20 micron filter to the fuel rail. The rail fuel pressure is controlled by a pressure regulator.
My manual states that NO FAULT code will be generated if the high pressure pump fails...that is unfortunate, since the engine will stop, it would at least be nice to know why. Maybe this is something Merc will change over time.
Like Glen has said, Merc knows they need to get these engines right as their reputation is really on the line...especially after all the hype they have created with the Verado. One should at least take some comfort with the length and scope of the warranty that is being offered.
I think the Optimax engines have BECOME very good engines. It has taken about 5 years to get it to where it is now a desirable engine. I'd like to see Merc continue to develop more Optimax engines along with the Verado. Folks wanting to buy a new Whaler should at least have SOME choice when it comes to power !!
glen e posted 01-28-2006 12:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
sosmerc - that's for the explanation - so do we possibly have a bad fuel pump parts run? This has not been a problem unitl receltly - I will forward this thread to my friends at merc and see what I can find out...
glen e posted 01-29-2006 09:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
there is what seems to be a good explanation on my message board regarding this fuel pump problem - the poster is not verified and is a tech somewhere in the caribbean I beleive, but the post seems well thought out.
jimh posted 01-30-2006 01:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Oops!, looks like I lost my own post! I'll recreate it here.]

I was commenting about the location of some fuel system components rather low in the mid-section of the VERADO. You can see this in

On some Verado engines I saw in August 2005 they had a waterline marked on the mid-section/cowling to indicate the maximum immersion.

It seemed odd to have fuel system components located so low in the mid-section that they'd be close to or below the waterline.

sosmerc posted 01-29-2006 04:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
I thought is was a strange location also when I first saw it. But the design does keep the lift pump very low in relation to the fuel tank and this is important perhaps to make it easier for the pump to pull the full as far as it has to. I'm sure the housing is well sealed to protect the pumps. The entire fuel module also is "cooled" via hoses off of a manifold on the block. The fuel itself is also responsible for "cooling" the fuel pumps since they are "submerged" in fuel inside the module. Very similar setup on the Optimax engines, though they also have a mechanical diaphragm pump to bring fuel to the engine. (so the Optimax engines have 3 fuel pumps!)
Peter posted 01-30-2006 08:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Compare the height powerhead of the Verado relative to the transom bracket to the height of the powerhead of the E-TEC 150 to its transom bracket (see photos at ). What had been typically considered the "pan" part of the engine cowling seems to be elevated relative to the transom bracket on the I4 Verado. I'd say the white item, probably a fuel filter (looks like its disconnected), in the Verado is probably no lower relative to the transom bracket than the fuel filter on the E-TEC even though it is lower relative to the upper/lower cowling seam. If the water level was as high as the white filter element on the Verado, chances are that the transom would be under water.

As an aside, everytime I look at that cutaway of the
Verado all I can think is there is one heck of alot of thermodynamic activity and associated plumbing going on in that motor.

handn posted 01-30-2006 09:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
What about Racor or other auxillary fuel filters for Verados? Can the fuel pumps maintain needed pressure pumping through auxillary filters?
This is an issue for those of us who live in places where the gasoline may have water or debris.
Peter posted 01-30-2006 09:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
My recollection is that Mercury does not want any filters between the fuel tank and the motor on the Verado or the Optimax.
bigjohn1 posted 01-30-2006 05:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1    
sideshow - again, can you elaborate on your fuel pump failure? We know the pump failed but any other additional news from the dealer or Mercury to explain why?
sideshow posted 01-31-2006 07:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for sideshow  Send Email to sideshow     
All I know is that Mercury are replacing what they call the fuel pump module. When I asked for further details they explained that the module contains more than just a pump. What exactly that means I do not know. I am not overly technical when it comes to engines so I didn't ask too much more. I was more concerned about the 2nd engine that to date has been reliable!! Next time I may be a lot further out to sea and the 305 definately struggles with one motor. I was also told that the failure could be related to the initial priming of the motor when it was installed new. Without understanding exactly what I was being told the impression was that the pump failure can be brought on by incorrect priming when the engine is first installed.

What I did find interesting was that when I contacted Mercury and explained the problem I had had they immediately ordered the replacement module without even seeing the engine. That tells me that I'm not the first with the problem because normally service people will not do anything until they have inspected the engine. Very rarely will they proceed with ordering parts based purely on an unqualified obervation. I am also told that the replacement module has a different part number to the original supplied with the boat. This tells me that there is a change to the part whatever it may be.

