Boat Maintenance, Oil, Lubes & Additives

The iBoats Experience

Boat classifieds, Boats for sale Boat classifieds, Boats for sale

Boats for Sale

Browse thousands of constantly-updated listings and search by location, brand, and boat type See more...
Boating forums and advice Boating forums and advice


Connect with our expansive community and tap into the knowledge base of the most dedicated boaters around. See more...
Products for fun on the water

Shop Products

Browse and search for hundreds of thousands of boat parts, accessories, and supplies to suit your every need.

Maintenance How-To's

Learn How to Change the Gear Lube in an Outboard

How to Change the Gear Oil in a Sterndrive Motor

Changing the inboard gear oil in a sterndrive boat is a task that is usually done by a boat mechanic. However, it is a simple task that can be done by the boat owner by following some simple steps. ... read more

Changing the gear oil is necessary because it helps remove undesirable elements that accumulates in the lubricant over the course of operating a boat. The lubricants naturally accumulate combustion by-products, moisture and many other contaminants that are very detrimental to the health of the stern drive,if not removed. In order to change the gear oil, you need a torque wrench, inboard gear oil, slotted screw and a lubricant pump.


A. Sterndrive engines that have a gear lube monitor

Step 1 Lower the stern drive of the boat into the down position and place a drain pan under the drive. Remove the lower drain plug using a slotted screw driver. You will notice that the oil will start draining slowly. Using a larger slotted screw driver remove the side vent plug from the drive shaft housing (This is usually located above the drain screw). This will allow the oil to drain faster. Allow it to drain for about 20 minutes or until empty.

Step 2 Using a lubricant pump, pump the gear oil through the drain hole until the oil level reaches the vent hole.

Step 3 Without taking the hose of the lubricant pump out of the drain/fill hole, recap the oil vent plug. This is done in order to minimize the chances of air bubbles being developed in the lubrication system. For engines that do not have an inboard gear oil monitor, use a torque wrench to tighten the vent plug. The vent plug should be tightened to manufacturer specs.

Step 4 Remove the lubricant pump hose from the drain/fill hole. Quickly set the sealing washer in the screw hole then screw the plug into the hole. This is done to keep air bubbles away from the system. Use a torque wrench to tighten the drain/fill plug to manufacturer specs.

B. Sterndrive engines that have an inboard gear oil level monitor

Remove the cap from the inboard gear oil monitor and fill the monitor until oil comes out of the vent hole. When this happens, it lets you know that the pipe between the sterndrive and the monitor reservoir is full. This is then followed by recapping the sealing washer and plug. Torque it to manufacturer specs.

read less
Learn How to Change the Oil in My Outboard

How To Change The Gear Oil In An Outboard Motor

Annual maintenance of an outboard motor is very important. One of the most important tasks of this maintenance is to drain and fill the lower unit with new gear oil.The lower unit is also known as the gear case. ... read more

Changing outboard gear oil removes all the traces of water, metal and debris which may have entered into the system. It also allows the oil to be analyzed and examined for potential problems. For example, a milky-looking oil is a sign of water contamination.

If you have been looking to use some of your do-it-yourself skills to change the outboard gear oil, then the following instructions should help you complete the task successfully.

What Do You Need To Start

First of all, you need the necessary tools and equipment at the time of changing the gear oil. If you are not aware of them, here is a list:

- Large screwdriver - Outboard motor lower unit oil - Drain pan

Instructions To Change Outboard Gear Oil

1. Begin by positioning the motor in the downward direction. Place the drain pan beneath it, located right under the lower unit.

2.Remove the lower drain screw of the unit. It is located at the bottom of the lower unit, at the base of your motor.

3. Carefully, remove the vent screw from the lower unit. It is located right next to the mid-point of motor’s lower unit. You can now watch the oil drain.

4. Once you are done with the draining process, it’s time to refill. In order to start refilling the gear case, you need to put the oil into the lower unit through lower drain hole. Keep doing this, until the oil starts to come out of the vent hole.

Note: You can also make use of specialized pumps. These are easily available for assisting you. However, if you don’t want to spend the money, you can always use a plastic squeeze bottle consisting of a tapered nozzle cap. Ketchup dispenser makes an excellent option for this task as well.

5. Once filled, put the screw back into the vent hole and start squeezing the bottle gently. This process will force the oil into the gearcase system. You might even need a helper to finish this task as refilling oil into the lower unit can pose various challenges that may not be easy for any single person to deal with. Also, if the lower unit holds more than one bottle of oil, your helper will refill the bottle, while you plug the hole.

6. As soon as you are done with the refilling procedure, quickly replace the lower unit’s drain screw. Do it as soon as you see that the lower unit is completely full and after the oil has started coming out of the vent hole. Tighten all the screws firmly.
read less
Learn How to Change the Motor Oil in an Inboard Motor

How to change the motor oil in an Inboard Motor

The one rule of advice every engine manufacturer says is that every engine needs an oil change at least once a year. Some of us don’t find the time to take the boat to the shop to change the oil, but as you will see, this is something that can be done at home, if you follow the rules and safety precautions. ... read more

Here's how to change your motor oil yourself:

Get a drain pan and use it as the object that holds the old inboard motor oil. You can also drain the old inboard motor oil into a garbage or plastic bag as long as it doesn't have any holes that would cause the old oil to leak. Also, the oil from the inboard motor will be slightly hot, so make sure the bags are thick and doubled. Remove the drain plug, then insert a hose that fits perfectly in the opening and use that to drain the old inboard motor oil. Some engines don’t come with a drain plug; in that case, use a pump to drain the inboard motor oil from the engine, through the dip stick.

The main thing to remember when changing inboard motor oil is that it should be warm when draining. Cold oil won’t flow as easy. So, keep the engine running for a while before changing the oil. Also, oil is stagnant when old, and all the chemicals and dirt you want removed will be settled at the bottom. Running the engine makes sure the oil is moving and the dirt is unsettled making the cleaning more efficient as all the dirt is removed along with the old inboard motor oil.

Remember to wrap a thick material or a towel around the container that is holding the used warm oil, so as not to be burned by the hot oil, resulting in serious scalding and injuries.

It is recommended to change the oil filter every time you change the oil. Whatever the type of filter, they typically can be screwed off. After replacing the new oil filter, make sure it is tight enough, as to not leak. Usually hand-tightening them is sufficient, but using a oil filter wrench will give it a little more tightness. The engine manuals will help you through the last stage of the oil changing process because they would have provided the API rating and the oil viscosity.

Unscrew the container of oil, hold it directly over the opening of the engine and pour it in using a hose or funnel to avoid splashing on yourself or on the engine exterior. This makes the job cleaner. Make sure you use plenty of oil absorbent materials or pads when changing inboard motor oils to keep the job clean and tighty.
read less