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Outboard Motor Loses Power under Load: Solved Here

Outboard Motor Loses Power under Load

The boat turning off suddenly is something we all hate. And this mainly happens when the outboard motor is losing its power. You may just be perplexed about the situation to decide on what to do.

Well, you need to know the issues if you want to get them solved. So, why the outboard motor loses power under load?

The first reason your outboard motor might lose power is because of the fuel consumption. That means the motor might be running out of fuel. Besides, there might also be disruptions in the water intake hole for this. And do not forget that this might also lead to internal issues too which loss of power.

These are the reasons behind the problem. But you need to read along if you want to resolve these issues.

So, get started now!

Why Does My Outboard Motor Lose Power Under Load?

If you see your outboard motor losing power, you would just be annoyed. This feels really bad when you experience this.

Because your boat may not be able to go along with this. So, it just creates disruptions and all. Now, why does the outboard motor lose power?

Well, it happens due to overload. And yes, there are more of it that you may not know. So, take a look here to know about the reasons. You get here the solutions as well.

Reason 1: Increase in Fuel Consumption

The first reason for this might be fuel consumption. That is your boat might start consuming fuel more when the load increases.

As a result of this, your outboard motor would just lose power in any way. For an increase in fuel consumption, the motor stops working after a while.

And if it consumes to an extent, it would automatically turn off the boat engine. Because that is when you need to refuel your boat.

You may get symptoms of this if you face this issue. And the major symptom of this is stalling due to lack of fuel like a bad outboard.

Because the engine can not get lubricated when there is a lack of fuel. And the boat starts to stutter when you are getting along with it.


Resolving this is not that hard at all. All you need to do is get your boat fueled once again. So, the first thing you do is turn off the boat engine.

After that, you need to see if the fuel has decreased to an extent. If you think, the fuel is still sufficient, you do not have to refill it.

But if the fuel decreases, just refill it again. Remember that holding an overload outboard motor does not justify this in any way.

That means overloading the outboard motor is not something good. Yes, you may take a load at times. But you need to make sure it does not exceed a limit or an extent.

So, if you are not sure about the quality of your fuel, reconsider the fact. Move on to a fuel type that has a better quality.

Reason 2: Disruptions in The Water Intake Hole

Disruptions in The Water Intake Hole

When your boat overload, the water intake hole of your outboard motor may have issues. That means the water intake hole of your motor would not function properly.

This happens because due to the pressure, there is an increase in pressure on the hole. Thus, the hole can not take in and out the water with its regular flow.

You know the lower part of the motor also fails to work properly due to this. Due to this, the water-dirt may get clogged in the water intake drain.

In addition, the dirt particles and oil leftover itself may clog it down. And that is when the outboard motor loses its power eventually.

So, what to do if the water intake is clogged? Well, you just need to clean it off thoroughly. And cleaning this is not hard at all.

You can do it in just a few minutes. Move on to the next part to know about it in detail.


To fix this issue, you basically need to clean the water intake of the motor. So, to do this, you first need to locate the water intake of the outboard motor.

And then you start cleaning the water intake. To do it, take a hose and connect it to the water intake hole.

And then you turn on the water faucet to start watering the hole. Keep on the water running for about 2 to 3 minutes. So that the water intake holes are not clogged anymore.

But make sure you definitely use fresh water for this. Some people may consider ponds or seawater for this. But try to use a clean tank or faucet water for this.

After you clean the water intake holes, you also need to clean the lower part. Pick the motor up and then clean it properly.

Once you do it, disconnect the hose and let it dry for a while. And then you can turn on your boat again.

Reason 3: Miscellaneous Internal Issues

Miscellaneous Internal Issues

Finally, you may also experience this having miscellaneous internal issues. Yes, you read that right. Basically, due to overloads, there might be internal issues of the boat.

Like, the engine might be affected by this. As a result of this, the outboard motor would not go along. The motor would eventually shut down due to this.

Other than that, there might be issues with spark plugs too. So, you may not understand exactly the main issue behind it.

But you would definitely get symptoms of internal issues. For this, there would be issues like your boat engine stalling, or sudden bumps.


