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Yamaha Outboard Electric Choke Not Working – 6 Common Issues

outboard yamaha electric choke

Yamaha outboard electric choke is a system used to control the air and fuel mixture in an outboard engine during startup. It is an automatic system that adjusts the amount of fuel and air that enters the engine to ensure a smooth and efficient start.

When the engine is cold, the electric choke automatically increases the amount of fuel and air that enters the engine to provide the proper mixture for starting. As the engine warms up, the electric choke gradually reduces the amount of fuel and air to maintain the optimal fuel mixture for efficient operation.

An electric choke is designed to work with the engine’s electronic control module (ECM) to ensure precise and accurate control of the air and fuel mixture. This helps to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and provide a smoother and more reliable start for the engine.

Suppose you’re going out sailing on a Sunday morning. But you find out that the outboard electric choke on your Yamaha boat isn’t working. Now, that’s a pretty annoying thing to face!

So, why is the Yamaha outboard electric choke not working?

Well, there are several reasons why this is happening. It can be either a cold start problem or an electrical circuit issue. Error in the fuel system or carburetor damage can cause these issues as well. Moreover, there can also be issues with the electric starter!

If you’re still confused, then we’ve got you covered with this article. So, if you have some spare time, then read along for all the details.

Why Your Outboard Electric Choke Is Not Working?

Yamaha Outboard 200 hp 4 stroke

It’s normal for electrical components to run into some problems after a certain period. However, knowing the reasons behind it makes it easier for you to react accordingly.

Also, you can pretty much repair it on your own. But if you need help, you can call a professional.

Now, let’s dive deeper to know 6 reasons why Yamaha outboard electric choke not working. Along with the problems, we’ll also discuss their solutions.

Reason 1: Cold Start Problem

An engine requires a specific amount of heat to function correctly. When the temperature is low, the motor gets cold. This causes the electric choke to be dysfunctional. This can also happen if the engine is unused for several days.

But once the engine is hot, it works just fine. There’s a function of the passageway inside the carburetor bowl. This feeds the accelerator pump as well. So, if this passageway is plugged in due to a lack of heat, the engine stops working.


For the engine to work, hold the key in for a few seconds and then try starting it. After that, you can start the idle outboard motor as usual. It should work now!

There’s another thing you can do. While starting, you may use the manual function lever. This helps when your auto choke isn’t working. And later on, get your choke checked for better operation.

Hope these fuel filters will help to solve your problem!

Reason 2: Electrical Circuit Problems

Some factors cause the circuit to malfunction. Things like damaged spark plugs can create electrical circuit problems. Also, dead batteries or loose electrical connections can prevent the circuit from working correctly.


Now to solve these issues you have to replace the spark plugs, and check the battery and terminals. After that check the ground connection for corrosion. If you see it’s corroded then you need to replace those as well!

Always use fresh fuel to avoid such situations. Also, check all the wires and connections regularly. Solder the wires if you see any loose connections. However, if the wires are badly damaged, you’re better off replacing them.

Reason 3: Fuel System Failure

Modern outboard engines have complex fuel systems. So any damage to the components related to that system can lead to engine failure. Damage to fuel pumps, fuel filters, etc., can lead to further problems.


Sometimes this damage is caused by water filling up the tank. So if you drain all the liquid, flush it, and then refill it the problem will be solved.

However, if the fuel system is broken or damaged you’ll have to replace it. Although replacing can be costly, changing it will save you from any further damage.

Keep your fuel system in check to avoid such problems in the future.

Reason 4: Carburetor Problem

Although new engines use fuel injection systems, old ones have carburetors. Carburetors prepare the combustible mix of air and fuel, which allows the engine to run. So, if it doesn’t work correctly, your engine might fail, and the electric choke won’t work.

Moreover, this problem can also be caused by the accumulation of dirt. So you need to clean and repair it to solve the problem.


Firstly you need to clean the carburetor regularly to avoid such problems. You may also need to change the carburetor if you see that even after cleaning it’s not working.

Well, replacing the carburetor may go hard on your pockets. So, while you have your carburetor working well, don’t forget to take care of them.

Reason 5: CDI Failure

CDI means capacitor discharge ignition. If this ignition system goes wrong, then there’s a chance of your Yamaha outboard not working.

Failure of CDI can cause misfires and rough running as well. This is also a common issue in other types of engines.


Well, to fix this problem, you’ll have to take the engine to the dealer for diagnosing correctly. This is because this is a fairly complicated issue that needs an expert’s assistance. After inspection, you’ll need to replace it or repair it as per inspection by the experts.

Reason 6: Electric Starter Issue

Wiring damage or a blown fuse can cause electric starter issues. Damaged batteries can be responsible as well. You can find out about this problem in visual inspections on your own.

Remove the electrical cover and fuse holder, and you’ll get to see what’s causing the issue.


To fix this, check the wire connections and lubricate the steering cables properly. Also, clean the battery terminals, and recharge them. After that, try to start the engine.

These are the solution you can implement to solve your problems. If this doesn’t work, take it to a professional for an inspection.


All the 2020 YAMAHA outboard engines for boats

How often should you change the oil in a 4-stroke Yamaha outboard?

Yamaha recommends changing the oil in a 4-stroke outboard engine every 100 hours of operation or once a year, whichever comes first. However, if the engine is used in harsh conditions, such as saltwater or dusty environments, it may be necessary to change the oil more frequently.

Are Yamaha jet boats noisy?

Yes, Yamaha jetboats can be quite noisy. While newer models have been designed to reduce the noise level, some models may still be louder than others, and some may require additional soundproofing to reduce noise levels. Additionally, the engine size and type can also play a role in the amount of noise generated by the boat.

Do outboard motors have mufflers?

Outboard motors typically do not have mufflers. This is because their exhaust design does not require them. However, idle relief mufflers can be installed on some outboard motors to reduce the noise levels generated by the motor. Additionally, some jurisdictions may require boat motors to have mufflers to comply with regulations.

What triggers an electric choke?

An electric choke is triggered when the engine is cold, usually when it first starts. The electric choke uses a heating element, usually a bi-metallic coil, to warm up the choke plate and open it up so that more air can be drawn into the engine. This helps to provide the richer fuel-air mixture needed for cold engine starting. Once the engine warms up, the bi-metallic coil cools and the choke plate closes, allowing the engine to run on a leaner fuel-air mixture.

Can an electric choke be adjusted?

Yes, an electric choke can be adjusted on a boat. The choke operation (opening and closing) can be adjusted by rotating the choke cap. There is a center pointer and index marks on the choke cap that will indicate the choke plate opening.

To adjust the choke, start the engine and let it warm up until it is running smoothly.

Then adjust the choke cap so that the engine runs smoothly when the choke is off. If the engine runs rough with the choke off, the choke needs to be opened more. If the engine stalls or runs too fast with the choke off, the choke needs to be closed more.

Final Thoughts

The electric choke on your Yamaha outboard motor plays an important role in starting the engine. When it fails to work, it can cause a lot of frustration and inconvenience. By understanding the common issues that can cause the electric choke to fail, you can troubleshoot the problem and get your outboard motor back up and running in no time.

That’s all about the Yamaha outboard electric choke not working. We hope our solutions helped you solve your issues.

Have a good time sailing on holiday!

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