Impeller: Why You Need To Check It!

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Here’s a quick little blog for you that is one of those hidden issues when it comes to outboard motors. Whether putting your boat away for winter storage or prepping it for the upcoming fishing season, proper maintenance is crucial. In this case, it’s usually in that spring prep time that the damaged item I’m about to talk about rears it’s ugly head (and that’s why fall is the perfect time to investigate the following). The item is called an impeller and it is vital to help maintain a constant, safe motor/engine running temperature for your motor to not only work properly but not to be destroyed!

An impeller in an outboard motor is quite simply, the main component to your water pump. It spins at a fast rate of speed, pulling H2O from the body of water you are in, and pumping it up to and into the powerhead.

The impeller is made of rubber which means, it can and will deteriorate through time. A bad impeller is a recipe for disaster.

The reason I called it a hidden issue is during a “spring tune-up”, typically it isn’t checked unless you specify. Normally the mechanic is busy changing filters, spark plugs, etc., all up at the powerhead. The impeller is located in the lower unit. The reason you need to request your mechanic looks into it is because of all the labour time to look at it (if they checked it out and the impeller was good, one could argue that that ½ or higher hour labour was expensive and unnecessary).

It’s a good idea to check or have someone check your motors impeller every 3 years.

Once all is checked, fixed, replaced, prepped and ready to go, it’s time to put your baby in the water and start fishin’!

Pete Bowman

Pete, one of the most revered and popular anglers in the nation, has a tremendous love for the game… the fishing game. Pete’s vast knowledge of angling and ability to articulate it to audiences worldwide has endeared him to his fans who still see Pete as just “ONE OF THE BOYS”. Pete is also an accomplished and published outdoor writer and photographer as well as a sought-after speaker. In 2012 another of Pete’s ultimate fishing career highlights occurred when he was inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall Of Fame, something he never thought would happen. A Canadian fishing icon.

2 Responses

  1. I agree this is a very important component for your outboard. I changed mine myself after looking at a you tube video in July 2020. My wife bought me a 14 ft Princecraft with an 8 horse 4 stroke Honda outboard on it and first time I started it with muffs on it, it spurt once and done. It hadn’t been in the water for 4 or 5 yrs. If they don’t get wet for a while, they will break down. Neoprene I think they are. When I got it stripped, there were no teeth left on it. They were all around it. For 30 bucks I did it myself while a friend of mine spent $350 at a marina in Wiarton. 30 bucks and a few hrs of your time saves your motor. Now each time I run it with the muffs or in the lake, I am making sure the whale hole is spouting.

    1. Nice work WW , to take on that job yourself is awesome. I saw a guy do ours before and it looked relatively straight forward until he had to replace the lower unit while getting the gear shifter to sync properly… good on ya’ friend!

      You’re absolutely correct though in watching your water output closely. Impeller’s are one of those hidden items that can spell disaster if not taken care of.

      Thanks for commenting

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