by Conrad & Judy Kreuter
Q: Dear Boat Talk: I have a small outboard motor I only occasionally during the winter on my duck boat. Recently the carburetor needed cleaning Is there any thing I could do to avoid having the carburetor cleaned every year? CM , Holtsville NY.
A: Dear CM: The first question you should ask yourself is how long you allow the gasoline to stay in the carburetor. Gasoline left in the carburetor will turn to varnish and clog the small internal passages.
If the gasoline sits for longer than one week you might want to drain the carburetor or run the engine until the carburetor is empty of fuel. Disconnecting the fuel supply to the motor assuming you have a motor that is not oil injected can do this. Some small outboards do have oil injection systems. If your motor is oil injected, your only alternative is to stop the motor normally, which will allow fuel to remain in the carburetor.
At the end of your season the motor should be fogged prior to storage. Fogging the engine is simply adding an excess amount of fogging oil that will coat the internal parts protecting against rust and corrosion.
As a precaution during the season, you should treat the fuel tank with a good gasoline stabilizer to minimize the deterioration of the fuel. Whatever fuel is left at the end of duck season should be disposed of in the proper manner. Next season you should fill the gas tank with fresh fuel and oil and don’t forget the stabilizer!