You Should Know These Symptoms of a Bad Trigger Outboard

A bad trigger is a problem for all sorts of engines including the outboard ones. It causes different problems while running outboard.

In this article, I am going to talk about the symptoms of an outboard motor’s bad trigger problem also possible solutions.

Therefore, it would help you to pinpoint and troubleshoot the issue in the right way.

What Signs Should You Look for To Catch A Bad Trigger Outboard?

Having a hard time starting the engine or can’t start outboard motors at all is a sign of a bad timer.

However, it is not the only one.

As successfully starting an engine depends on several other parts and components, you can’t simply blame the trigger right away.

Here, let me tell you more symptoms below so that you can know when to check the trigger, aka timer base, while troubleshooting a problem.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Trigger Outboard?

It is not possible to tell that the trigger is faulty after seeing a symptom.

Before you assume the trigger is bad, you should suspect the stator. Check the trigger with an ohmmeter and resolve the confusion quickly before any time-consuming inspection.

When any of the following issues occur, there is a good chance that your outboard engine’s timer base is not working properly.

1. No Spark

Getting no spark to complete combustion and failing to start the engine is a common symptom of this issue.

It obstructs one or multiple cylinders from getting enough voltage or sparks. As a result, you can get a shaky start or run, and misfires.

This situation also indicates that the outboard trigger can’t provide the signal for maintaining a steady voltage output.

2. Hard to Start

When your boat is left idle for some time and trying to start again, you may find it hard to make the engine run.

The cause of it is low power or weak spark. Or, seeing the engine taking longer than usual to get started is also a symptom of such a problem.

Furthermore, you may experience a higher frequency of the engine getting stalled.

Lastly, I want to share a diagram of the internal wiring so that you can understand the working better. It would also help you find out whether the trigger is the culprit or something else is.

How Should you React if You Detect a Bad Trigger?

If the trigger is not functioning properly, there will be no options other than replacing it.

But you have to understand that the symptoms I have mentioned above can also happen due to other various reasons.

So, you have to check how it is doing before call an expert mechanic to replace it. Anyone can test it by following the simple steps below.

Steps to Test Outboard Trigger

  1. First of all, see whether there is any physical damage to the component. A damaged coil or broken insulation would save you the trouble to perform other steps.
  2. After that, bring a multimeter or an ohmmeter close to the outboard engine. You can also take out the trigger and test it in your garage.
  3. Now, you can see that two sets of wires having 3 each. Among the three, there are white, brown, and purple color wires.
  4. Take the meter’s two probes, and connect them to one set’s brown and another set’s purple. It should read about 1200 ohms or 1.2 kilo-ohms. The reading can be slightly different.
  5. Next, repeat the previous step for one set’s white and another set’s brown.
  6. Again, do it, and this time purple to white. All three readings should be the same.

Thus, you now know for sure whether the trigger needs to be replaced or not. For better understanding, you can watch out this YouTube video.

Is Fixing A Bad Trigger Outboard Expensive?

No, it is not very expensive. A new trigger or time base would cost you around 150 bucks or less

Furthermore, an outboard motor mechanic would charge less than 100 dollars per hour even in the summer. The charge is far less in the winter.

Hence, you can complete the whole replacement process without costing more than $250.

However, the cost can vary based on where you live. I mean that I don’t know the exact amount the mechanics in your area charge.

Furthermore, if installing the new trigger doesn’t solve the problem, you will have to spend more to find out the faulty component and replace it.

Final Thoughts

A faulty trigger or timer base can affect the power pack and the overall performance of the outboard motor. So, no one should take any chance.

Whenever, there is an issue, no matter how small it is, a smart man or woman should immediately take action to solve it.

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