Preseason Fuel System Maintenance

Photo Courtesy of SunCoast Marine Works

By: Tobin Strickland – CAM Special Correspondent

Deer season in soon to end, and many will choose to begin stalking trophy speckled trout instead of a set of horns. Many intentions that make great trophy deer hunters work when applied to hunting fish as well. One of those is making sure your equipment is in top working order. If you put away the boat in a hurry and didn’t head to the shop, it’s not too late to get it in before the long lead times build. Better to have it checked out and get the boat back from the shop now, as compared to finding something wrong just as the weather unexpectedly finds itself perfect on a weekend you could actually go.

On the list of items to check before operating your rig in late winter and early spring are fuel systems, filters, plugs and possibly even having your service mechanic do a full factory service and oil change if you’re close to the end of your service hours. Fuel stored in fuel lines that are not ethanol resistant should not be run through the outboard. The fuel stored for several months in such instances tends to break down the lines and dissolve compounds from the lines into the fuel causing havoc for filters, injectors, sensors and plugs.

If your outboard sat idle for a couple months over the winter, an easy, early season DIY you can perform is to take the cover off, disconnect the fuel line from the filter, and while using the hand pump bulb, push fresh fuel through the line until old discolored fuel exits the line. Then change the fuel filters and fuel water separator. This will ensure you have a clean flow of fresh fuel to your outboard and prepare you for the season ahead.

I’ve been servicing my Big Zuk at SunCoast Marine Works in LaMarque, Texas, because at the end of the day I can rest assured they will work on my rig like I would work on my rig. They work on all model and brands, as well as re-power with Suzuki outboards. They can replace fuel lines, and rig your entire boat.

I can’t tell you how nice it is to get your boat back and not have to re-work, re-wire or re-fix something. You can be confident on the water… and when the water temp is 48 degrees, that can mean a lot. That sort of pride and workmanship is hard to find, and I hope you can find a boat dealer or mechanic shop in your area that treats your rig like that, especially if you plan to get on the water early in the season in possibly cold temps.


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