Evinrude E-Tec engines have gotten a lot of hype since they first launched. They are the new generation two-stroke engines with the lightest power-to-weight ratio.
Evinrude E-Tec first came out back in 2001. The generation 2 engines launched in 2014.
The best thing about these engines is the 4-stroke alike fuel economy. This raises some brows. But almost everyone who owns this, swears by it!
However, the engine does show some common problems. These issues have been reported by a good number of people. I will discuss these common problems in detail in this article. Here they are!
1. Rigging Problems:
Rigging keeps the engine stays in position with the boat. An issue with rigging or bad rigging can cause problems.
One common issue with E-Tecs is that the rigging tube comes off. It is usually embedded in a rubber boot that’s on the engine. The tube comes off from the boot end.
This happens mainly due to tilts and turns made by the boat. The clamp holding the tube in the engine grommet may be tightened. But pushing it too much can cause harm to the tube.
Moreover, solid rigging tubes may trap water causing harm. Plastic tubes don’t stay very well either.
2. Injector Problems:
Injector failure is way common in E-Tecs. It is not restricted to 150 HP engines only.
Injector failure almost always can be traced back to fuel contamination. The use of fuel mixed with ethanol can cause injectors to fail.
The ethanol and water emulsion contaminate the fuel.
Nevertheless, the engine should be able to withstand variable conditions. In this case, water mixing with the fuel. As a long term problem, there have been no changes on Evinrude’s part.
Using a stronger alloy to construct the injector could have helped this problem.
3. Water Enters Engine’s Lower Unit:
Water enters the lower unit of E-Tec 150 engines due to a leak. A fish line or debris entangled in the prop shaft causes such a leak.
The lower unit should be lubricated with oil. Owners have reported finding water in the lower unit (as much as 20-40 oz).
The oil also changes color. It usually turns muddy or chocolate milkshake color or milky.
Water enters as the shaft seal or the output shaft seal breaks. The housing of the lower unit may also get pierced somehow.
4. Cylinder and Powerhead Issues:
Cylinder problems occur due to bad injectors. Powerhead issues arise due to the fuel injection system as well. The engine usually blows up when bad powerhead issues occur.
Sometimes air bubbles create a restriction in the fuel system. This causes the engine to blow out. Which might lead to replacing a powerhead.
Most powerhead failures occur due to bad rigging.
5. Problem with The Starter:
The boat usually spins and fails to start. The battery may be dead or there may be a problem with the ignition. A voltage drop can also make the battery useless.
Sometimes there is nothing wrong with the battery or voltage. There are many other issues why the boat might not start. There may be something wrong with the fuel system.
The primer bulb may be broken. Lack of prime is a reason why an engine does not start.
6. Throttle & Tilt Switch Problem:
On E-Tec 150 engine, a common problem is the tilt switch malfunctioning. The tilt switch starts tilting down by itself when the battery is turned on. This is related to throttle. Or the switch could be bad at the motor side.
A leak in hydraulics also causes a tilt switch to slowly drop down. A bad relay is a cause otherwise.
A throttle problem is, not throttling up at idle. Throttle problem usually occurs due to a bad sensor. Or a bad trim switch.
Usually, the engine does this if you have a TPS that ranges out of the idle. Nothing but a diagnostic software detects the actual problem for throttle issue.
7. Engine Overheating Issue:
The common problem manifests at higher RPMs. Above 1300 RPMs, the engine overheats unusually. This mainly occurs due to clogged cooling lines.
There are several models of Evinrude E-TEC engines (not just 150 HP ones) with an overheating problem.
The machinery is not suitable to withstand varying water pressure. So at higher RPMs when water pressure changes, the cooling mechanism fails.
Moreover, the cooling hose may have a problem going into the EMM.
What Do The Customers Say?
“As long as you run the good oil in it I reckon you will have no problems. Have heard of a few powerhead problems but that was more with the earlier ones ain’t heard of it that much nowadays and can’t remember the last time I heard of one dying.”
“I ran an ETEC for 7 years problem-free and it started the first time every time even after winter layup.”
“There shouldn’t be a worry about running the etec. It’s a reliable motor and if the dealer hasn’t pulled any codes then just run it and enjoy the torque and less maintenance.”
“I run a 150 Yamaha 4 stroke and put 300+ hrs on it last year and it was perfect. The e-tec will troll down better and is a little lighter.”
— Tony K
“E-Tec = more power, less maintenance, better fuel economy.”
Evinrude E-Tec is overall highly recommended by the users. They are thought to be underrated by owners. And most complaints come from people who are not the owners of this. There is a lot of marketing politics that goes behind this.
Evinrude E-Tec 150 is overall a very reliable engine. Most owners have positive feedbacks about the engine.
Moreover, it comes with a 3-year no service period. Usually, there is no problem within 24 hours on the engine. But some common problems do manifest in this duration. So you can easily save your bucks even with problems. I wholeheartedly recommend this 2-stroke engine with the brilliance of a 4-stroke one.