Mas­ter this task and do it at least once a year.

Boating - - FRONT PAGE -

Ev­ery 100 hours, or at least once per year, you need to drain and re­fill the gear-case lu­bri­cant, aka lower unit. Be­tween changes you can quickly pull and eye­ball the mag­ne­tized drain plug, look­ing for wa­ter and sub­stan­tial metal shav­ings. If you dis­cover ei­ther of these, you should re­place the lube — then see a dealer for ser­vice. —John Tiger

THE RIGHT STUFF Check with your en­gine man­ual for the cor­rect type and quan­tity of lu­bri­cant for your en­gine. There are dif­fer­ent specs and weights for gear-case lu­bri­cants.

GO WITH FLOW Run the en­gine for a few min­utes on a flusher to warm up the lube, par­tic­u­larly if it is cold

out­side. A heat gun, hair dryer or halo­gen work lamp ap­plied ju­di­ciously will also warm up the lube quickly so it will flow well.

NEAT AND TIDY Make sure the drain pan is po­si­tioned un­der the lower drain screw so lu­bri­cant won’t splash out onto the ground. A makeshift

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