Since mine has failed I have already discovered another 305 that is the same age as mine that has had the same problem only last week. Also a Verado 200 with 5 hours with the same problem. Whatever the the cause of the problem may be, I do get the impression that this module is not an uncommon failure. Having said that I would be cautious in saying that it was a major problem. Without knowing the exact number of engines sold relative to the number of failures incurred it is impossible to say so. Also people talk a lot more when something fails compared to not failing, so it seems far worse than it really is. For every pump module that fails there may be 500 that don't.

glen e posted 01-31-2006 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
great post sideshow - if this is a design/bad part I will report it here factually as it is important that none of these engones go down under operation. I can only report after tracking 150 owners for the last year, this has happened in our group 5 times....and I might add never a problem unitl the last 3 months - see our message board for verification....and again the mention of rigging comes up....
kglinz posted 01-31-2006 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
As all these boats were shipped by sea, I wonder if the engines were "dry" of fuel when shipped, and the pumps were run with no fuel during rigging/ check out before delivery. There was a problem on Merc/Yamaha F225 caused by leaving the ignition on during installation with no fuel, as I recall.
sideshow posted 01-31-2006 03:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for sideshow  Send Email to sideshow     
I know for fact that [the fuel system of the outboard motor of] all Whalers are primed at the factory before being shipped out to Australia. My engines had been run for approximately 20 minutes by Whaler. One would assume that they would know how to prime the engines correctly. Then again all it takes is a little carelessness on one motor.
jimh posted 01-31-2006 09:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't have any first hand information about how Boston Whaler prepares the fuel systems of larger boats, however I do believe that on smaller boats the engines are run from a separate tank, and the boat's fuel system is not filled with gasoline. In my article on the factory tour I wrote:

"On smaller boats, once the motor is installed it is started and run briefly from a separate fuel supply. A small tank is used to immerse the lower unit during the testing."

I would be surprised if the factory routinely added gasoline to the main gas tank and then shipped the new boats to dealers. I would think that the presence of gasoline in their tanks would be a hazard.

This would be an interesting topic to follow up in another discussion.

I think the point of discussion here was whether or not their was damage done to the Verado engine fuel pump as a result of it being left to run without any fuel in the system.

sideshow posted 02-01-2006 04:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for sideshow  Send Email to sideshow     
My 305 had 20 minutes on the SC5000 along with a maximum speed, etc., when it was new from the factory.
jimh posted 02-01-2006 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The running time information is stored in the engine itself, so those 20 minutes of running time might have occurred at the Mercury engine factory during testing, too. But I do imagine that Whaler must check routinely the engines and start them before shipping a boat.

As I mentioned above, I am curious if they actually put gasoline in the boat's tank. They may have a procedure for running them from another source of fuel so as to avoid filling the boat's tank with gasoline before shipping it.

handn posted 02-01-2006 09:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
If a Verado is run out of fuel, will it damage the fuel pump?
sosmerc posted 02-01-2006 11:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
That's an excellent question. Here's my thoughts. Fuel is both a lubricant and a coolant. If the fuel pumps were to stay running for too much time in a "dry" situation, it surely can't be good for them. But the Verado may be set up similar to other EFI Mercs in that the ECM will shut off the pumps if the engine isn't running after a period of 30 seconds or so.
We still have alot to learn about these Verados and I'm sure there will be more info to come on this "fuel pump" situation.
Chuck Tribolet posted 02-01-2006 08:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
It's going to depend on what kind of fuel pump. My old 240Z
had a diaphgram fuel pump, and I can see where running that without fuel would hurt anything.


bigjohn1 posted 02-02-2006 04:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1    
On the Yama-Merc's, the low pressure pump is a diaphram style and the high-side is electric. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the Verado is a similar configuration. Our local Evinrude dealer sells Evinrude, Suzuki, and Yamaha. His Head Mechanic is certified on all these makes and was advised from the Japanese Yamaha factory rep who recently visited here to not run these engines out of fuel since the high-side pump is actually cooled by the fuel. I'm not sure how this correlates to the Verado fuel system but it can't see how it would be much different. SOSMERC - what is the factory's position on this regarding Verado?
sosmerc posted 02-02-2006 09:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
The Verado has 2 electric mechanical/diaphragm pump.
I don't work for Mercury, so I really don't know what they are saying about running these pumps dry.
My personal feeling is that it is not a good idea to run ANY engine out of gas...especially at high speed as the engine will lean out just prior to dying...not a good thing.
bigjohn1 posted 02-03-2006 08:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1    
sos - Thanks for clarifying on the Verado fuel pump types. I never assumed you worked for Mercury but thought you might have come across a service bulletin or something at your dealership that could shed some light on this. I have always been taught not to run ANY efi engine (car, truck, or otherwise) completely out of fuel -- something about getting air in the lines or screwing up the electric pump. I can't for the life of me recall where I read this though.
knothead posted 02-03-2006 12:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for knothead  Send Email to knothead     

Kind of along the same line. My auto mechanic has told me for years not to let the gas tank in the car get too low in the summer. Seems that the in-tank fuel pump will overheat without some gas in the tank to cool it, especially in hot weather. So I try to keep at least a quarter of a tank of gas in the car during the summer. Learned my lesson on a 1976 Volvo.


Elk Camp posted 04-24-2006 08:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Elk Camp  Send Email to Elk Camp     
sounds like I have the same Verado fuel pump failure!

