Winterizing a Johnson Outboard Motor

By Jerry Garner
Johnson Outboard Motor
Plutor, Creative Commons License

Winterizing your Johnson outboard boat motor is an important task that must be performed each year. It is particularly important for those who live in a cold climate, where winter temperatures can fall far below freezing for extended periods of time. Even if you do not live in an area that has harsh winter climates, performing this maintenance routinely each year is still a good idea since it will help prolong the life of your motor.

Treat the gasoline in your Johnson outboard motor with a gas stabilizer. Stabil is a popular brand of stabilizer for boat motors. Pour the contents of the can into the fuel tank, where you normally pour gas in. Replace the gas cap on the fuel tank and run the motor for a few minutes to get the mixture worked through the entire system. This will prevent the fuel in the engine from deteriorating and causing problems over the off-season, when it will probably not be in use.

Replace the gear lube on your motor. Locate the screw on the side of the lower portion of your Johnson motor and remove it to gain access to the inner workings. Then remove the screw at the bottom of the motor to allow the old gear lube to drain away. Locate the gear lube refill point near the middle of the engine and begin filling it with a tube of new lube. When you begin seeing new lube drain out of the bottom instead of old lubrication, replace the drain screw and continue filling until the chamber is full.

Change the oil in your Johnson outboard motor. Simply remove the drain plug from the bottom of the oil tank to remove the old oil. After the draining is complete, replace the plug and fill the tank with new oil. Different Johnson motors may require different weight motor oil. Refer to your owner's manual for specific details on which oil the manufacturer recommends.

Inspect your motor to see if your Johnson uses a carburetor or fuel injectors. If your motor uses a carburetor you will need to use a fogger to clean inside it. Purchase a product known as "Spray Fog" and spray it directly into the carburetor. This will remove any carbon build up from inside the system.

Disconnect the battery. This may not be necessary if you live in a warmer climate and will be using your boat during the winter. However, those in a cold climate who will not be using their Johnson motor for several months should disconnect the batter for winter storage. This will help prevent a build up of corrosion on the batter and battery cables.

About the Author

I am also the publisher of, and hold a position at the local newspaper.