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Winterize Tips

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Winterize your sterndrive or outboard motor- tips for the do-it-yourselfer

Why should I winterize my motor? The main reason for boat motor winterizing is to protect your block from cracking from freezing damage. While many boaters use their boats into fall to enjoy fishing, summer boaters know it’s time to get their boat ready for the cold before it’s too late. Whether you have your motor professionally winterized or you are a do-it-yourselfer, we can help with some winterizing boat motor tips.  Always refer to the service manual before performing any service on your motor, especially when you winterize boat engines.

Outboards and Inboards:

  • Remove water from the engine & exhaust manifolds. Water left in the engine cooling system can freeze and crack the engine block.
  • Remove water from your fresh water systems & live wells.
  • Add fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank using a high-quality fuel stabilizer. Without stabilizer, the fuel can degrade over the winter months.  Make sure the stabilizer you select is for your fuel type & motor type (2 stroke).
  • Winterize the cooling system using ethyl-glycol antifreeze (pink RV-type). If water is left behind, it will mix with the antifreeze, which will keep it from freezing.
  • Lower unit lubrication should be changed. This eliminates water or contaminants that could harm the unit over the long winter. While you are at it, check for leaks and the condition of your propeller.
  • Lock your outboard or outdrive if necessary.  Remove electronics and valuables.
  • Check your trailer: Inspect bearings for rust and pitting.  Replace them if necessary.  Bearing seals should be well greased.  Check the tires and trailer brakes.

One final tip for winterizing a boat motor — if you’re planning on winterizing your boat on your own, remember most insurance policies don’t cover damage caused by freezing, even if you did your best. Having a high-quality, qualified repair shop winterize your boat limits your responsibility if freezing damage occurs.  If you live in the Kansas City area, call us  at 913-342-0011 to have your boat professionally winterized by our trained marine mechanics. Not in the Kansas City, Missouri or Kansas area?  We can ship anywhere in the US.  We know what your boat needs and we have excellent prices.  Additionally, we have low shipping rates as we only charge you our cost to ship parts to you.  Call us or send us an email at