I have a 275 with 37 hours on it and it just quit on me this weekend. After some basic diagnostics (no codes) and a new fuel filter, still no go. I can prime the pump with the ignition key a couple times and she'll run for maybe 2 minutes, then stall.... She's starved

So, back to the dealer I go now....

sideshow posted 04-25-2006 01:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for sideshow  Send Email to sideshow     
Sounds like a fuel pump.
nooner posted 04-27-2006 07:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for nooner  Send Email to nooner     
was fishing the other day on my new 305 when a 2005 305 was in the area. After hailing him on the radio and asking him how he liked the boat he said he has been through 5 fuel pumps in just one year...
Elk Camp posted 04-30-2006 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Elk Camp  Send Email to Elk Camp     
my dealer is telling me that Mercury is telling him that although I have every indication of this recurring fuel pump failure (as well as another customer), Mercury is making the dealer go through a series of fuel system inspections including what he can get to on/in the boat itself. Dealer says Merc is not willing to just send out a new pump/module even though everything points to this as the problem. Maybe this isn't such a big deal, although it does delay my boat getting fixed and shows some reluctance on Mercury to stand behing their products..... I'm taking the boat in tomorrow, we'll see how long all this "red tape' takes....

Anybody have any news about a recall?

neil_t_us posted 04-30-2006 11:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for neil_t_us  Send Email to neil_t_us     
The Verando site is saying that the recall is out on the pumps...
Elk Camp posted 05-05-2006 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Elk Camp  Send Email to Elk Camp     
what site is saying the recall is out?

My service guy says mercury told him the recall is coming, but they do not have the new pump/module designed yet and he couldn't tell me how long that could be... So it sounds like the pumps they are replacing with are at risk to have the same failure....

he also said something about possibly removing/replacing the float switch in one of the pumps for now...? Anybody heard of this?

glen e posted 05-05-2006 05:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
the recall is not out yet but there will be one soon on a certain range of ser numbers for a float switch/pump problem - when I get the vin range I will publish it on my site.
jimh posted 05-06-2006 07:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here are two anecdotal reports on the fuel pump failure problem (mentioned above):

--"he said he has been through 5 fuel pumps in just one year"

--"Dealer says Merc is not willing to just send out a new pump/module"

There is quite a variance in how these owner's problems are being handled. One owner is on his fifth fuel pump, while another is having a fight to get his first one replaced.

jksmithdc posted 06-09-2008 10:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for jksmithdc  Send Email to jksmithdc     
I have a 2005 305 conquest, 311 hours, in the last month I had the same error with the fuel float switch on the port motor and then the starboard motor actually blew a power head. Can the fuel pump issue have caused the power head to crack, I was told it overheated but no audible alarms where ever generated. Any advise or comments?
Tates posted 06-14-2008 10:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tates  Send Email to Tates     
I have found that Mercury Smart craft gauges are not 100% reliable for displaying engine problems. I have found that often a error fault will not show up. Monitoring fuel use and rpms is a must for proper performance of any engine.

This happened several times with failed direct injectors on my 200 hp optimax,when no fault was noted ,but top end rpms where down 1000 rpms and fuel consumption was up.


seabob4 posted 06-14-2008 01:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for seabob4  Send Email to seabob4     
Do you guys remember that when hanging and rigging '05 Verados, the fuse for the fuel pump(s) came in the spares slot, and there was a little tag twist tied to the fuse holder cover to insert the fuse after Battery power and fuel were supplied to the motor? Seems that if battery power and ignition power were supplied with no fuel and the fuse in it's correct position, the pump would fry. '06 models and later, the issue had been "fixed". That little exercise Merc went through sort of tells me that the earlier Verados were quite prone to fuel pump issues.
jimh posted 06-14-2008 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Bob--Thank you for the information about a likely cause or contribution to failure of the electric fuel pump in a Verado L6 motor c.2005. I wonder if the failure was caused by the pump being run dry, that is, did the pump components fail? Or, was the failure related to the electric motor not getting any cooling (from the fuel itself that runs through and around it)?

It also sounds like the occurrence of this failure was likely related to how long a Verado L6 c.2005 motor was allowed to operate with the electrical system powered up but no fuel supplied. I suspect that a condition like that might have occurred during rigging and testing without fuel in the tank.

I also have to note that Mercury has promised to improve on the SmartCraft system initialization later this year by providing the ability to store and recall set ups. For boat builders this will allow complex multi-engine, multi-control station set ups to be initialized and calibrated much faster.

seabob4 posted 06-14-2008 07:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for seabob4  Send Email to seabob4     
As a matter of fact, there is supposed to be an ability later in '08 to actually do all the programming, calibrating, and initialization in a PRE-RIG mode. No engines, and can still get your Smartcraft/DTS system up and ready to accept the motors. To be honest with you? I'll believe it when I see it. There is going to have to be some sort of storage capacity in the system to be accessed by the motors to tell them where they live, as that is a vital issue when initalizing. How often have you seen the gauges throw up the fault, "Multiple starboard engines."? I know the factory default setting for all Verados is starboard, but you would think that if they built a counter-rotater, the factory default on that motor would be port.

