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Marine Engines and Sterndrives

Troubleshooting: Starting Problems

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Getting Started with Two Quick TestsEdit

Drop by your local auto store and pick up some starter fluid and a spark tester. Try the starter fluid first, and if she catches (even for a short while), then your problem is fuel supply. If she doesn't it's probably no spark...try the spark tester and see if you have spark.

Follow up TroubleshootingEdit

Eliminating Dash Wiring/Tach as a source of the problemEdit

A word of caution. Damage, injury or death can result if extreme caution is not taken. Always stay clear of any potentially moving parts. Gas fumes can ignite and cause a fire and/or explosion so make sure you have no gasoline fumes in the boat. Exhaust can kill you. Make sure you have adequate ventilation. Safety comes first.

Here is another trick we use to rule out the possibility of a bad dash harness or tach or lanyard... we simply unplug the main harness from the engine. Then we hook up a jumper lead from the battery positive to the positive pole on the coil (purple wires). This gives you a sure positive source to the ignition.

This next step will cause the engine to crank and possibly start so stay clear of the belts and pulleys. The coil jumper lead will have to be removed to turn off the engine if it starts. Make sure you have water hooked up to a flushett to the drive in case it starts. We use a jumper wire to jump a positive to the starter solenoid terminal (small yellow with red stripe) to get the engine cranking.

Hopefully one of these items will reveal the problem. It's almost never the ignition module itself.

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