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      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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ClownColor

4 stroke care

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Not another "winterizing" topic but how often do you change your 4 stroke motor oil if very low hours? I have a 4hp 4 stroke Mercury that I literally use on one to two trips...totaling maybe, maybe 40 hrs all year. Would you change motor oil every year? I typically go through all my "toys" in late fall. Boats all have lower end oil replaced,  parts lubed, trailer lubed, atv oil changes and so on...but I hardly use this motor and wondering how long that motor oil can wait? Better safe than sorry right? Well, if it truly can last a few years with such little use, why change it. I hate spendy extra money and wasting time if its not needed. Would it make a difference if the oil is synthetic?

 

Thanks,

CC

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2 hours ago, ClownColor said:

Not another "winterizing" topic but how often do you change your 4 stroke motor oil if very low hours? I have a 4hp 4 stroke Mercury that I literally use on one to two trips...totaling maybe, maybe 40 hrs all year. Would you change motor oil every year? I typically go through all my "toys" in late fall. Boats all have lower end oil replaced,  parts lubed, trailer lubed, atv oil changes and so on...but I hardly use this motor and wondering how long that motor oil can wait? Better safe than sorry right? Well, if it truly can last a few years with such little use, why change it. I hate spendy extra money and wasting time if its not needed. Would it make a difference if the oil is synthetic?

 

Thanks,

CC

I believe in changing the oil in the fall, just because there could be some contamination or moisture that could cause corrosion over the winter.  But I have skipped it occasionally on stuff like mowers or the power washer.

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I religiously change the oil in my outboard every Fall. I also replace the lower unit lube every Fall. My buddy would do his in the Spring, but after I showed him some pictures of split lower units because they had a leak and fluid in there which ultimately froze in the winter, he quickly changed that tune.

I also replace the fuel/water separator filter in the Fall.

To me its good piece of mind to just do these things and hopefully never have issues.

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I do lower unit lube every fall and change the motor oil, filter and plugs every other year.  Five quarts of high quality four stroke oil, oil filter and new plugs gets expensive to do every year.  

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If you don't want to change the lower unit lube in the fall and wait till spring just pull the lower plug/screw and let some drip out. If it looks like milk you have a problem and need to do something about it. If it just drips oil put the screw back in and wait till spring. At least that's what I do and never had a problem yet.

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20 hours ago, Juan Grande said:

 Five quarts of high quality four stroke oil, oil filter and new plugs gets expensive to do every year.  

Try 8 quarts like my 150 Suzuki takes. :-)

Regardless of cost, I change the oil. Plugs? I haven't done that yet and this is my 6th season with the boat. I wouldn't think you would need to change plugs annually.

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On 9/12/2016 at 4:30 PM, Juan Grande said:

I do lower unit lube every fall and change the motor oil, filter and plugs every other year.  Five quarts of high quality four stroke oil, oil filter and new plugs gets expensive to do every year.  

Once a year? expensive?  I hope you're kidding..

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On ‎9‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 1:17 PM, Juan Grande said:

Dang, 8 quarts?

Yep! That job hurts a little every time I do it. 2 dang gallon jugs of the Suzuki oil. I think the oil filter is like $15 too.

I probably should pull the plugs this Fall to check them. Would be a good idea. I'm sure those are some fancy plug that is like $8 a piece too. Nothing is cheap these days.

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On ‎9‎/‎14‎/‎2016 at 0:08 PM, MNice said:

Once a year? expensive?  I hope you're kidding..

If it's not needed, why would I want to spend the money? Oh...you must be a millennial with endless money. I'm starting to believe much of this is good marketing. Everyone always states "it's cheap insurance..." but why waste money if it's not needed? Briggs and Craftsman's have a lawnmower that you never need to change oil in...maybe they figured it out. How many hrs are actually used on our toys? vehicles now claim to get 10K miles before oil changes with synthetic. 

So which brings me back to my question...are most changing oils every year cause someone said "why not, it's cheap insurance" or is this legitimate? Oils, gas, stabilizers keep improving, costing more...but what's the benefit to the user if we keep following recommendations 20 years ago? (shower thoughts)

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If the motor only gets a few hours use every year, only changing the oil every other year or even less is certainly a reasonable thing to do.  Likewise the lower unit lube.    

To me, 40 hours is getting to be enough use I would think seriously about changing it in the fall.   But it is certainly a judgement call.   

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Clowncolor, I'm not even sure what milianal is.....I'm a 1958 model if that helps.  all I know if once a year to change oil is too expensive, maybe a boat shouldn't be in the cards.......;)

 

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1 hour ago, MNice said:

Clowncolor, I'm not even sure what milianal is.....I'm a 1958 model if that helps.  all I know if once a year to change oil is too expensive, maybe a boat shouldn't be in the cards.......;)

 

LOL...I do alright.

How often did you change fluids in the '60's?

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For sure you don't need plugs every year.  Filters are cheaper online, if you have been buying them at the dealer.   Not sure if there is a cheaper source for the oil like a different brand.   Not sure what your motor requires

Clown Color's 4hp only takes a pint! of oil.    So I would change it if I were him.  Maybe not the filter however, if there is a filter. 

 

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