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It is a Suzuki DF200 (2011) that stars and runs quite well…

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Hi! It is a...

Hi! It is a Suzuki DF200 (2011) that stars and runs quite well but then the ignition cuts out completely after a while. (between five and twenty minutes). There were no fault indications on the gauges, just a complete stop, no spluttering etc. Will restart after several minutes when the ignition check lights come on at the turn of the ignition key. Have changed all fuel systems from the reservoir to the motor including the low pressure pump and vapour separator assembly. Still giving me the same problem.

Mechanic's Assistant: Sometimes boat issues seem like they'll be really complicated, but end up being easy to fix. The Marine Mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Is there anything else important you think the Marine Mechanic should know?

I have also replaced the ignition switch at the remote side of the electrical engine harness, also the sub battery (white) cable and the 15amp inline fuse on that cable.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Boat
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Answered in 1 day by:
1/18/2018
Marine Mechanic: Boat Doc, Boat Enthusiast replied 1 month ago
Boat Doc
Boat Doc, Boat Enthusiast
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 160
Experience: Expert at Just Answer
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Hi, my name is ***** ***** I'll be assisting you with your boat question. I apologize for the extended wait time you experienced,
I've only just come online now and would like to assist you with your question. Did you still need some help with this?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hello Ted, mine is Tawake and yes, I still very much need all the help you can give me!
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I would prefer that correspond on email rather than talk.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sorry, missed out on the 'we'
on my last reply!
Marine Mechanic: Boat Doc, Boat Enthusiast replied 1 month ago

Yes, that would be fine. If the system asks if you'd like a phone call simply ignore it, I do not generate those. Does the boat have a tachometer?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
she does.
Marine Mechanic: Boat Doc, Boat Enthusiast replied 1 month ago

O​kay, my suspicion is you have an engine control unit beginning to fail. When running the engine you need to watch the tachometer closely when the engine cuts off. If the tach drops first to zero before the engine winds down it likely means that control unit is failed. If the tach sort of winds down as the engine stalls then you may have a fuel system malfunction.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Okay. I have two (2) motors on the transom and these cutouts always happen when i am manouvering at speed. As they happen, the other motor would still be operating at the same speed and the problematic one would wind down slowly and will go to zero on the tachometer as soon as i bring the other one slowly back to neutral. There would be no power indication at all on the engine monitoring lights on the tachometer dial. If i try and turn the ignition key at this point, all lights will come on momentarily and go off straight away. Will then stay on after several minutes of trying. The engine will then start and sometimes it stalls again a few minutes later, sometimes it runs nicely for the rest of the voyage.
Marine Mechanic: Boat Doc, Boat Enthusiast replied 1 month ago

If you have 2, swap the engine control unit from one side to the other and see if the problem follows.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
When you say ' engine control unit', you are talking about the computer itself yes?
Marine Mechanic: Boat Doc, Boat Enthusiast replied 1 month ago

Yes.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I have two other units from previous suzukis of the same power as the present ones. Could i maybe try this ones out before touching the one on the twin?
Marine Mechanic: Boat Doc, Boat Enthusiast replied 1 month ago

As long as they are the same year, yes.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
They are not and even the twin is a 2007 model while the problem one is a 2011 model.
Marine Mechanic: Boat Doc, Boat Enthusiast replied 1 month ago

T​hey are not the same part. I am not sure you could switch them and have the engine run properly. The fact the lights fail would indicate a control unit failure though.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
This motor has a few things that are not the same as the other one. The low pressure filter for example (fuel, after the primer bulb) has a twin blue cable going to the ECU from the bottom of the filter bowl. What could you advise on the failing ECU?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
When these situations happen, it feels like the ignition key has just been turned off in mid travel!!
Marine Mechanic: Boat Doc, Boat Enthusiast replied 1 month ago

That would make me suspect an ECU, if it fails it would cut ignition and or fuel immediately, just like switching a key off.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Just a little bit more on the motor history, It has under 2,000 hours on the clock and was installed recently (three years ago).
The harness is the original one from the old motor. Could a suspect harness be a possible culprit? How do i determine that i have a faulty ECU? We have test cords and test systems on the mainland. Do i take the unit to the mainland for testing or is there a way for me to test using a multitester?
Marine Mechanic: Boat Doc, Boat Enthusiast replied 1 month ago

Did the engine run properly since installation? Is this a new problem?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The installation was done on the mainland (180nautical miles away), after which, i drove the boat across to the islands. The problems started about a year ago after about a year of trouble free operations.
Marine Mechanic: Boat Doc, Boat Enthusiast replied 1 month ago

Well, then it is not likely the harness. There really is no way to test, other than swapping the part. If it isn't acting up, it likely will show no problem.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No disrespect to you and your analysis but i do not think it is the ECM. The motor is not that old and if within three years you need to change your control module, does not make sense! What kills an electronic control module? These things are meant to last the life of the motor as they retain the motor history and are the brains controlling all of the essential controls! Please tell me it could be something else.
Marine Mechanic: Boat Doc, Boat Enthusiast replied 1 month ago

W​ell, you have an intermittent, electrical problem that seems to fix itself after a few minutes of rest. So it is not a mechanical problem and it is not a fuel problem because you are losing the check engine light that comes back on when the engine is ready to start again. The light is controlled by the ECU so it is likely that the ECU is off until that light comes back on. The ECU is a simple computer, slightly more robust but much less complex than your watch or phone. Since we all have electronics that fail every day, I'm not sure why you don't believe an electronic unit can fail. It is full of transistors and they are electronic "switches", it just takes one to overheat and turn off to cause your issue.

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