There is a lot of work to be done on the Smartcraft/DTS system, especially in the communications area between aftermarket electronics manufacturers. Also the method of their data transmission throughout their whole network. As I have said before, when we get a triple Verado, dual station install, as one might see on a 345 Conquest, well, I know I'm going to be in for a couple of days of troubleshooting, with my trusty Merc field engineer by my side.

The fuel pump issue, I suppose if it was short lived as far as no fuel, it may have survived, albeit not as long as it should have.

I know that BW is a Brunswick owned company, as well as Mercury, and the majority of Whaler owners out there will have Merc's hanging off the back end. They do make tremendous motors, but their designs of their peripheral systems and support oft times leaves one with a bad taste in the mouth. I will tell you this: my boss, the engineering manager, has told me he would never own a triple engine, dual station DTS boat. And he's been in the business 35 years!

JMHO, from one who deals with them on a regular basis...

glen e posted 06-14-2008 09:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
Bob – it’s obvious you don’t like smartcraft from your posts here and Jim loves that too…. You guys have become bosom buddies over that fact. But sorry to say, Smartcraft is on the leading edge and every mfr will do the same thing in 2 -3 years….The zuke 300 is there, the yam 250, 300 and 350 has it, so it’ll be commonplace for everything above 100 hp soon, I’m sure. So what’s the deal? Posting your boss thinks it sucks is not cool as I know Merc watches this site…not a smart move, son….
seabob4 posted 06-14-2008 10:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for seabob4  Send Email to seabob4     
No, I believe you are not quite correct. I love a triple, or twin, or for that matter Single Verado. It's not the motors, it's the system. I know you know your Mercury stuff, but have you ever spent 3 days on a triple/dual station setup trying to figure out why "vessel configuration" won't take? Or you get half way through "handle adaptation", and you're errored out? So you start unplugging, and plugging back in. Doesn't solve it. Start taking voltage and resistance readings everywhere. Nothing. Pull the plug on the ECM and break it down to all of it's 32, or whatever pins. And one pin, which is supposed to have 30 ohms, has 45. Bad ECM. Now, we buy our DTS kits as as kits, so we don't have spare ECMs laying around. Take an ECM out of a DTS kit, and now you have an incomplete kit that you can't put back on the shelf in the stockroom. More too it than that.

We install plenty of 300 Suzukis, as well as lower HPs, with Suzukis Bus Network. Same as etec'c. NMEA 2000 versus Merc's NMEA 0183. Superior? I think not. I have John Litjens and Chad Jaros, two of Merc's field engineers on speed dial on my cel for this very reason, as well as Jim Maly at OEM customer service. So I think Mercury kind of already knows about it.

Glen, this isn't about you, it's about Mercury's system. Sound's like there's something personal here. Care to comment?

seabob4 posted 06-14-2008 10:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for seabob4  Send Email to seabob4     
BTW, JimH and I don't always see eye to eye, as he can probably attest to. I'm a little too political...
glen e posted 06-15-2008 04:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
Like I said,not a smart move to quote your boss....just speak for yourself...
jimh posted 06-15-2008 06:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Bob--I find it somewhat ironic that there would be some resistance toward installing a multi-engine, multi-station SmartCraft and DTS installation, inasmuch as from my perspective, the complexity of DTS and SmartCraft is often only justified if it is used in multi-engine and multi-station installation. If SmartCraft and DTS are not suited for that application, then from my perspective is brings into question the overall reliability of their design.

In general, when a design is scaled upward in size and application, one discovers how well designed and robust the original concept was. Mercury has eliminated an enormous amount of trouble and complexity by making their network proprietary and thus excluding everyone else from connecting to it--quite the opposite of NMEA-2000 where manufacturers have to have a sufficiently robust design that it can tolerate inter-operation with other vendors. By excluding everyone from their network, I would have thought that SmartCraft and DTS would be increasing their reliability. It is too bad to hear all of these first-hand accounts of problems.

seabob4 posted 06-15-2008 06:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for seabob4  Send Email to seabob4     
Glen, maybe your right in that respect. There was no offense intended in any of my posts as to the issues that Verado/Smartcraft/DTS owners run into. And why they chose to go their own route as opposed to the Industry norm nowadays, NMEA 2000, is beyond me. Mercury's choice, I guess.

Glen, let me ask you this. If all other engine manufacturers recommend the use of dielectric grease, why wouldn't Merc? If Suzuki and BRP can utilize a network where any NMEA 2000 device can plug into and function, why wouldn't Merc? It just doesn't make sense. And have you ever looked behind a Triple Verado, dual station upper and lower helm as opposed to the same Suzuki 300 setup? I'm an experienced marine electrician, and sometimes even I'm a little daunted! But I'll still wade through it all and do my troubleshooting.

