Firstly, please excuse some of the spelling (e.g. vapour) - I'm from the UK!
OK, so I have a 2012 E-Tec 25DTE, converted to remote control with the appropriate harness. Due to the rubbish weather here in the UK, the motor only has about 30 hours on it. It's kept in a garage and winterised as per the manual and has had one service at the 3 year mark.
It always started first turn of the key and ran faultlessly until the first trip out this year, when I managed to set off without realising there was a bad kink in the fuel line: the motor stopped and although I was able to restart, it wouldn't run for more than a few seconds - then it wouldn't start at all - then with repeated bulb priming it would run for a bit and so on. The plugs were really badly oiled when I took them out, so I replaced them - no real change. Eventually I took the boat/engine to the local Evinrude dealer where it was found that the fuel pump and vapour separator needed replacing...at an eye-watering cost! I was initially under the impression that it was my - essentially - running out of fuel that had caused the problem and I was really alarmed by this, as stuff like that (running out of fuel) does happen (I also have a Honda 5 and a Mariner 30 2-stroke - both carb engines - where I've not had an issue like this running out of fuel) and if it's going to ruin the pump/separator every time...but then I gathered from the dealer that pump/separator failures can be related to the amount of ethanol (or not) in fuel - I have no idea what is in UK fuel (just 95 RON unleaded to me!) - and this fault isreasonably common.
I've got the boat/engine back now but not run it on the water and to be honest, I'm suffering a loss on confidence in the little E-Tec. I was wondering if there were any specific actions I could take to mitigate this situation arising again...so any advice will be much appreciated. By the way, the fuel was absolutely fresh and the line/tank is original Evinrude.
08-17-2017 07:44 - edited 08-17-2017 07:46
In the past with carburetor outboards, running it out of fuel normally did not affect anything on the engine.
With today's low-emission fuel-injected and direct-injected engines, they utilize electric fuel pumps that require gasoline to not only cool the pumps during but provide a bit of lubrication to the precision parts. In certain cases, running the pump dry causes the steel parts to abrade and the debris either jams the pump or is deposited somewhere in the fuel system causing other problems.
Other makes of computer-controlled low-emission outboards have the same type of pump problem if run dry.
It is not only outboards. A few years ago my wife ran out of gas in her car and when a gallon of fuel was added, the car would not start up. After being towed into the dealer and hundreds of dollars later, she had a new electric fuel pump installed in the gas tank as the original was damaged from running dry with attempted restarts, and the car's fuel system had to have the metal pump debris flushed out of it.