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Charles
Charles, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 3373
Experience:  US Navy (Ret) Certified Mercury Marine Tech with over a decade of repair experience.
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I cannot start my Tohatsu 40 HP outboard with electric start

Customer Question

I cannot start my Tohatsu 40 HP outboard with electric start
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** will assist you.

Is your engine the two or four stroke?

Has it been sitting for some time unused?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
unused for a while
4 stroke
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
full of gas in the tank is old gas but it should do something sputter etc pump bulb is tight
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.

when you turn the key on, do you hear the fuel pump run?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I did smell fuel and there is a beep when you turn key to on
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
not alot of fuel smell just a normal amount
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.

With the hood off the engine, you should hear a pump run when the key it turned to the on position.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I will do that and check will take a few minutes this motor has not very many hours on it would the fuel pump just die ? it was purchsed new the vendor suggested to dump all the gas seems wasteful be back in a little while
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.

No worries. There are no time limits here.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
ok we cant hear anything when we turn the key to the on position with the lid off
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.

Make sure that the kill switch is fully in the Run position.

If that is good, you will need a multimeter to do some testing.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
where would we find the kill switch ?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
there are 2 spring type cords with buttons on them one on the dashboard on the pontoon the other on the motor itself both of those are attatched and seem to be in the correct place
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.

Those are the kill switches.

Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.

Do you have a multimeter? How long would you say that the engine has been sitting?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
how would I check them to make sure they are in correctly I cant pull them off to replug them in approximately 1 yea of sitting perhaps 1 1/2 years
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I dont have a multimeter
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I will go look at them again while you think about this
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.

You can remove the cords and then plug then back in. With the engine cranking and you not hearing a sound from the pump, I am thinking that the pump is varnished up.

Do you have some scrap wire laying around. We can do a test another way.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I cant remove the plugs but perhaps varnish yes how do I remove that ?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
put stabil in the gas ? well hmm has to pump to work its fuel injected ............................
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I could find a wire
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
electrically the whole pontoon works motor lift lights etc starter
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Need some heet ah well gas line not frozen
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.

Adding something to old fuel will not take care of this problem. If you can locate some wire, I can talk you through a test on the fuel pump to see if it is going to run or not. In the mean time do you see the test port for the fuel system? It should be at the top of the silver item located on the left side of the engine, where the fuel pump is located. Depress the valve and see if there is any pressurized fuel there.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
There wasnt that I could see a test port however I did disconnect the gas tank on the motor and there is free flowing fuel there so I believe the varnish deduction is likely the problem
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
either way it seems to be related to the fuel pump as a result for my skill set we may be beyond what I can do
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
we have a local small engine service person that can work on outboards he may be our next step :(
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.

If he does not feel comfortable working on this engine, I can guide you through the repair. I always try and save the pump before replacing them. These pumps list for between $400-$500 depending on where you get them.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Im sure he will be ok with it the pontoon will have to be taken out of the water then the motor can be serviced its kind of complex due to the fact it belongs to my parents and they are 80 so they can have him do the work but they dont even have a trailer for it for me to take it to him..................................
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for trying to help I think we are done here be well :)
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.

A trailer really would help. Removing the engine from the boat is rather tough.

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