The Importance of Anodes

778 Words4 Pages
It’s What’s on the Inside That Counts Normal maintenance is the key to the longevity of an outboard boat motor. Outboards live in a very harsh environment and with many models costing north of ten thousand dollars, it is important to protect your investment. Anodes Then and Now Today, four stroke motors make up a large segment of the outboard market. Most people are aware that an annual routine maintenance schedule includes replacing the engine oil, filter and spark plugs. There are also several lesser known items that should be replaced once a year or every hundred hours of run time. One of the often overlooked items on this list is the internal sacrificial anodes. Internal anodes are not new; many motors have had smaller versions in place for a number of years. The difference is that in older engines they were not easily changed and in many cases major motor parts such as cylinder heads had to be removed to reach them. Flash forward to today’s motors and the anodes are not only much larger, but most of them can be easily accessed simply by removing one or two small bolts. Preventing Corrosion Today’s outboard motors consist of more moving parts, multiple types of metals, and many more electronic components. This combination can increase the possibility of corrosion and electrolysis, especially in a saltwater environment. To keep your motor cool, water is pumped throughout the powerhead from the water pump, eventually exiting through the exhaust and tell-tale fitting. These passages weave their way through major components including the cylinder heads, the engine block itself, and the exhaust manifolds. If these components corrode away to the point where water can leave the cooling system and breach other systems, it ca... ... middle of paper ... ...e side of caution. If the anode looks good (shiny and not covered up or pitted) it can be reinstalled, but in that case it’s a good idea to swap out the grommet or o-ring that seals them against the block. Failure to replace this two-dollar piece of rubber can allow water leaks in the cowling that will not only create additional corrosion on the outside of the block, but will cause a loss of cooling water that can lead to overheating. Boats are expensive and replacing a motor is not something that most people want to do. Whether you prefer to use a technician or perform routine maintenance on your own, do yourself a favor next time and don’t forget the anodes. These small parts will be sitting there quietly, minding their own business, hard at work protecting your motor from corrosion. Paying a little attention to them now can save you thousands in the long run.
Open Document