Troubleshooting Outboard Motor Ignition Problem


Sometimes your computer may display an error message stating that the outboard ignition has been repaired. There can be many reasons for this problem.

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  • Most of the questions I’ve asked over the phone are about diagnosing ignition obstructions on outboard motors. While I’m always happy to let them try and help with a diagnosis,doing this over the phone can be very difficult. In addition to having the right tools to aid in diagnosis, a basic understanding of how a two-stroke engine’s ignition mechanism works is fundamental. The following is often a list of what an ignition system consists of, from start to finish.

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  • The program starts with your boat’s battery. Outboard motors require cold and high starting currents compared to many other motors and therefore require a dedicated marine with the correct starting capabilities for your outboard. Without the correct voltage, an inexperienced outboard motor may not turn the flywheel fast enough to successfully activate your ignition system.

    2. Ignition lock

    Why is my outboard not getting spark?

    Engines with no spark or intermittent sparks on the bank can be caused by a bad stator. The target (or timer base) is built into the stator inside the flywheel.

    To start the engine and you’re done, you need a switch. Every electric start outboard motor has a key switch that opens and closes the starter solenoid. Likewise, if the CDI unit block (power supply and/or possibly junction box) is shorted ground, it will stop the engine. A faulty key switch can cause all sorts of problems with your ignition system and is often overlooked in comparison.

    3. Starter Solenoid

    outboard motor ignition troubleshooting

    It’s practically an entrance. The ignition switch sends a message to the solenoid when you turn the key off so you can open it. This allows voltage from the life of your battery to be transferred to the starter. If you turn the key all the way and the starter definitely won’t start, you probably have a faulty almost any solenoid.

    4. Steering wheel

    How do you know if your ignition switch is bad on a boat?

    You can easily test a boat start scenario by sending accurate power from the battery through the solenoid directly to the starter. When the boat engine starts, the starter motor runs fine, but the solenoid is definitely the real culprit; If the boat’s engine does not start, the starter is considered defective.

    When your starter motor is turning, it is your flywheel that generates the voltage to power your ignition system and battery retention system. Inside the flywheel there are often magnets that rotate around the stator with a high or fast alternating voltage. The flywheel also rotates around the trigger (or cook timer base) to determine the stop sequence or timing of your engine. Broken or stressed flywheel magnets will cause ignition problems and are worth checking.

    five.Get up

    Your stator produces two currents for a reason. To send the voltage present in your CDI box (current draw or junction box) at your run and send the voltage to a separate rectifier/regulator that charges it. Motors with no spark or with uneven spark in a row can be caused by a bad stator.

    6. In trigger

    There is a trigger (or timer base) built into the stator under all flywheels. The alternator, probably the most underrated component of the ignition system, sends a signal to the CDI unit (power supply or control unit) and simply tells it when to energize the coil. Incorrect initialization results in no or sporadic ignition sparks and is often misdiagnosed as a bad power connection. Also, a faulty trigger shorted to ground will damage the power supply if you carefully unroll the fledgling power supply.

    7. Block CDI

    Depending on your current brands of outboards, they will have different names, but they all generally do the same thing same function and therefore store voltage directly from the stator and release it when you turn it on when your ignition coil responds. Often a failed CDI unit will intermittently see no spark in the cylinders and will probably fail only when the engine is warm.

    8. Ignition coil

    When the coil receives voltage from the actual CDI unit, it increases the voltage and eventually projects it through the spark plug. Defective or broken coils have poor or permanent performance. We often encounter coil related problems when customers choose a spark plug that is not even recommended by the manufacturer.

    9. Candle

    How do you test a boat ignition?

    Turn these knobs on your multimeter to constant voltage.With the multimeter still in DC mode, place the orange test lead on the positive contact of the motor starter and the black test lead on the motor ground.Immediately turn the ignition to the “Start” position and read the voltage.

    This is the final component of your ideal ignition system. The spark plug receives voltage from your ignition coil and creates a small electrical spark in your engine’s combustion chamber which ignites the fuel in your new engine and creates a huge amount of thrust which causes the piston to rotate the crankshaft and flywheel, the ignition process that happens again was mentioned earlier andagain. Spark plugs in two-stroke engines can become contaminated with oil and carbon, resulting in an unfavorable spark. These are the easiest to check first.

    10. Rectifier/Regulator

    Somewhere in the middle, your rectifier/regulator motors will probably fit. It is safe to operate and its job is to replace the car battery voltage you lost when starting the engine with tilt and thin electric sounders, lights or a range of accessories on your boat. It converts AC voltage to DC and regulates the voltage that is then applied to the battery. In many cases, your rectifier/regulator also sends a signal to the RPM sensor (tachometer) which tells you the RPM of the engine. Sometimes the first sign of a bad rectifier/regulator is that your RPM rating stops working and this is all too common with older Evinrude/Johnson outboards.

    outboard motor ignition troubleshooting

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