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SkunkedAgain

Tilt won't work and starter won't engage

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I've got a 2009 Suzuki 90hp 4-stroke. This season I've been having a problem where the tilt/trim won't work intermittently and at the same time, the motor will turn over but not start. The motor has also shut off on its own and the "check engine" light is flashing. I took it to the dealer who said that my battery cables weren't tight enough. They said that could lead to not having enough juice to engage the starter or run the trim. They said that lose cables could cause an arc that would shut down the motor and throw a "check engine" code. They cleaned the terminals, tightened the clamps, and sent me on my way. It just happened again this weekend. The motor worked great all weekend and then when I came off plane near the dock, the motor shut off, the check engine light flashed, the tilt wouldn't work, and I couldn't restart the motor.

The water pump was working fine as tons of water was coming out as usual. The only other thought that I had was that this is the original starting battery and that it may not have enough power. However, I threw my tester on and it's putting out 12.5v at rest. Does anybody have some thoughts about what else I could check? Has this happened to anyone?

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Just finished having a similar issue with the starter.  Starter spins but would not come up to engage the flywheel.  Tested the battery at rest and had 12.6v, good to go right?  Tested the starter by jumper direct to starter and it popped right up.  So I thought it was solenoid.  Ran to local outboard mechanic.  He says not the solenoid if starter is spinning.  Although the battery tested fine at rest, it would not withstand the load.  Threw a new battery in before I left the mechanics and bang, that's all it was.  Ran in circles checking connection, voltage, starter, etc.  Just the battery.  Researching the issue when it happened, a majority if not all mechanics will look to the battery first. 

I'm not sure on your other issues, but the starter may be just as simple as the battery.  Even though it has good readings at rest.  Good Luck.

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Thanks. The more that I've read online it seems that people tend to either have a battery issue or a ground issue. The next time that this happens I will try using my jumper cables to connect to my new deep cycle. That might answer the question.

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Thanks. The more that I've read online it seems that people tend to either have a battery issue or a ground issue. The next time that this happens I will try using my jumper cables to connect to my new deep cycle. That might answer the question.

​I am far from an expert but I think that deep cycle batteries don't have enough amps to start a motor.  It may not even be amps but there's a difference between a starting battery and a deep cycle for running equipment. 

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"​I am far from an expert but I think that deep cycle batteries don't have enough amps to start a motor.  It may not even be amps but there's a difference between a starting battery and a deep cycle for running equipment. "

Although deep cycle batteries are not designed or recommended as a starting battery; they can work in a pinch. I've had to jump my starting battery from the trolling batteries, and it does work, BUT!:blush:  Get a good starting battery.   

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It wasn't the battery. I threw good money into a new Interstate battery and almost immediately had the same problem. Motor turned but starter wouldn't engage, tilt & trim was dead at the same time, and if I got it to run I'd eventually get a check-engine light and the motor would quit. About halfway through fishing last night I swapped out all of the fuses and didn't have another problem. They all looked good but I'm skeptical that this solved all three problems.

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What do you mean by "motor turned but starter wouldn't engage"?  Starter motor spun but didn't engage the bendix to crank the engine? 

And, were the fuses under the cover on the motor, or were they boat fuses?  (wonder if motor wiring diagram is online)

If there was some reason there was some resistance in the supply to the motor, that could produce low voltage under load to the motor, that would be consistent with the symptoms.

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Sorry I keep writing it that way. The starter is going but is not inducing the engine to start - like a no fuel situation. I replaced the fuses under the cowl for the starter motor, ignition coil, and power tilt/trim (30am/30amp/10amp).

My only thought right now is to start chasing down possible grounding issues or chaffed wires.

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If changing the fuses fixed it, one or more of them might have been the problem.  If you kept the old fuses, does the problem return if you put them back in?  (thinking a little contact resistance on the fuse holder)

If the motor turned over at normal speed, no problem with starter.  Marginal voltage to coils could cause intermittent spark. 

Edited by delcecchi

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I did keep them but need to get back out on the water for some more tests. Luckily the family wants a boat ride this weekend so I'll get another opportunity. I can try swapping some of those fuses back through.

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If it does it again, put a meter across from the starter to ground and from the fuses to ground.  See what the motor sees. 

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I had the same problem with my motor, 2009 etec last summer.  The main ground cable on the engine block was loose.  Tightened it down, problem fixed. Maybe check for corrosion or paint on the grounding spot on the engine block. hope this helps

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