Another (stupid?) outboard motor question - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 05-08-2013 Thread Starter
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Another (stupid?) outboard motor question

My Mercury 4hp 4 stroke's manual states that you should use the choke when starting the engine when it is cold.

I took this to mean when the engine is being started for the first time in a while (several hours to days, weeks etc..).

But now that warm weather is here, it seems to not start with choke engaged. I have to wait, disengage choke and put throttle on "restart" instead of "start".

Is this because they mean a cold engine is really a cold engine like back in December? And an engine in the sunlight on an 80 degree afternoon is not cold? Even if it hasn't been started yet today?

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Re: Another (stupid?) outboard motor question

We only use the choke on the coldest days of the year (like below 40 or 45 degrees). The engine starts right up without it even if it is 50 degrees out.

I don't know if this is right, it is just what works for us.

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post #3 of 20 Old 05-08-2013
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Re: Another (stupid?) outboard motor question

Shoundnt really need to choke it in 80 degree weather, If my 1972 johnson sits for a few days I need to but just for a second while turning it over, after that its good for a few more days
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post #4 of 20 Old 05-08-2013
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Another (stupid?) outboard motor question

My Honda 5-hp manual says to use the choke only when outside temperatures are below 68-F.
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post #5 of 20 Old 05-08-2013
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Re: Another (stupid?) outboard motor question

It really depends on your individual motor. I put my Merc 4 HP 4 stroke on half choke and it starts first pull.
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Re: Another (stupid?) outboard motor question

IMHO 'cold' means cold air, not cold engine. I try for a start without choke, then choke if it doesn't start.

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Re: Another (stupid?) outboard motor question

I give mine a stern look, make a few intimidating comments about being the only thing between it and the junk pile and then pull the cord/turn the key. It usually cooperates.
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Re: Another (stupid?) outboard motor question

You aren't going to hurt the engine by using, or not using, the choke. If it starts and runs, you didn't need the choke. It if won't start, choke it. All the choke is doing is regulating the fuel / air mixture. Your car does this automatically through a combination of sensors in the air intake, not to mention your car also has the benefit of electronic fuel injection which allows more control than a carburetor does.

Like Sal says, every engine is a little different- especially when they get a little age on them. Just like a woman, you learn what she needs to be happy and you give it to her. You usually measure success by the feedback from the fuss-o-meter.

I have a Nissan 5hp that needs half choke whenever I go to start it, even if it's 95 degrees outside. There isn't much adjustment to the carb, so it's just as easy to use the choke to give the girl what she wants. .

It starts on the first pull unless it has sat for a few weeks, in which case it needs a few pulls on full choke, then a few with no choke, then it talks a little smack which tells me she's ready for half choke. Then she's up and running and stops her griping.
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Re: Another (stupid?) outboard motor question

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I give mine a stern look, make a few intimidating comments about being the only thing between it and the junk pile and then pull the cord/turn the key. It usually cooperates.
Oh...that IS a cold start right there
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Re: Another (stupid?) outboard motor question

To the OP
You won't find a procedure...every engine has a "personality". Experiment with different conditions and in a month you will know when it wants choke.
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