I realize that this is beyond the average 18 Outrage, but the point has to be made, as well as taken. Is this the system you want to have on your boat? I haven't even broached on the subject of Verado Power Steering pumps, not to mention the new tilt helms which come in the "some assembly required" category! Not to mention, the new helms have what we THINK are 12.5 MM shaft threads, as opposed to the familiar 3/4" threads. Won't find out until I get a SS nut from GG Schmitt to see if it fits. It took 4 phone calls before someone in Wisconsin could tell me that. Find out tomorrow.

jimh posted 06-16-2008 07:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Jim--that's me speaking in the third person--loves technology but expects that it works reliably. When people report first-hand experiences with products, we give those accounts more weight than second-hand or third-hand accounts.

People whose experience includes a wide range of products often are able to gain perspective on what products work well and to make comparisons between products. If you only drink Coca-Cola you may not have any idea how good Dr. Pepper tastes.

jimh posted 06-16-2008 07:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Glen--You seem to be confusing SmartCraft and DTS. The two are not the same. The rest of the boating industry already has an open standard for vessel instrumentation, NMEA-2000, and just about all other engine manufacturers have produced engines which support NMEA-2000 instrumentation networks, so there really is no catching up for them to do.

With regard to digital throttle and shift, Mercury is somewhat alone in moving their engine controls to a real-time digital network. As I have often mentioned, I do not see any particularly significant advantage to implementing the engine controls using electric actuators. The only significant advantage in DTS is in adding some supervisory intelligence to the control operation in the digital realm by real-time processing of input commands. If the average boater needs digital supervision on his shifting, perhaps DTS will become more widespread.

The most often cited advantage of Mercury motors which have DTS is the smooth shifting and smooth throttle response. The smooth shifting comes mainly from the new gearcase design used, not from the digital nature of the controls. And the smooth throttle response also comes primarily from the engine, not from the digital nature of the control input. Many people confuse those elements.

Finally, as I have mentioned many times, DTS is terrific for multi-engine installation, and particularly for three and four engine set ups where the shadow control feature is very useful. And also DTS makes multi-station rigging simpler, as everything is electrical as opposed to mechanical.

But Glen and others should not confuse my feelings about DTS as being some sort of manifestation of a personal jihad against Mercury. It is nothing of the sort. I am a big fan of technology, but when I make toast in the morning I use a toaster, and there are no microprocessors or digital networks in it.

sosmerc posted 06-18-2008 11:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
Great discussion, everyone.
How many of us have experienced "problems" or "frustrations" with our computers? (pretty much all of us I would guess)
So now we have computer controlled outboards...what are we to expect? It's truly amazing how well our modern engines run due to all this "technology". BUT, when things start to go wrong.....what a problem it can be!! My guess is that many auto technicians were pulling their hair out when fuel injection first came on the scene in the early 70's. But look at our cars today...they run fantastic and are VERY dependable. Soon our outboards will be just as fantastic!! (we just aren't quite there yet)
glen e posted 06-19-2008 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
Jim - you ar guessing again - the reason DTS is so smooth is not due to their lower grearcases, it is due to the use of elelctrics and actuators instead of cables - period....go ask a few engineers at a boat show...
seabob4 posted 06-19-2008 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for seabob4  Send Email to seabob4     
You are correct about the use of shift and throttle actuators in regards to "smoothness". You can't beat the DTS system. Suzuki has it close, but that's because of the detents in their binnacle. Haven't tried BRPs, although will soon.

Sosmerc? You are also correct about your analogy to the early days of fuel injection. They obviously have worked the bugs out of that former "demon".

I think that, with the help of attentive, concerned consumers out there, these issues will be addressed and fixed, and then refined to the point where we almost never see issues. Unfortunately, not all consumers are like us...

Glen, sosmerc, JimH, you guys are a great bunch to bounce ideas and opinions around with. I think these discussions go a long way towards making a product better. As you said Glen, Mercury pays attention to this site. And I have spent the last 2 days with my good friend from Merc who has had to reprogram all our ECMs at our plant. Trust me, he will be making suggestions when he gets home tomorrow, I guaranty that!

Alright, back to the wars...

jimh posted 06-19-2008 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Glen--the gearcase on Mercury motors which have DTS (digital throttle and shift) is actuated by a mechanical linkage. As far as the gearcase knows, when it shifts there is a movement of the mechanical linkage. You will have to explain to me how the gearcase knows it is supposed to shift more smoothly when a solenoid moves that mechanical link, and how it is supposed to know to shift less smoothly when a human moves the mechanical link.

You will also have to explain why the solenoid is able to shift more smoothly when the voltage it gets comes from a digital network command instead of from a simple electrical switch.

Outboard motors have had electrical solenoids that operated the gearcase shift linkage as far back as the 1960's, I believe (when OMC had it). The way the gearcase shift lever gets moved is not particularly significant. It is what's in the gearcase that makes it smooth.

