4 Symptoms to Detect a Bad Voltage Regulator on an Outboard

Have you noticed some form of abnormal activity with your boat? Have you felt any fluctuations in speed while you are driving? Has your boat battery been depleting more quicker than usual?

If you have answered yes to all of our questions above, your vehicle likely has bad voltage regulator issues. It might be the main reason your vehicle is going through such abnormalities.

But how could you be sure if it is the voltage regulator’s fault, and if so, how could you fix it? Fret not, for we will answer all your queries in this article. Therefore, we advise you to continue reading.

What Are The Signs Of A Bad Voltage Regulator On Outboard?

A voltage regulator maintains the voltage levels in the outboard engine. So, if your voltage regulator somehow becomes faulty or bad, you should face some of these problems. Here is a list of the bad voltage regulator symptoms outboard.

Symptom 1: Sudden Dips in speed while driving

This is a symptom that you will notice while you are riding your vehicle. While riding, you might feel the speed being limited. 

Then, all of a sudden, the speed would rev up and your vehicle would proceed to move forward really quickly.

This can happen once or repeatedly in your vehicle. If you notice this symptom occurs frequently, it might be due to a bad voltage regulator.

Symptom 2: The Outboard engine not starting

You might face this issue quite often and think that this is nothing major. However, one of the major symptoms of a faulty voltage regulator is the problem starting the vehicle.

A faulty regulator might not allow enough electricity to pass from the battery to the engine, not allowing the vehicle to start at all.

Symptom 3: Corrupted Stator of Outboard Engine

If you stumble upon a damaged or corrupted stator, you might also need to check the voltage regulator of your engine. 

The damage to the stator could occur from excessive electricity passing to the stator. 

If the voltage regulator is damaged or faulty, it might not be able to stop the excess current from flowing, thus damaging the stator and potentially other electrical components of the outboard engine.

Symptom 4: Dead Battery

Oftentimes, a dead battery could indicate that there is some problem with your voltage regulator. When your battery continuously receives fluctuations in voltage, its terminals could get corroded and at times, the battery could become dead.

Possible Causes of a Voltage Regulator Failure on an Outboard Engine?

A regulator failure, especially a voltage-related one, could be due to multiple factors. The factors could range from the fault arising within the component of the outboard engine vehicle. 

Down below, we have arranged a list of the causes which could lead to voltage regulator failure in an outboard engine.

  1. Faulty Voltage regulator
  2. Corroded wired connection leading to/out of the regulator
  3. Issues with the outboard engine
  4. Wear and tear to the component by external factors such as water, dust, wind, etc
  5. Excessive heating of some electrical accessories
  6. Damaged battery terminals

More causes lead to an outboard engine voltage regulator failure. However, these are the main ones, and we believe your issue lies within this list.

Replacement and Repair Costs of Outboard Bad Voltage Regulator

Now that you know your problem with your outboard engine is due to the regulator, it is time to replace it with a new one. But do you know how to replace it or repair it?

You could either fix it by yourself or ask the help from a professional. If you want to fix it by yourself, try opening the engine and changing the regulator connected to the top of the outboard engine.

For the other way, head to your local garage and book an appointment. The professional will deal with the rest of the problem for you.

Cost of Replacing the Outboard Bad Voltage Regulator

The replacement procedure is inexpensive and should not cost you more than a hundred bucks. We have arranged a table for you that highlights the cost structure of both methods.

ParticularsDIY Repair CostRepair Shop Cost
Voltage Regulator10-60 dollars10-60 dollars
Labor costnone75-130 dollars/hour

Voltage regulators are quite inexpensive, to begin with. They range from 10 bucks and can go up to 100 bucks. But where should you buy your voltage regulators from?

If you are looking for a place to purchase these goods, we would suggest you go and look into your nearest automotive store. 

It should contain all the components that you will need to fix your outboard engine.

However, if you cannot bring out the time to go outside, you can also order them online. 

Sites like Amazon and Alibaba are wonderful for purchasing your components. Not only can you grab good products, but also, you can get good discounts on them.

Companies like Yamaha, LActrical, and ARCO, sell decent voltage regulators for your outboard engines.

It would be wise if you purchase the product of such companies as they are more likely to sustain in the future, providing you with more backup.

Tips for Maintaining the Outboard Voltage Regulator to Prevent Future Failures

In this section, we will be providing you with some tips which will ensure the longevity of your outboard voltage regulator. 

A voltage regulator is quite a crucial component that controls the output of an engine and other components, hence it must be kept safe. Here is a list of tips that you will require in the future.

  • Check whether the terminals of the battery are corroded or not.
  • Keep the outboard engine properly covered.
  • After every ride, allow your engine to properly cool off.
  • Watch out for leaks within the plastic covering of the engine, to ensure no water enters the engine.
  • Check for the wire connections to see if they are damaged or not.
  • Take your engine out for a maintenance check every month.


We believe that this article has answered all of your queries. Even if you have some questions lingering in your mind, we have prepared some FAQs for you.

What are the things you will need to look for before buying a new voltage regulator?

You will need to keep a couple of things in mind while buying it such as input and output voltage, power draw, etc. If you keep the voltage limit and compatibility of the regulator with the engine in check, your new voltage regulator will be good to go.

What is the function of the voltage regulator in your outboard engine?

The function of the voltage regulator is to ensure that all the electrical appliances and your engine receive the same amount of voltage. It also protects the other components from voltage spikes.

Is the bad voltage regulator on the outboard engine a serious issue?

Yes. One should replace the regulator as soon as the owner gets to know about it. Without the regulator or the faulty one, the other components of the vehicle are susceptible to permanent damage.

Should you buy a cheap voltage regulator or an expensive voltage regulator for your outboard engine?

It does not depend on the price as long as it meets all the criteria of your outboard engine. However, buying an expensive one does provide you with more assurance of a better product and is likely to last longer.

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