Most Common Problems with Evinrude 90 HP E-Tec

Evinrude engines are known to have the quickest time on plane. The 90 HP particularly has pretty interesting features. It’s been catching everyone’s eye since it came out in February of 2004.

The outstandingly fast microprocessor enables instant throttle response. And with the Straight Leading Edge gearcase, you get more miles per hour.

Additionally, the ease of maintenance, more amperage and auto storage features make the engines a ride-or-die collection.

However, some common problems keep happening with the engines. In this article, I will discuss the most common problems with Evinrude 90 HP E-Tec engines.

1. Poppet Valve Issue:

Poppet valves need replacing due to overheating. This happens with V-6 blocks or big blocks in general.

The engine overheats due to various reasons. You can tell by overheating on the muffs. Salt residue on the block can cause an overheating issue. But due to this, the poppet block needs frequent replacement.

2. Powerheads Blowing Up: 

Powerheads get blown in small blocks similar to the larger blocks. Despite having enough oil in the tank, the issue seems to persist. 

When pieces of metals clog or disrupt the injectors, the powerheads might blow up. The charcoal canisters failing causes metals to get loose.

Running at WOT for lengthy periods can also cause powerhead failures. However, Evinrude E-Tec’s powerheads seem to fail more.

3. Motor Shutting Off:

After about 4-5 years of usage, some Evinrude E-TEC 90s seem to shut off while trolling. No alarm goes off while this happens. The EMM shows nothing either.

This is a random problem that occurs quite frequently. For any engines, if the basics are not okay, it will be damaged. However, this problem is widely reported by owners.

The motor does not run after throttling up. The problem may persist even after doing the usual spark plug replacement, fuel pipe, tank check. On the plus side, carburetor failure is rare in these engines.

4. No Trim or Tilt/Blown Fuse:

The 10 AMP fuse on the motor blows causing the engine to stop at the tilt.

This is the main fuse of the motor. Blowing up of the fuse is pretty common. It blows when the ignition switch is turned on.

The problem may be due to any circuit failure. For example, ignition circuits, trim-tilt circuits, or neutral switch circuits.

Faulty wiring or accessory is usually the cause of the fuses blowing up. You may additionally find the thermal breaker blown up. A voltage spike could cause this to happen.

The blown-up fuse rarely happens due to an EMM issue. However, that is still a possibility.

5. Injector Failing:

Evinrude’s parent corporation OMC went bankrupt. Particularly due to their fuel injector technology. So it is warranted that Evinrude E-Tec’s injectors fail often.

The main symptoms are an uneven start. The engine starts and runs roughly.

However, the engine stopping can be attributed to saltwater in the fuel tank. The water sometimes enters the fuel pump too. This causes abruptions in the motor’s functions.

Especially if there is saltwater in the water separator filter. The fuel pump is damaged due to rusting. Rendering hindrance to the fuel flow.

6. Sofware Glitches:

One of the most common glitches in the software is the ‘Low Oil’ alarm going out. Particularly if the boat has been subjected to rough water conditions.

It does so if the boat covers a swell and falls hard on its bottom. Because of the engine design, the alarm gets triggered.

However, users reported facing this issue under more circumstances. Especially if the boat hits hard in rough conditions. To shut off the shrill alarm, only turning off the engine would work.

This is mostly due to software problems. Updating the software seemed to relieve owners of the issue.

7. Faulty EMM:

A fault in the Engine Management Module can shut the battery dead. But when you investigate (with a battery tester, or an ammeter for example), it would indicate that the battery is fine.

The battery does not respond because there is an interruption to electricity flow to it. As there is no current input, so there is no current output to the engine from the battery.

A faulty EMM is not covered by the warranty by Evinrude. And replacement is pretty expensive. However, this problem usually happens after a long time from the purchase.

Usually, problems with the EMM can be subjected to overheating and rusting of internal parts.

8. Oil Tank Leak:

A leak of oil from the exhaust port usually suggests an oil tank leak. Inside the cowling, you will find oil on the side.

As time passes, you will notice leaking from the lower unit exhaust port again. When you check, you may find the oil tank being lower.

Oil leak occurs due to pinhole leaks on the seam of the oil tank. Moreover, due to the design of the tank (two sides ultrasonically held together), too much pressure causes a leak.

What Majority of the Users Feel About Evinrude 90 HP E-Tec?

Evinrude has twice the amperage made available for the engine. This is owed to the larger alternators.

Moreover, the SLE gearcase provides greater sustainability and reliability. It ensures a smoother run due to its up-front weed-slicing shape. Along with increased efficiency in water pickups.

Moreover, the E-Tec avoids the usage of belts, camshafts, and exhaust valves. Which rids the users of the worry of replacements.

One of the users Afry says “I have put close to 400 hrs on my E-Tec 90 in the last 15 months and it runs like a swiss watch. Zero problems. I love the no/low maintenance design, put oil in and go!”

Most people have no problems with the engine throughout the run.

Final Thoughts

Evinrude has had a bad market image due to various reasons. One of them is the bankruptcy of the parent corporation.

Local dealers also try to badmouth the engine. However, by doing a little search, you will find 99% positive opinions on the engine.

The 90 HP E-Tecs are smooth runners no doubt on that. Cause problems rarely often. So I will definitely recommend Evinrude E-Tec 90 HP outboards for your boat.

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