If Glen's theory were correct, the new DTS engines would use the exact same gearcase as the old Mercury motors that shifted (in the words of Claus Bruestle, Mercury's head of design on the Verado) "like a 1950's truck." I really don't think that all it took to get the KLUNK out of Mercury's gearcase was to add an electric solenoid to operate it. Mercury redesigned their gearcase, and the new ones shift more smoothly. It is wonderful that they also developed electrical control solenoids to move the shift levers, and even more wild and crazy that they developed a three-bus digital communications network to send data back and forth between the engine computer and and the remote control computer, but none of that takes the KLUNK out. The KLUNK is a noise that comes from mechanical clashing of gears. No electronics reach inside the gearcase. There is only a shift rod that reaches inside the gearcase. If there were sensors and transistors inside the gearcase, and the shifting were contained entirely inside the gearcase and operated by electronic controls, maybe you could make a claim that DTS took out the KLUNK. But it is not that way. Glen explained long ago that if your fancy DTS acts up, you can take the cowling off and move the linkage by hand. That is a mechanical shift.

bluewaterpirate posted 06-19-2008 11:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
[Long unattributed cut-and-paste from another author deleted. Please use proper quotation marks and give proper attribution to quote material written by someone else--jimh].

There you go.


glen e posted 06-19-2008 11:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
we are actaully on two different levels of discussion here - I was never talking about the smoothness of shifting in and out, re the "klunk". I was talking about the throttle and shift lever smoothness of moving in and out of gear. With two sets of opti's that used cable actuation and now two sets of the V's that use DTS, I would much rather drift troll live baits with DTS than cable when I have to bump in and out of gear 3 -4 times a minute to keep the baits active but dead slow...It's night and day difference with DTS.
jimh posted 06-20-2008 05:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Tom--thanks for confirmation of my representation of the Verado has having mechanically operated throttle and shift controls. The electrical actuators move mechanical shift levers and throttle plates. If you wrote that description yourself you did a good job.

Glen--There is no argument that the DTS electrical controls have low friction since they just move electrical potentiometers. That is not in debate.

jimh posted 06-20-2008 05:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Oops--I think Jim Baron wrote that:

Compare at:

glen e posted 06-20-2008 06:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
I'm not sure what the debate is - everything above 100 hp or so will be FBW as soon as it is financially feasible. This is due to the many advantages it offers for all involved, from the mfr to the owner. I often find the only people that don't see this fact are the ones that have never run it for 100 hours or so. It does not show all it's advantages with a blast up and down the beach at a boat show....
bluewaterpirate posted 06-20-2008 08:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
That is correct Jim B wrote that. He's got some great comparisons of other current "fly by systems." DTS is unique in as much as it uses additional technology not seen in the other models. Yamaha will release their version of DTS in the near future so I've been told.

I fish on a regular basis that's been using DTS connected to twin 250 V's (1750 hours). DTS has never failed to perform as advertized.

The really interesting thing is that you can go from full ahead to full astern without damaging the motors.

No telling what the future holds in regards to helm control modules.

RonB posted 07-19-2008 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     
2007 190 Outage - 135HP Verado...just had my fuel module replaced (less than 50 hours) after a similar experience, motor died on the water, I could start it and only apply minimum throttle, it would run extremely rough, then stall after a few minutes especially if I tried to bump the throttle up a little more. Did this a half dozen times to get back into my marina (along with droppping and pulling an anchor to keep from getting caught up in a swift current), luckily only about 1/4 mile out.

Motor ran like a top before the failure, and now after. I slip my boat with the motor tilted up. Dealer mentioned that before I start it, I should let it sit five minutes in the down position, as there is a float switch in the line that has been sticking? Does that make sense?

gorji posted 07-19-2008 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for gorji  Send Email to gorji     
[Changed TOPIC to a completely new area. Please start a new discussion for that topic--jimh]
glen e posted 07-20-2008 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
you should wait 5 min, not for the fuel float or anything. but for the oil to settle. Some fuel floats have been know to stick but it is a small amount of motors. Merc will replace the float no charge if it happens more than once, is my observation.
jimh posted 07-20-2008 10:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Glen--Thanks for the news that Mercury will replace the defective fuel float switch after it exhibits the defective condition more than once. I assume that the defective fuel float switch is probably covered under the warranty which provides a remedy for failures due to manufacturing defect.

Ronb--Sorry to hear that the fuel module failed on your new Verado after only 50-hours of running time. Do you happen to know what components of the fuel system are contained in the fuel module?

RonB posted 07-20-2008 11:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     

No further info on the work only that my dealer said that Mercury sent them the complete fuel module, which they replaced. Shortly thereafter I did receive a customer satisfaction survey from Mercury which I still have. I will use that survey to question Mercury in an attempt to learn a little more about what replacing the fuel module really means.