If you want to fix this, you may not do much. Because you can not do much about fixing the internal stuff. As a result, you may need to contact an expert for this.

So, reach out to an expert for this. And get it fixed accordingly.

These are the reasons behind the issue of your outboard motor losing power. And the solutions are enough for you to fix these. Good luck!

Reason 4: Bad Fuel

Bad fuel can lead to various engine problems, such as clogged fuel lines, carburetors, and fuel filters. When the fuel system is obstructed, the engine may not receive enough fuel, which can cause it to stall or run poorly. In addition, old or low-quality fuel can contain contaminants that can damage the engine components and reduce its overall performance.


To prevent fuel-related issues, it’s important to use high-quality fuel that meets the manufacturer’s specifications. The type of fuel recommended for your outboard motor depends on its make and model, but most models use gasoline with a specific octane rating. It’s essential to avoid using fuel that is too old or has been stored improperly, as it can contain water, sediment, or other impurities that can cause engine problems.

One way to ensure that the fuel remains fresh is to use fuel stabilizers. These products are added to the fuel tank to help prevent the buildup of deposits that can clog the fuel system and affect engine performance. Fuel stabilizers can also help protect the engine from the harmful effects of ethanol, which is commonly found in gasoline.


damaged outboard motor faqs

Can my outboard motor get damaged by overload?

Yes, your outboard motor can get damaged if it is overloaded. It is not that it would get damaged just when you overload it.

But your outboard motor starts deteriorating its conditions gradually with time. So, you must make sure that it is not overloaded.

Do I need to replace the outboard motor after a certain time?

No, there’s nothing like that you need to replace the outboard motor after a time.

Because it basically depends on the quality of the outboard motor.

If you see that the motor does not work properly, you need to replace then. Or else, you do not have to think about it.

How much does it need to replace an outboard motor?

You need to spend a good amount of money on this. In case you want to get your outboard motor replaced, see an expert first.

An average cost to get this replaced may range from $1000 to $1500. And it can even go higher.

So, you better take help from an expert on this.

How can I prevent overloading my outboard motor?

To prevent overloading your outboard motor, it’s important to understand the weight and horsepower capacity of your boat.

The manufacturer’s specifications will provide this information, so make sure to check them before loading up your boat.

It’s also a good idea to distribute the weight evenly throughout the boat to prevent it from listing to one side, which can put extra strain on the motor.

If you’re unsure about how much weight your boat can handle, it’s best to err on the side of caution and take fewer passengers or cargo.

Can using the wrong type of fuel damage my outboard motor?

Yes, using the wrong type of fuel can damage your outboard motor. Each outboard motor is designed to run on a specific type of fuel, usually gasoline with a specific octane rating.

Using fuel that has a lower octane rating can cause the engine to knock, which can lead to internal damage.

In addition, using fuel that contains ethanol, which is common in some types of gasoline, can also cause problems. Ethanol can attract water, which can lead to corrosion and engine damage.

How often should I service my outboard motor?

The frequency of outboard motor service depends on how often you use your boat and the conditions in which you use it.

As a general rule, you should have your outboard motor serviced at least once a year, even if you don’t use your boat very often.

This will help ensure that the motor is in good condition and that any potential problems are caught early.

If you use your boat frequently or in harsh conditions, such as saltwater, you may need to have it serviced more often.

What should I do if my outboard motor is running poorly?

outboard motor is running poorly

If your outboard motor is running poorly, there are several things you can check before taking it to a mechanic.

First, make sure that the fuel tank is filled with clean, fresh fuel. Check the fuel lines, carburetor, and fuel filter for any blockages or damage.

If you’re unsure about how to do this, consult the owner’s manual or take it to a mechanic.

You should also check the spark plugs and battery to ensure that they’re in good condition.

If you’ve checked all of these things and your motor is still running poorly, it’s best to take it to a mechanic for a professional diagnosis.

The Final Words

Now you know why the outboard motor loses power under load! We hope you would have no issues revolving around this now.

But remember one thing. It is always good to look at the pressure it handles. Try not to overload the carrier. Because this could affect the outboard motor and eventually the boat. So, be careful about it.

Stay safe and good luck!

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