Service & Maintenance | Yamaha Outboards


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From dealership and warranty information to picking a prop and finding a part number, we have answers to many of the questions you may have, right here. If you don’t find your Q & A here, contact the nearest Yamaha marine dealer or call Yamaha Customer Service at (866) 894-1626.

Use the dropdown menu to select your topic of interest. All related questions will be listed below. 

Service & Maintenance

Can I use a maintenance free or AGM/gel cell battery with my Yamaha outboard?

Absorbed glass mat (AGM) and gel cell batteries are approved for use with all Yamaha four-stroke and HPDI models. Please refer to your owners manual for appropriate MCA/CCA requirements for your engine. Maintenance free and AGM/gel cell batteries are not approved for use with carbureted and fuel injected two-stroke engines (OX66). Yamaha does not recommend mixing battery types (AGM, wet acid, gell cell) in a multi battery system.
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How can I get touch-up paint for my Yamaha Outboard?

Touching up any scratched or nicked paint is a good way to help keep your Yamaha looking newer longer while also helping to protect against corrosion. There are independent color matching companies, including but not limited to, the ColorRite™ Company for color-matched paint for products, including Yamaha products. While we do not endorse or have a relationship with ColorRite, you may consult their website at If you are not sure what color you need, go to our Parts Catalog. Look up your model, and then find the part you want to touch up. The last two characters of the part’s 12-digit part number are a color code. For example, the part number for the top cowling on an F90 might be 6D8-42610-00-4D. The last two characters are the paint color code: 4D. Now look up Yamaha outboard motor paint colors on the ColorRite website. You’ll find 004D. That’s the color needed for the F90 outboard’s cowling. If you have any questions, call ColorRite at 1-800-736-7980 or Yamaha Customer Relations at 1-866-894-1626.

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How do I stop the maintenance warning on my Command Link® Tachometer?

Put the tachometer into its custom mode as follows: Put the engine key switch in the off position. Turn the switch to key-on power (do not start the engine). Hold down the “Mode” button for 4 seconds. This will get you into the custom mode.

Continue for Square Gauges: There are 5 choices in this mode. Maintenance is the first one. Select it by pushing the “Set” button. The maintenance hours should now be blinking. Push and hold the “Set” and “Mode” buttons simultaneously until you see the hours reset to zero (1 to 2 seconds). You have now reset the maintenance counter. Pushing the “Set” button will get you back to the normal menu.

Continue for Round Gauges: There are 3 choices in this mode. Maintenance is the first one. The maintenance hours should now be blinking. Simultaneously push down the “Set” and “Mode” buttons until you see the reset to zero (1 to 2 seconds). You have now reset the maintenance counter. Pushing the “Set” button will take you back to the normal menu.

These steps can be found on page 12 of the operational manual for either gauge. If you are missing a copy, you can download one here.

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How do I winterize my Yamaha Outboard?

To store your outboard motor for the winter, or for any storage of 2 months or longer, follow the instructions in the “Maintenance” chapter of your owner’s manual to help prevent deterioration. There are approximately 3 or 4 pages that address this topic in your owner’s manual. Many owners prefer to have their Yamaha dealership perform these important steps. Winterization Checklist

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How do you check and fill engine oil with a four-stroke model? (Video)

Follow the steps below for filling and checking your oil level on all four-stroke models (excludes F2.5 and F4 models).

1. Fill the engine with 2/3 of the recommended oil capacity from your Owner’s Manual. The engine will retain oil and not be able to drain completely. Using 2/3 of oil capacity is to prevent over filling.

2. Add oil only at the specified location which is designated by a yellow filler cap.

3. Remove the dipstick and wipe with a dry rag, then reinsert the dipstick.

4. Remove the dipstick again and now verify the oil level. Do not exceed the half way point on the crosshatch marks.

5. If you are not within the crosshatch marks on the dipstick, add more oil. Be aware that the engine pan is tapered at the top. This means the oil pan gets skinnier at the top and fatter at the base. So as you get closer to the full point, the oil will rise faster on the dipstick. 