As mentioned before the engine has been perfect since the repair.


glen e posted 07-20-2008 11:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
it broke...pure and simple....and that survey just goes to a vendor who collates the data - if you want to "investigate", call merc with your ser # at 920-929-5000....
RonB posted 07-20-2008 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     
Glen, thanks for the phone number, I'll follow up directly with Mercury.
jimh posted 07-20-2008 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In another (about two-year) older discussion about fuel pump or fuel module failures on the Verado motor, it was mentioned that Mercury was about to begin a recall campaign to replace fuel pumps or fuel modules in the field on a particular range of engines.

Did this recall campaign take place? What were the particulars?

glen e posted 07-20-2008 12:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
yes [but did not give any particulars about the recall campaign].
Capt Cig posted 07-26-2008 12:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Capt Cig  Send Email to Capt Cig     
I happened upon this board using Google. I went out tonight and my Verado crapped out on me. It has probably been run 15-20 times total. Got it up, ran about half a mile then it went out. I was able to start it, it would idle rough, then die. Now it won't even start :sigh:

I'm a Yamaha man but decided to give this Verado a shot. Yamaha has never left me stranded offshore. Thanks to Verado, I was towed in by some very nice commercial fishermen. I'm not happy at all about this. Now I get to wait for a few weeks to get my boat back.

bkloss posted 07-26-2008 12:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for bkloss  Send Email to bkloss     
Thanks to "luck" I've been out 50 times more than you and never had to be towed in or had my motor run rough.....

Verado 200 gen 1


glen e posted 07-26-2008 04:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
go to THT and look at the 1st 3 pages - at least 4 yam fuel pump problems - it's a lot of the lousy fuel these days causing problems...if Jim will let me post those links to those threads I will...
bkloss posted 07-26-2008 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for bkloss  Send Email to bkloss     
I might add that I use quickleen in at least every other tank and have with all mercury motors I have owned. It does make a difference although it adds to the cost of the fuel BUT better than a tow job. Fuel filter changes also help as well.


RonB posted 08-02-2008 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     
Sorry to keep this thread going, but I'm dropping my 190 Outrage/135 Verado back off at the dealer tomorrow. Same fuel starved problem...2nd time this summer. Showed up last evening, spent today at the dock chasing a "fuel in water" alarm, before limping to the ramp to crank it onto the trailer.

I'm baffled, inclined to tell them to empty the current 39 gallons in it as well if that will help.

I have no doubt that my Briggs and Stratton lawnmower can make use of that gas.



jim1jim posted 09-21-2008 11:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for jim1jim  Send Email to jim1jim     
I have triple 2005-225 Verados with 150 total hours hours on each. I had the full tune up only 20 hours ago and I thought I would be set for a while.

Today the center motor seems to have a fuel issue in that it would only rev to about 2500 rpm and the fuel consumption said it was taking almost double the fuel flow as the other 2 motors when I set them all to 2000 rpm.

I took the boat out for a little while to see if it was a small problem that would fix itself but it didn't get any better so I went back to the marina.

So in the morning I will call the dealer who serviced the engines 2 months ago and have them look at it.

Engines are under warranty till 12/09.

The boat is 38 feet and to do the service I had to have the boat pulled out of the water.

Question. If it is a fuel pump issue, can they do it while the boat is in the water?

Any help would be great.

jollyrog305 posted 09-22-2008 09:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for jollyrog305    
Generally not - had to have my 305 pulled. The pump is located below the lower cowl. It took 10 minutes to put the new one on. I believe that Mercury will pay (allots $) to have the boat pulled if it is warranty work. In other words, I paid to have the boat pulled, and the dealer reimbursed me the $.
sblack posted 09-25-2008 07:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for sblack  Send Email to sblack     
I am a Yamaha guy also. But I bought a 27 Walk Around with new E Techs thinking they would be ok, but they had terrible fuel economy and I should have followed my gut instincts when buying the boat. I sold the boat and still have my 25 Revenge with a 225 Yamaha 4 stroke with 1,000 hours on it and have never had a problem. The mechanic I work with is very well trained with all brands of outboards but would always go with a Yamaha over all the others out there. I know I am not adding anything here, sorry, just plugging how well Yamahas are... If you ever repower, go with Yamaha.
Peter posted 09-26-2008 07:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Steve -- Your terrible fuel economy had nothing to do with the E-TECs and everything to do with the boat. You could have loaded the bracket down with extra weight of a pair of Yamaha F250s on that boat and you would still have NOT had good fuel economy. The 27 Walkaround is an under 1.5 MPG boat at cruise no matter what motor you put on it.
jimh posted 09-26-2008 08:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Our topic here is the Mercury VERADO and its problems with fuel pump failures. Please move discussions of other topics to new threads.

