Maintenance Matters: The Importance of Using Marine-Grade Engine Oils

By Ted Lund

Thanks to the reliability and ease of maintenance of modern marine outboards (both four-stroke and two-stroke models) many boaters are taking their regular maintenance — such as oil changes or gearcase maintenance — into their own hands. Boaters may be tempted to save a few dollars and fall into the trap of using standard automotive engine oils when it is time for an oil change. But regardless of whether you take your boat to an Authorized Yamaha Dealer or go the DIY route, boat owners are wise not use less expensive automotive engine oils in their outboards, according to Yamaha Pro Staffer Steve Pennaz.

“There are some significant differences between the engine in your car and the engine(s) on your boat,” says Pennaz. “That’s why it is essential to only use marine-grade engine oils, like Yamalube, that are specifically engineered for marine use.”

First, says Pennaz, the engines in our vehicles typically operate at much lower RPMs.

“Next time you are heading down to the boat ramp, take a look at the tachometer in your tow vehicle,” says Pennaz. “You’ll find that you are typically operating at about 2,000 to 2,500 RPMs. Contrast that with your boat, where you are normally operating between 4,500 and 6,000 RPMs at normal operating speeds. The fact of the matter is that your outboards operate at much higher RPMs than your tow vehicle.”

Maintenance Matters: The Importance of Using Marine-Grade Engine Oils Thanks to the reliability and ease of maintenance of modern marine outboards
Maintenance Matters: The Importance of Using Marine-Grade Engine Oils Thanks to the reliability and ease of maintenance of modern marine outboards

In addition to RPMs, Pennaz also points out the differences in operating conditions.

“Outboards typically operate under much higher loads than your tow vehicle,” says Pennaz. “They also operate in much lower temperatures.”

But the major difference is where the rubber (or prop) meets the road (or water.) Both fresh- and saltwater conditions can prove challenging for boat owners.

“Your outboard engines operate in the tough, harsh, moist marine environment,” says Pennaz. “That’s why it is critical that boaters use marine-grade oils that are specifically engineered to protect their outboard engines.”

To help boat owners get peak performance out of their boat’s engines, Yamaha developed Yamalube, a full line of carefully formulated oils, lubricants, polishes, protectants, cleaners, fuel additives, and adhesives — all created to Yamaha’s exacting standards.

Maintenance Matters: The Importance of Using Marine-Grade Engine Oils Thanks to the reliability and ease of maintenance of modern marine outboards
Maintenance Matters: The Importance of Using Marine-Grade Engine Oils Thanks to the reliability and ease of maintenance of modern marine outboards

With regard to engine oil, Yamaha developed two different high-performance, marine-specific engine oils containing a proprietary blend of corrosion inhibitors, detergents, and anti-wear additives.

For two-stroke outboards, Yamaha developed Yamalube 2M. For today’s advanced, reliable four-stroke power, the company developed Yamalube 4M — a perfect solution to help protect your investment, making boating more comfortable and safer as well as providing you and your family with more quality time on the water.

“All of these properties give Yamalube Engine Oils a level of protection and performance far superior to standard automotive engine oils,” says Pennaz.

Maintenance Matters: The Importance of Using Marine-Grade Engine Oils Thanks to the reliability and ease of maintenance of modern marine outboards

Yamalube marine oils have achieved NMMA®® (National Marine Manufacturer’s Association) FC-W® or TC-W3® certification. Oils earning NMMA® certification have passed rigorous testing, and have been proven to provide the performance and protection demanded by today’s advanced outboard technology. These oils stand up to an extended full-throttle operation, high loads and the salt and moisture-rich air found in a harsh marine environment.  Yamaha Outboards is the world’s leading manufacturer of outboard engines ranging from 2.5 HP to 450 HP and is the choice of marine professionals worldwide. For more information on Yamalube or the entire line of Yamaha-engineered lubricants, fluids and accessories, the latest lineup of Yamaha Outboards or to locate an authorized Yamaha Dealer or Service Center near you, visit www.yamahaoutboards.com. You can also find an extensive


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