6. If it is above the halfway point on the crosshatched dipstick then some oil will need to be drained.

7. To verify that the oil level is correct, run the engine at idle until the operating temperature has been reached (approx 10 minutes). Then, shut off the engine and trim it half way into the tilt range. Allow the engine to sit in this position for five minutes before leveling the engine and rechecking the oil level.

8. Repeat steps 2-6 until you have the proper oil level.

Note: Always use a new washer-shaped metal gasket for your oil pan drain screw. The gasket is crushed when the drain screw is tightened and should not be reused.

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I don’t see water coming out of the overboard indicator when flushing. Is that a problem?

The overboard indicator is for visual verification of water pressure under normal operation. If you are using the convenient flushing attachment feature without running the engine, it is not a problem. However, if you are running the engine while flushing using a flushing attachment like muffs, stop the engine if you do not see water coming out – the engine is not getting adequate water pressure for proper cooling. Correct the problem before continuing to avoid the possibility of serious engine damage.

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I have two or three outboards on my boat, when the motors are idling at the dock, they have a different pattern of discharging water out of the exhaust/water reliefs and exhaust/water vents, is that okay?

Different water spray patterns and discharge/bubbling, is common on Yamaha outboards and no two engines will display the exact same water discharge patterns. As a customer this should not be a concern, unless the engine or engines are indicating overheat in the dash gauge(s), if equipped and the overheat horn/buzzer is sounding.

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May I do my own maintenance?

Many maintenance procedures can be done by a mechanically inclined owner with proper tools. Review your owner’s manual maintenance chart or online maintenance schedules for information on maintenance that you can do. Remember, however, that some procedures should be done by your authorized Yamaha dealership, such as checking valve clearance and inspecting a timing belt. Also remember that only your Yamaha dealer can perform service work covered under your Yamaha limited warranty.

If you do perform your own maintenance, please remember to help protect the environment by properly disposing used fluids and maintenance parts according to local regulations.

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May I run the engine while using the integral Freshwater Flush adapter on my engine?

No! The integral Freshwater Flush adapter has been designed for convenient flushing of critical components without running the engine. The Freshwater Flush adapter was not designed to provide adequate cooling water, so the engine can be damaged from overheating and/or the water pump damaged from lack of water pressure. See "May I start the engine out of water?" for more information.

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May I use Automotive Oils in my four-stroke Yamaha Outboard?

No. Automotive oils are not designed for the operating conditions four-stroke outboard motors face, particularly moisture, cooler operating temperatures, and extended full-throttle operation under load. Oils for your car do not contain, for example, sufficient quantities of the superior rust and corrosion-resistant additives found in quality FC-W oil. Oil with the FC-W rating from the NMMA® has been specifically formulated for the tough marine environment. Yamalube® 4-M FC-W meets or exceeds all FC-W requirements.

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May I use synthetic oil?

Yes, but make sure the oil you choose is FC-W® rated for marine use. Yamaha now offers Yamalube 4M FC-W® Full Synthetic SAE 5W-30 Marine Motor Oil. It’s a Group IV fully synthetic oil that offers our best outboard lubrication and performance, and it’s FC-W® rated by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA®). Yamalube 4M synthetic contains all of the benefits of mineral oil-based Yamalube 4M, with increased lubricity for lower friction levels and potentially improved fuel economy. Specific marine additives help combat rust, corrosion, varnish, and wear; all while providing high levels of bearing protection, resistance to foaming, and lubrication. (Recommended primarily for Yamaha V MAX SHO® outboards - also works well in other Yamaha four stroke outboards (such as the V6 Offshore and F70 models) as well as other brands of marine sterndrive and inboard engines. 5W-30 weight provides excellent lubrication in all climates.)

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May I use Yamalube® 2-W in my Yamaha Outboard?

No. Yamalube® 2-W is designed for the unique needs of personal watercraft engines, especially those equipped with catalytic converters. It is not suitable for outboard motor use.

