7 Mistakes That Destroy Your Boat Engine (Stunning Facts)

If you own a boat you need to take care of your boat and make sure it is properly maintained. This includes the engine. You need to take good care of the engine to ensure that the boat works properly. There are many mistakes that can be used to ruin the engine. There are plenty of mistakes that people make when it comes to your boat engine that can destroy it.

These are 7 mistakes that can destroy your boat engine:

  1. Ignoring The Noises
  2. Ignoring The Warning Lights
  3. Incorrect Coolant
  4. Ignoring The Bad Smell
  5. Using Cheap Oil
  6. Dirty Engine
  7. Not Reading The Instructions

They are more common than you think and you need to be aware of them to avoid making these mistakes.

When owning a boat you should be able to go out on the water and have fun. If you blow up the engine or if there are issues this can put your boat out of commission. You need to avoid these 7 mistakes that destroy your boat engine and take good care of your boat.

1. Ignoring The Noises

When your boat engine is making some strange noises you need to pay attention to this. The boat engine is telling you that something is wrong and you need to pay attention to it. if you heard a squealing sound this can mean that the belt is loose and needs attention.

The metal sound that a person hears or a tapping sound can mean that there are parts with problems. the valves, lifter, or even the rocker arm can be in trouble and will need attention. If you hear any type of noise you cannot just turn up the radio and ignore it.

You need to have things carefully examined. You may try to convince yourself that it is nothing but you will have trouble with your engine if you let things go unattended. If you hear any type of noise you need to investigate it right away. You cannot ignore the sound. Before you know it things will be too late and the only noise you will hear is your credit card being swiped to repair the engine.

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2. Ignore The Warning Lights – Destroys Your Boat Engine

When a warning light is lit up or blinking it is like that for a reason. Some lights and buzzers come on when there is a problem. They can indicate that the boat engine needs attention. If they are ignoring it can be mistakes that destroy your boat engine. There are some times when these indicators can be hard to see.

7 Mistakes That Destroy Your Boat Engine

The light from the sun can cause a glare or if the device has a low wattage it can be difficult to look at the indicators. You need to take the time to look at them. You should provide some type of shade or move them out of the direct sunlight. When you take the boat out you may not be able to hear the warning buzzers. When you have the engine going the noise can be compared to riding a subway in New York City. It can reach over 95 Db sounds.

Even if you tried chances are you would not be able to hear any warning sounds. To help with this problem you can get a Screamer 110 Db A sounds. This is inexpensive and will be able to help you hear any warning signs. It will be able to detect problems such as your engine overheating.

You may not be able to hear the noise when you are on the water but with this extender, you will be able to hear if something is wrong. You can also listen to any sounds when you have the boat engine in a lower gear.

3. Incorrect Coolant

One of the mistakes that destroy your boat engine – incorrect coolant. If you are putting straight antifreeze into the coolant system you are doing things incorrectly. You need to mix some of the antifreeze with water. You may be thinking that more antifreeze will be better but that is not the case. If you put nothing but antifreeze into the system this will lead the engine to run hot.

If the antifreeze is not diluted it will boil around 230 degrees which will make the engine hot. This will lead to additional heat in the engine. When the engine runs at a hotter temperature it is more likely to overheat leading to additional issues with the boat engine. In this case, less is not more.

You need to read the manufacture’s instructions to determine how much coolant is needed and the right combination of antifreeze to water. This will allow your boat to be able to the proper temperature and it will keep the engine from getting too hot. You will not have to worry about the engine burning up while you are out on the water.

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4. Take a Smell

There is a lot to smell out there and not all of it is pleasant. The sea or the lake that you are on may not have the best odors. There is another smell that you should be aware of. When you first get a boat or get your boat services you will notice the smell of a healthy engine. There is nothing too unpleasant about it. When there is a strange or foul odor there is a problem.

If you smell something that resembles burnt rubber this can indicate there is a problem with the water pump impeller. The water intake may have a clog in it. Not enough water may be reaching the belts or there could be another problem. If there is a smell of burnt oil this may run that the engine was pushed too hard. If the smell of oil is very this can mean there is an oil leak.

If there is a sweet smell the antifreeze may be leaking. A smell that is similar to burnt hair can mean there is an electrical problem. After running your boat engine it is important to take a smell of the engine to determine if there is a problem.

While you may not think that smelling the engine is a healthy thing you need to be aware of what a good engine smells like. You should take a whiff after using your boat engine to make sure you do not smell anything odd or any of the problems that were mentioned above.

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5. Using Cheap Oil

Some things are worth paying more for. One of those mistakes that destroy your boat engine, is the motor oil. If you purchase cheap oil you may think that you are saving money. To pass the industry boating standards oil needs to be tested one time. A batch is often not testing.

Better quality oils go through additional tests to make sure they are of high quality. When looking for oil for the engine do not go by the price. Research the different brands and make sure you are purchasing based on quality.

You do not have to purchase the most expensive oil on the market but you should get a brand that has been known for its quality oil. The boat engine will only use a small amount when out so it will not be a big expense.

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6. Not Flushing

Once you have taken the boat out for a tip you need to flush the engine. You may only do this at the end of the season but you should do it a lot more often. If you do not flush the engine it may be prone to buildup from debris.

You should clean the engine with fresh water. It should not take more than 10 minutes as long as you are using high pressure. Most boats will have a flushing port. If you have an older model you can get a flushing attachment for cheap. This can save you a lot of time and headache down the road.

7. Not Reading The Instructions

Every boat engine comes with a manual. It does not matter if this is your first boat if you had several boats over the years. Each model and make is a little different. Each boat will come with a manual. If you buy a new boat it should come with this paperwork.

If you are getting a used boat make sure you have the manual. You should read it over to see how your engine works and how to care for it. You should also review it from time to time to make sure you are caring for the engine properly. Most people ignore this or think they already know everything and can make mistakes that destroy your boat engine.

Things would be a lot easier and less expensive if you would read the manual. You would take better care of your engine and not have to pay for expensive repairs. Being a responsible boat owner means learning about your boat and how to care for the engine.


These are some ways that you can care for your engine. These are some common mistakes that are made by boat owners that lead to damage to their engines. These are 7 mistakes that destroy your boat engine. Avoiding these mistakes can help extend the life of your boat engine and allow you to have more fun while you are out on the water.


Hi, I’m John who owns multiple different boats and i love all kinds of water activities. From boating to fishing, from scuba diving to windsurfing, from water tubing to snow tubing.

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