Quicksilver Blog

Where to Grease Your Outboard Motor

Every outboard motor has a number of points that require an application of grease as part of regular maintenance. Grease acts as both a lubricant between moving parts and as a moisture barrier that keeps water away from these parts. There are many different types of grease, but the best choice for your outboard motor is a premium marine grease such as Quicksilver® 2-4-C.

To maintain an outboard, you’ll need to apply grease with a gloved finger and with a grease gun. Watch this video example using a Mercury Verado® outboard. Your engine model’s operation and maintenance manual will identify specific grease points, which may be different from those shown in the video. It will also identify the frequency that grease is required. If you do not have the manual, you may be able to download a PDF version or order a printed copy directly from the manufacturer’s website or obtain a copy from a dealer.

Here are the most common outboard grease points:

Propeller Shaft

It’s good practice to coat the propeller shaft with clean grease every time you remove and reinstall the propeller. After wiping off all the old grease, use your finger to coat the entire shaft to prevent the propeller hub from corroding and seizing on the shaft.

Swivel Bracket

Most outboard models have grease points on the swivel bracket on which the motor turns left and right. Lubricate the swivel bracket through grease fittings (also called grease zerks) using your grease gun. You will probably need to tilt the motor up to reach the grease fittings. Apply grease until you see some coming out the top or bottom of the bracket. There may also be a grease fitting on the tilt support lever.

Tilt Tube

The outboard tilts up and down on its tilt tube. There may be one or two fittings on the tube, usually facing the boat. Outboards with remote steering may also have grease points on the steering cable and the steering link rod. To verify these points, be sure to check your operation and maintenance manual.

Trim Rod Ends

Some outboards with power trim require grease on the ends of the trim rods – the bright hydraulic rods that raise and lower the motor. Check your manual and follow instructions accordingly.

Under the Cowl

Consult your operation and maintenance manual for any points on the powerhead that require an application of grease, usually with a small dab on your finger. These points may include the throttle linkage, alternator belt tensioner and the electric starter pinion shaft.

Pro Tips

  • A small grease gun that holds a 3-ounce grease cartridge is a handy size for a home shop. A flexible tube or hose on the gun outlet will make it easier to reach some grease fittings.
  • Wipe off old grease, dirt or other residue from the grease fitting before attaching the gun to keep the tip of the grease gun clean and to prevent debris from being pushed into the fitting.
  • If grease will not enter the grease fitting, the fitting may be stuck or corroded. You can often free the center needle of the fitting using a small Phillips screwdriver or a small punch. Place the tool on the center of the fitting and tap it lightly. Leaving a little grease on the fitting can prevent corrosion. If the fitting cannot be freed, it is easy to replace.

Use the Right Grease

Quicksilver 2-4-C Marine Grease is a versatile lithium-based, NLGI 2 grease that won’t break down when mixed with water. It offers excellent resistance to oxidation and degradation and features extreme pressure additives to withstand friction in a wide variety of applications and range of temperatures. Quicksilver 2-4-C Marine Grease is available in an 8-ounce tube and in 3-ounce and 14-ounce grease gun cartridges, as well as in a kit with a compact grease gun.