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What if I cannot find Yamalube® 2-M TC-W3® when I need oil?

Yamaha recommends Yamalube®, of course, but if you simply cannot find it, choose another oil that specifically displays the TC-W3® rating logo. Be aware that, unlike Yamalube, some oils may just meet the minimum TC-W3® standards.

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What if I cannot find Yamalube® 4-M FC-W® when I need oil?

Yamaha recommends Yamalube®, of course, but if you simply cannot find it, choose oil that specifically displays the FC-W® rating logo. FC-W®is a rating published by the NMMA® (National Marine Manufacturers Association) that sets a minimum quality standard for today’s marine four-stroke engine. Using FC-W®-rated oil will help ensure that you are properly protecting your engine’s performance and longevity. Be sure to follow the viscosity recommendations published in your Owner’s Manual.

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What is my maintenance schedule for my Yamaha outboard?

Maintenance schedules for all models are available online from our Maintenance Matters section. Reading the Maintenance Matters pamphlet will give you insight on the use of proper oils, lubes and additives. Your maintenance schedule can also be found in your owner’s manual, though it may not be as up to date as the maintenance schedule on this website.

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What is the break-in service?

When an outboard engine is run under load for the first time, mating surfaces of moving parts will generate wear patterns. Due to these wear patterns there can be excess metallic debris in engine oil (four-stroke) and gear lube. Also vibration from running may loosen torque on bolts. So the break-in service is the changing of engine oil (four-strokes only), gear lube, verification of proper torque, a general visual inspection of the engine and testing of the engine to ensure it is still operating correctly. All new Yamaha Outboards should have this required service. The cost of this service is not covered under the Yamaha limited warranty.

(Please see your engines owners manual for recommended intial oil change service) -Four Stroke Engines only.

1st HourOperate the engine at varying speeds up to 2000 rpms or approximately 1/2 throttle.
2nd HourIncrease the engine speed until the boat is on plane (but avoid full throttle operaton) and then back off on the throttle while keeping the boat at a planing speed.
Next 8 HoursRun the engine at any speed however avoid operating at full throttle for more than 5 minutes at a time.
After the 1st 10 HoursOperate the engine normally.


1st 10 MinutesRun the engine at the lowest possible speed (idle). A fast in-gear idle is best.
Next 50 MinutesDo not exceed half throttle (approximately 3000 rpms). Vary engine speed occasionally. If you have an easy planing boat, accelerate at full throttle onto plane, then immediately reduce throttle to 3000 rpms or less.
Next 2 HoursAccelerate at full throttle onto plane, then reduce engine speed to 3/4 throttle (approximately 4000 rpms). Vary engine speed occasionally. Run at full throttle for 1 minute, then allow 10 minutes of operation at 3/4 throttle or less.
Next 7 HoursRun the engine at any speed however avoid operating at full throttle for more than 5 minutes at a time.
After the 1st 10 HoursOperate the engine normally.

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What octane fuel should I use in my Yamaha Outboard?

Most Yamaha outboards are made to run on 86-octane fuel (R+M/2 or “pump” octane). There are some exceptions which are designed to run on 89 octane. Those engines are the F250, F300, F350, and Four-Stroke Sport models.

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What oil should I use in my four-stroke Yamaha Outboard?

Yamaha recommends Yamalube® 4-M FC-W for all four-stroke models. Yamalube® 4-M is formulated to meet or exceed all Yamaha factory requirements plus the new FC-W rating from the NMMA® (National Marine Manufacturers Association, This standard specifies an oil formula designed for the unique needs of marine four-stroke engines, which operate in much different conditions than automobile engines. See the FAQ on “Automotive Oils” for more information.

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What oil should I use in my two-stroke Yamaha Outboard?

Yamaha recommends Yamalube® 2-M TC-W3® for all two-stroke models. Yamalube® 2-M is formulated to meet or exceed all Yamaha factory requirements plus the TC-W3® rating from the NMMA® (National Marine Manufacturers Association). This standard specifies an oil formula designed for the unique needs of marine two-stroke engines, with superior protection against rust and ring stick, corrosion, varnish, and wear.

