Last Updated on September 16, 2022
If you can’t get to your key, there are some quick solutions to restart the engine. The first thing to try is to connect the 3-wire switch to a battery terminal. Then, connect the starter motor wire to the positive terminal of the battery. You’ll also need to connect the neutral terminal to the positive side of the motor’s starting coil. The last wire of the 3-wire switch should clip onto a battery terminal. Now, push the push-starter button to start the engine.
Checking the battery
If you cannot start your boat motor without the key, the first thing you should do is check the battery voltage. The battery should have a voltage of about 12.6 volts. If you notice the battery voltage is low, it is time to replace the battery. The battery switch on your boat is also important to help the battery retain its charge. The switch should be on when you are using the boat.
A battery with low voltage may prevent the engine from starting. If you are unsure of whether the battery is low, check the cables to the engine. If the cables are damaged or loose, they could be causing the problem. Using a baking soda and vinegar mixture to clean the battery terminals may be able to solve the problem. This method is not the best solution, but it will save your boat from the disaster and keep you safe.
The voltage test is good for quick reference, but it does not give you accurate results. A battery that is damaged or has a short circuit may still output 12.6 volts for a short period of time. The battery must be tested by load. A load test will give you accurate answers and clear insights. Only then can you proceed with starting the motor. There are many ways to diagnose the battery.
Checking the fuel line
If you’re having trouble starting your boat motor without a key, you can avoid a dangerous situation and keep the engine running smoothly by checking the fuel line first. If you’re unable to turn on your boat motor for any reason, the fuel line can get clogged. If this happens, disconnect the fuel line and check the safety stop switch. Also, check the hose for obstructions, such as seaweed, grit, or mud.
A cracked fuel hose is a sign of deterioration. You should replace it as soon as possible. In most cases, cracked fuel hoses are indicative of deterioration caused by UV exposure. If you can’t locate any cracks in the fuel hose, you should replace it. However, if you can’t find a replacement hose, you can tap the crack to seal it.
Another way to check the fuel line is to remove the fuel hose and push it into the ignition. While you’re doing this, be careful not to spill any fuel. To avoid spills, use a bucket or cup to catch any spilled fuel. You’ll be thankful you did! There are numerous places where fuel can leak, so be sure to check the fuel line before starting your boat motor without a key.
If you don’t have a key or are missing a safety lanyard, the outboard motor may have gone into cut-out mode. Make sure the main fuse is still intact. It’s held in a big red holder on the engine wiring harness. The main fuse is typically 20-amp. If you can’t find it, you should consider replacing the spark plugs or coils.
Checking the ignition switch
If you’ve ever had trouble starting your boat’s motor, you may want to check the ignition switch. Many boat motors are hard-wired to the ignition switch, and a faulty switch can make it impossible to start accessories or the engine. A faulty switch can also make it hard to turn any positions on the ignition key, making it impossible to start the boat without a key. You can test the ignition switch by attaching a multimeter to the connectors that connect it to the boat’s electrical system. If the voltage reading falls below 9.5V, then the switch is faulty or disconnected. To replace a faulty ignition switch, you must install a compatible replacement switch.
If the problem is with the ignition switch, you’ll first have to make sure that the ignition system has received enough juice. You can check this by placing a voltmeter across the purple wire to the ignition coil. If the voltage reading is not too low, then the problem lies elsewhere. If the voltage reading is low, you’ll need to replace the ignition switch, but if it’s not, you’ll need to replace the entire engine.
Alternatively, you can ask a friend to crank the engine while you observe the voltage reading with the multimeter. If you see a voltage reading of about 12 volts, it means that the solenoid ignition unit is receiving the proper voltage. If the voltage is too high, then you may need to replace the ignition solenoid. You may also need to replace the starter relay.
Checking the solenoid
You should try checking the solenoid if you can’t start the boat motor without a key. If the solenoid isn’t making any sound when you start the boat, it’s probably doing its job. If it’s not making any sound, there may be something wrong with the solenoid unit. You’ll need a multimeter with the correct volts scale and a wire that’s thinner than the thick battery cable. Connect one of the probes to the ignition wire and the other probe to a grounded metal.
The first step is to check the harness. The large red connector is located in the cowl. Make sure you clean it thoroughly with electrical contact cleaner and grease. If it still doesn’t work, you can check the solenoid harness and replace the starter. Once you’ve checked the solenoid, you can now test the boat’s motor by holding the key in the START position and using the jumper cable to connect the red lead to the solenoid’s positive terminal.
The solenoid is located next to the starter on the engine block. It’s usually a red wire. Attach the voltmeter’s positive lead to the large battery connection on the solenoid. Then turn the ignition key to the ON position. If you hear a clicking sound when you turn the key, it’s most likely the solenoid is bad or has an internal short.
Checking the reed valves
Before attempting to start a boat motor without a key, check the reed valves. Reed valves control the amount of air and fuel that is allowed into the engine. They sit beneath the carburetor. If one of them is damaged, the air and fuel mixture will leak out of the engine and cause the engine to run lean. Replacing the damaged valves is a simple process.
First, remove the leaf valve plates and check for the reeds. The valves should seat easily with light pressure. If they do not, you may need to inspect the body of the boat motor to determine the problem. If the reed valves do not seat properly, replace them immediately. The Johnson service manual warns against using used reed valves.
It may not seem like it, but reed valves lose their elasticity over time. This happens because the petals are squeezed and opened thousands of times a minute. Over time, these reed valve petals may break or become damaged. If the valves are damaged, the engine will be difficult to start. If this happens, you will need to replace the reed valve petals.
To replace the old gasket, first remove the reed plates. Remove the old gasket by scraping off the old gasket with a putty knife. Use the putty knife to remove any leftover gasket material from the reed valve body. Make sure the gasket is tight, but not tight. Tighten the screws to a torque between 25 and 35 in. Ensure the leaf plates are centered and that the valves are free of debris.
Checking for a short in the solenoid
If you cannot start your boat motor, you might have a problem with the ignition switch. If this happens, you should look at the starter circuit and make sure the solenoid is working properly. If there is no sound, check the battery for low power. If it is, you should try to fix the ignition switch. You can check this by placing the positive lead of a voltmeter on the smaller wire terminal of the solenoid.
You may also want to check the starter solenoid by connecting a multimeter to the positive lead of the main wire of the engine. The reading should decrease to 12.6 volts if the solenoid is not receiving proper voltage. If it does not, then it is likely the solenoid itself is defective. To check the voltage of the solenoid, you must place a voltmeter on the positive lead. Make sure to secure the leads to the terminals firmly.
To check for a short in the solenoid, disconnect the battery terminal negative. The drive gear should reverse rapidly when the battery terminal negative is disconnected. If it does not, then it is a sign that the return spring on the starter solenoid is damaged. If the return spring is damaged, you can use a screwdriver to check the starter solenoid. If it is not, you may need to replace the solenoid.
About The Author
Wendy Lee is a pop culture ninja who knows all the latest trends and gossip. She's also an animal lover, and will be friends with any creature that crosses her path. Wendy is an expert writer and can tackle any subject with ease. But most of all, she loves to travel - and she's not afraid to evangelize about it to anyone who'll listen! Wendy enjoys all kinds of Asian food and cultures, and she considers herself a bit of a ninja when it comes to eating spicy foods.