You probably don't spend a ton of time thinking about your boat's outboard motor while you are out on the open water. But outboard motors require regular maintenance and care just like the engine in your car. Failing to take care of it properly could shorten its life or, in a worst case scenario, lead to a break down while you are out on the water. Here are 3 maintenance tips you can follow to help ensure that your outboard motor keeps chugging along for many years to come.

Inspect the Cowl Frequently

The cowl is the first thing you see when you glance at your outboard motor. It likely has a flashy design or logo on it but it's there for much more than just show. The hood protects the components underneath from immersion in the water. Cowls use a rubberized gasket around the base and compression latches to keep the water out. You'll want to check these areas for any sign of leakage frequently, as water getting into the internal components can be bad news.

Flush the Salt and Dirt From the Engine

After each trip out on the water, it's a good idea to flush your engine with fresh water. Many engines will have special ports where you can attach a garden hose for this purpose. The idea is you don't want the residue from the salt water staying inside your motor, as this can lead to problems over time. Even if you are not boating on saltwater, it's still a good idea to flush the engine to make sure any dirt or other debris gets cleaned out.

Lube It Up

Periodically, you'll want to remove the cowl and wipe down all of the internal components. An anti-corrosive spray can add an extra layer of protection and for best results, also use a lubricant to ensure all of the internal parts continue to play nicely with each other. Put lubricant on the shift, the carburetor valves, the throttle cables and so on.

Your boat's outboard motor requires regular care just like the engine in your car. Flush the engine after every use and be sure to lubricate the internal components and check the cowl for leaks from time to time. Other tips include regular oil changes, using fresh fuel as much as possible and checking the fuel line for cracks, worn spots, rust and corrosion. Talk to a company like All Seasons Honda & Peninsula Ski-Doo for more information.