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What pro-active steps can I take to help protect my engine for long life?

Doing your maintenance on time is a great way to promote performance and prolong engine life. Take a look at our maintenance schedules for more information. Installing a 10-micron fuel water separator filter in-line between your boat’s fuel tank and engine’s fuel system will help protect the engine from contaminants and water (150 to 350 HP part # MAR-SEPAR-AT-OR and 2.5 to 115 HP part # MAR-MINIF-LT-AS). Selecting the correct prop for your engine’s rpm range will promote engine longevity. See our performance bulletins for applications similar to yours. Yamaha recommends continuous use of fuel additives Ring Free PLUS and Fuel Stabilizer and Conditioner PLUS for fuel system and engine protection when using ethanol-blended (E10) fuel. Ethanol Tips

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What should I do if I have a performance-related problem?

Go to an authorized Yamaha dealership for any performance-related problems. Your dealer is best equipped to diagnose and resolve these issues. Plus, if your problem turns out to be warranty related, only an authorized Yamaha dealership is authorized to make covered repairs. See the FAQs for “Warranty” for more information.

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When should I follow storage procedures on my outboard?

If your engine(s) is not going to be used for two months or more than follow the storage procedures in the “Maintenance” chapter of your Owner’s Manual. Contact your local authorized Yamaha dealership for possible regional conditions that may require you to use storage procedures earlier than two months. At this time, Yamaha is recommending that you continuously use fuel stabilizer in your fuel due to the poor shelf life of today’s ethanol-blended fuels. Use of degraded fuel can cause fuel system and performance-related problems that are not covered by your limited warranty. See “Ethanol Topics” for more information on ethanol blended fuels. Winterization Checklist     Ethanol Tips

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When storing my boat in the water I am not able to tilt the engine’s lower unit fully out of the water. I am concerned about marine growth in or on the low water inlets of my dual water intake gearcase, what should I do?

The dual water intake gearcase can be identified if your lower unit has 2 sets of water inlets. This lower unit was introduced as a running change on Z250/300 and F250 engines. It is also standard on the F225L, F250B and the F300/350 from the start of their production. This new design was implemented for efficient cooling at all speeds and conditions, on all types of hulls. These inlets work in conjunction with each other to independently supply water to larger engines with larger volume cooling systems in all conditions. In some situations the lower intake may remain in the water even when the engine is fully tilted at rest. In these situations, aluminum compatible anti- fouling paint should be used on all submerged areas including removing and painting the intake screens and painting the lower unit surfaces behind them. We are not currently endorsing any brand over another and all paint should be applied per the manufacture’s specifications. When applying the paint do not cover the holes on the inlet screens as this can cause a reduction of cooling water flow. If you need assistance contact your local Yamaha dealer.

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Why should I have a primary fuel filter on my boat?

A primary fuel filter (one connected in the fuel line between your fuel tank and motor) will help protect the performance, reliability, and longevity of your engine. There are fuel filters on your engine, but stopping debris or water from entering your engine in the first place will always be the better option. Yamaha strongly recommends the use of a 10-micron fuel/ water separator, especially for all EFI or HPDI model engines. CAUTION: Debris and water in your engine are maintenance-related problems and are therefore not covered by your Yamaha limited warranty. Ethanol Tips

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Why should I use Ring Free PLUS in my Yamaha Outboard?

In any hard-working engine like the one in your outboard motor, carbon deposits can build up over time and seriously affect performance and engine life. While it is normal, it is also avoidable. Ring Free PLUS Fuel Additive has repeatedly proven its ability to clean combustion deposits from inside the engine, notably the critical piston-ring area. Carburetors and fuel injection systems also benefit from its strong cleansing abilities. Ring Free Plus will also add protection from the corrosive affects of sulfur compounds in ethanol-blended fuels (E10) on electronic parts and fitting in fuels systems. Follow package instructions carefully.

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