Recently there has been news from Mercury that they have re-designed the Fuel Supply Module (FSM) in order to allow it to tolerate fuel in which the gasoline has been diluted with ethanol. According to Mercury
(See entry dated September 18, 2008)

the calendar year 2007 is the epoch when this newer design Fuel Supply Module (FSM) was put into production in the Verado. Anyone with a 2007 or older motor ought to check with their dealer about the Fuel Supply Module (FSM) and its replacement.

What confuses me is that there are no model year designators on Mercury motors, so I am not sure how you identify what model year motor you have. (In what I find rather humorous, Mercury themselves now suggest you recognize your model year of production by correlation to changes in the cowling graphics. Wouldn't it just be simpler to put a model year on the motor?) In any case, I would check with a dealer to see if your motor has the older FSM and might need replacement.

glen e posted 09-26-2008 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
Oh jim... here we go again with your "no year" harangue. It says right in the article that it is gen II engines with the new chrome look that is recognizable from 100 yards away vs getting down on all fours and checking a year desigantion. Further, if you want to know exactly if your motor has the redesigned fuel pump because you are blind, and cannot tell what color your motor is, you can read the ser# to the CR staff at Merc and they wouldl be glad to tell you....
seabob4 posted 09-26-2008 06:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for seabob4  Send Email to seabob4     
So Glen, what do you think about the 350 Verados? I'd like to have a CE cert on them. 93 Octane? Oh, well, you've got the money...

When will Merc move to NMEA 2000?

glen e posted 09-26-2008 07:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
I've retired recently - no money here for new stuff like 350's (lol)- personally would not buy them due to the shortened warranty and 91 octane needed...and Merc has painted themeselves into a corner with smartcraft....they could not move to NMEA 2000 fast enuf for me....
jimh posted 09-26-2008 10:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Mercury is smart to keep their propulsion data off a NMEA-2000 network. NMEA-2000 was never designed for propulsion or other critical low-latency data. It needs it own network.

Glen--put that boat on a trailer and tow it up to the Great Lakes next summer.

seabob4 posted 09-26-2008 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for seabob4  Send Email to seabob4     
Do you know the Litjens brother, John and Jack?
doctweak posted 03-31-2009 08:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for doctweak  Send Email to doctweak     
[This author began a new thread to discuss the topic he appended to this one.--jimh]
tmill45 posted 06-23-2009 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for tmill45  Send Email to tmill45     
just reading your discussions on Merc verado I have a 150 verado that keeps giving me warning beeps when engaged into gear. had boat back to dealer 5 times first four times they didnt do anything. said it was fine last time they hooked up computer and it said mapp sensor failed 2247 times. Boat has all the power in the world, but backs off at 5200 rpms nomatter what prop pitch or size. seems like dts isnt allowing engine to perform at max. you guys on here seem to know your outboards and i thought maybe you could help obviously may dealer cant.
mcmahojo posted 06-30-2009 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for mcmahojo  Send Email to mcmahojo     
I would be surprised if this was not a failure of the float associated with the fuel pump. This is an often discussed issue (at least on forums), and many owners were disappointed that Merc never issued a recall.

When the motor is down, the float is actually submerged; if you boat in anything other than fresh water failure is certain.

I recommend you have both motors addressed to save a future trip.

AndyLoops posted 07-13-2009 10:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for AndyLoops  Send Email to AndyLoops     

I had exactly the same thing happen on my 2006 model 240 Outrage with twin 150HP Verados. Water in Fuel alarm kept sounding although there was actually only a very slight amount of water in the fuel filter. The motor goes into survival mode and allows you to limp home at a very low speed.... Not much fun in a sea if you are 30km from home.

The Verado cert mechanic I dealt with told me that the fuel filters are very sensitive and when tilting the motor the water runs over the sensor thus triggering the alarm. We installed two aftermarket (top of the line) fuel filters between fuel tank and motors. IS this a bad thing?!?! Having read this thread I am worried about pressure being placed on the fuel pumps. Although with >400hrs on the motors I have not experienced any issue with these pumps once.

Since the filters were installed in the fuel lines they capture any water before hitting the motors. I have not had a repeat of the water in fuel alarm since. FYI the filters are installed in the stern under bench seat and easy to visually inspect as well. Taking cowlings off on a regular basis is something I try and avoid.

Thanks for the titbit about the paddlespeed error and the workaround by having speed read from GPS directly. I will get this done on my rig. Drives me crazy.

Some other problems I have had in 2 years with the boat and alot of bluewater fishing in rough weather;
Alloy T-Top tore at the welds on front cross beam. Dealer welded a support beam at Whaler's cost and rig is strong as nails now. I suspect flex due to telescopic outriggers coupled with a couple of loose screws on base of the T-Top led to the tear. No-one knows for sure.

Pump outs in the kill tanks annoy the c$ap out of me as they never drain the tanks completely and leads to hand sponging out etc.. Also fresh water floods the tanks when it rains. I am going to chop and change these tanks as cant take it anymore.

In short love the boat, love the motors, and in my experience every boat has niggles that annoy you but once they are fixed you end up with something exceptional.

Love my Whaler.


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