Rob Melotti gets one-to-one tuition on caring for a 4-stroke at the Honda Institute
Back to basics with technical trainer Rob Day from the Honda Institute
Wind, weather and the elements are the usual culprits when it comes to boat maintenance, however one of the most common causes of failure for the 4-stroke outboard engine is from the fuel that we pour into it.
Petrol now contains up to 10% ethanol, which goes off in a surprisingly short period of time, gumming up the intricate innards of the all-important carburettor. The smaller the volume of fuel, the quicker it will go off, according to technical trainer Rob Day, who works at the Honda Institute in Bracknell, Berkshire. On the Honda 6hp we used in this demo, the small puddle of fuel left in the carburettor when you stop the engine could go off in as little as three weeks. The 1.5lt in the fuel tank will keep for only a little longer. The simplest cure for carb problems is to let your engine run dry by cutting the fuel supply instead of stopping the motor using the killcord. Ethanol is also hygroscopic – it soaks up moisture leading to corrosion in your engine. The addition of fuel stabiliser will go some way towards helping this. The following steps will guarantee extended life for your engine when storage for more than a week or two is even a remote possibility.
ABOVE The pilot jet can suffer blockage from ethanol-based petrol in as little as three weeks. MAIN The latest model 6hp Honda 4-stroke