First and foremost, this is not a bash... In fact, I don’t even own an E-TEC, well not yet anyway. I believe most people if happy with a product, and what I mean by happy is, it has met there “expectations” and therefore life goes on without much fanfare. However, if someone feels something they have purchased “especial if it’s an expensive purchase” has not met there “expectation” or worse, it’s been nothing but a huge headache/major disappointment they are going to tell anyone and everyone that will listen.
I think most reasonable people would agree with that statement. Based on the premise that the above statement is true, when researching the Evinrude E-TEC there were far more negative experiences than positive ones and not by a small margin. Yet how do you gauge that when experience teaches us people are more likely post about there negative experiences than positive ones.
That being said, I’ve done all of the research I can do, I’ve read all the revues, I’ve watched every YouTube video and I feel I’m not any further ahead than when I’ve started… I’m looking at a 23 bay boat with a 2007 200 HP Evinrude E-TEC with less than 300 hours on it. Should I be concerned about the motor? Obviously, there is no warranty and from what I’ve been able to glean from my research there are a couple of things that I should be concerned about.
#1 Firstly, it’s difficult to find a qualified Evinrude factory trained technician when things do go wrong compared to “good” outboard Techs that are proficient with 4 strokes. The E-TEC is “highly advanced” and therefore not just any outboard technician can work on them.
#2 High rate of EMM failure, in the automotive world we call them ECM’s Engine Controlee Module. I believe Evinrude calls them Engine Management Modules. High rate of injector failure. For the last 10 years I’ve always 4 strokes. I am an ASE master automotive technician and I am more than comfortable servicing and repairing the for strokes I have and had. I wish the boat had a 4 stroke on it but is doesn’t.
Should I be concerned? Is this a deal breaker or does it devalue the boat enough to use it as a bargaining chip when negotiating a price? Thanks in advance for the feedback.
08-22-2019 02:20 - edited 08-22-2019 02:21
Depends on the price of the package. 300 hours over 12 years is only 25 hours/year. Like many combustion engines, they work well when used regularly versus sitting out in the yard.
Many failures with combustion engines (2 or 4-stroke) are not sourced to the engine. Fuel and electrical are huge issues with fuel being a big deal considering ethanol fuel in a vehicle that sits unused, out in the open for 300+ days of the year.
But to answer your question, I would want service records on the motor. It should've been serviced a minimum of 3 times over those 12 years. What are the past and current fault codes? How was the motor stored? What kind of oil was used? Has the motor been appropriately "propped" all it's life (running the wrong prop has negative effects on all motors)?
If you're an ASE master tech, buy a service manual and buy the diagnostic software (from Barnacle Bill's - etecownersgroup.com) and you should have everything you need to service the motor.
Having a certified Evinrude tech hook up a laptop to it is exactly what I plan to do. I have the interface connector and software on my laptop for Yamaha 4 strokes. I don’t know that I will make the investment for the Evinrude software etc. You make a good point, very low ours for a motor that old. I’m curious if this has an EMM in it that’s not the original. If so, who knows how many hours are truly on it. If I understand correctly an EMM form another motor is going to reflect “only” the hours of the motor it came out of. Also, I’ve read it would also have to be factor reprogramed for the injector flow rate.
If I can buy it right I will most likely sell the E-TEC and repower with a Yamaha. Not that Yamaha’s can’t break, surely they do but I’ve had very little issues with the ones I’ve had and I’m comfortable with repairing them.
Thanks for the reply Rick,
If you spent 30 years as a flat rate tech in GM dealerships I don’t need to tell you what’s going on in that industry right now. I’m going to assume you’ve gotten out and are now working for BRP or a BRP retailer. I was drawing a comparison between most 4 strokes outboards and the Evinrude E-tec, not anything else. It’s Evinrude that touts the E-tec as “highly advanced” not me. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t know any other outboard were you have to program flowrates for new injectors into the EMM.
I don’t know if there are any other outboards out there right now that have EMM software updates as part of annual service. Yes, one can purchase software and an interface connector to look at data, fault codes engine run time etc. but I’m sure you can’t program without an authorized link to BRP service sight to download the updates. If you were buying a new boat today and you had the choice between an E-tec or any 4 stroke that’s on the market right now, what would you choose?
Perspective, your operating system on your computer has constant updates. Which are done to improve performance. That is a good thing. However there isn’t always an update that would apply. When they hook it up at dealer they should update it. If there is any.