How to Start a Mercury Outboard Motor

by Steve Smith

Mercury outboards are one of the most popular outboards on the water. They are dependable, powerful and relatively quiet. They make high-quality, high-performance one and two-stroke engines. However, they don't always fire right up when you try to start them. There's a few things you need to know before they'll turn over.

Step 1

Ensure there is plenty of gas in the boat fuel tanks.

Step 2

Check your oil level and battery levels by looking at the console gauges. If either one is low, replace as needed.

Step 3

Squeeze the primer bulbs on the hose that leads up to the outboard engines. Give them about five solid pumps. This sends fuel into the engine so it will take a spark.

Step 4

Put the boat into neutral and insert your key into the ignition. Then push forward on the key several times.

Step 5

Turn the key until the outboard turns over. You might notice that it chokes or is slow in starting. If it has trouble like this, move to step five.

Step 6

Add ethanol treatment for outboard engines. This helps the engine deal with gasoline that has high ethanol content (up to 10 percent). Ethanol is an alcohol and a solvent that doesn't react well with outboard engines due to the fact that there is more moisture allowed into an outboard. It can also create sludge and deposits in outboards.

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