A Suzuki outboard engine is shown operating attached to the rear of a boat.

A Boaters Guide to Suzuki Outboard Engines

Till 1994, Suzuki manufactured two-stroke outboard engines. But to grow in the boat market, it began manufacturing four-stroke outboard motors, whose popularity was a big hit. Still, many people wonder if Suzuki makes good outboard motor?

People may doubt the quality of Suzuki’s outboard engines. However, with proper maintenance, the motors can last for thousands of hours, which serves as solid proof of the quality. Additionally, the company offers an extended warranty, and users rarely need to get the motors repaired, which further backs the evidence of quality.

Apart from their fantastic quality and extended warranty, Suzuki outboard motors also house way more impressive features. What are they? Keep reading to find out, because this is a boaters guide to Suzuki outboard motors.

Why Choose Suzuki Outboard Engines?

A new and shiny black Suzuki outboard engine is shown.
A new Suzuki Lean Burn model of outboard engine.

Suzuki enjoys a worldwide reputation for advanced engineering design and has 50+ years of experience in the marine engine sector. If that doesn’t convince you, here are a couple of exciting features worth taking a look at:

  • Lean Burn System
  • Offset driveshaft and 2-stage gear reduction
  • Self-adjusting timing chain
  • Anti-corrosion finish
  • Precision control

And the list goes on! So what are these features exactly? No clue? Let’s discuss them in brief, along with their associated benefits.

Lean Burn System

Based on your navigation conditions, the lean-burn system can supply the right amount of fuel and air mixture. You’ll notice a significant improvement in the fuel economy irrespective of your speed ranges. The improvement is better noticeable at cruising speed. Improvement in fuel economy helps in saving fuel and cutting gasoline costs.

Offset Driveshaft & 2-Stage Gear Reduction

The feature is meant to offer high propulsive efficiency with the help of a large diameter propeller. Additionally, it improves the boat’s handling by maintaining the propeller rotation irrespective of the load (uniform rotation even at larger loads). You’ll notice quick acceleration as the motor can generate immense power to turn these gigantic propellers. 

Self-Adjusting Timing Chain

The engine’s timing chain runs in an oil bath, so basically, you’ll never need to lubricate it manually, hence becoming maintenance-free. The automatic hydraulic tensioner achieves self-adjustment. The chain is equipped with this tensioner. Therefore, it remains properly adjusted all the time. The self-adjusting chains become more durable than other belt types (of the same class).

Anti-Corrosion Finish

An anti-corrosion finish is achieved by adding a layer of the anode on the aluminum exterior of the engine. These anodes are also called “sacrificial anodes” because the corrosion will build upon them, keeping the vital engine parts safe. 

You can always expect these anodes to get destroyed sooner or later, making your engine vulnerable to corrosion. However, it’ll still be a good return on investment by that time, making Suzuki’s engines last much longer than those of competitors.

Precision Control

The precision control feature offers quick and reliable operation and less friction and resistance than those motors that use actual control cables. This feature is only available in the following engine series:

  • DF200AP
  • DF250AP
  • DF350AP
  • DF325A
  • DF350A

Suzuki Outboard Engines Troubleshooting

A Suzuki outboard engine is cutaway to reveal the inner workings.
A view of the guts of a modern Suzuki outboard engine.

This section deals with a couple of common issues faced by Suzuki outboard motor owners, along with the troubleshooting that you can perform at home. If the problem persists, we recommend taking a pro help.

Motor Not Starting

If the motor doesn’t start at all, inspect the primer bulb. In case there’s no resistance, that indicates that the fuel isn’t entering the engine. In this case, you might have to replace the primer bulb and the entire fuel line. 

But before replacing, you can check whether the fuel line is clear, as there can be some debris (or something like that), which could be blocking the fuel from reaching the engine.

Power Leak/Loss

Sometimes boat owners get suspicious that there’s a power leak or loss in their boat. Check the spark plugs and filter for a sudden (and noticeable) drop in power when the engine runs at full throttle. If the results are positive, plugs most likely need to be cleaned (or replaced if the problem persists). 

Another possibility is that maybe water has entered the fuel filter. Furthermore, you shall check if there’s a kink in the fuel line.

Vibration(s)

Vibrations (generally) occur due to the misbalance of the moving parts. First of all, check for the possibly broken (or damaged) propeller. You might notice unusual or choppy vibrations coming from the engine, which is (most probably) due to a bent, broken, or altered propeller. 

But how do I check? Please turn off the motor and pull it out of the water. Visually inspect the propeller. There’s no other way (at least at home) to inspect it.

Suzuki Engines- Buying Suggestions

Let’s take a look at some top-notch Suzuki outboard engines, which you may consider buying. Their prices are highly fluctuating, hence not included in this article. You shall contact any local dealer, eBay, or any other online seller for the latest prices.

DFA175A

The Lean Burn Technology (LBT), semi-direct intake system, and a high-performance compression ratio (10.2-to-1) all together make this engine fuel-efficient. You can expect up to 14% more fuel efficiency and 7% savings on fuel.

These engines offer more torque, which can generate more power even at full rpm range. The performance won’t hinder even on a full load. It’s designed to offer quick acceleration as well. Furthermore, you can expect reliability from these engines. How?

There’s a knock sensor, water detecting system, and O2 sensor, which protect the engine from the effects of harmful gas, poor combustion, lower power output, and corrosion.

It is a 175 HP engine manufactured in Japan (available in the United States), which comes with a manufacturer warranty.

DF30A

It’s a 4-stroke 30 HP engine, which comes with a 6-year warranty. The product is manufactured and available in the United States. Some of its impressive features are:

  1. New generation fuel injection system (battery-less fuel injection)
  2. Roller rocker arms
  3. Engine monitoring LED indicators
  4. Efficient operation (via lower emissions)

The fuel to this engine is supplied with the LBT and a battery-less fuel injection system, improving overall fuel efficiency without hindering the actual performance. Its roller rocker arms are meant to reduce friction, while the LED monitoring system will let you learn the engine’s status at a glance.

DF150A

This model is manufactured in Japan (and available in the United States). It’s a 4-stroke engine that comes with a 3+3-years warranty and can be financed. The 150 HP power output is meant for performance and heavy-duty. Its remarkable features include “selective rotation” and “precision control (discussed above).”

This engine is capable of switching the gearshift mode of the regular rotation. You can change the propeller’s rotation direction into counter-rotation, but there’s a catch! For that, you need to install two or more outboard motors to switch to counter-rotation (this is achieved by changing the gearshift mode and installing a counter-rotation propeller). 

Suzuki recommends consulting with the dealer before changing the standard rotation to counter-rotation or vice versa. It further states that an additional propeller is mandatory to change the outboards’ rotation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a 4-stroke outboard motor better than a 2-stroke?

Yes, 4-stroke motors are better than 2-stroke, without a doubt. 2-stroke engines are less fuel-efficient, produce more emissions, and get fewer miles per gallon.

How long will the outboard engines last?

You can expect the longevity of a 2-stroke motor to be around 1,500 to 2,000 hours, and after that, the engine might need some minor or major maintenance. A 4-stroke outboard engine, on the other hand, lasts much longer. However, with proper care, you can easily improve the longevity of any outboard motor. The same is the case with Suzuki outboard engines.

Why are outboard motors so unreliable?

The reasons why outboard motors prove unreliable are lack of care, ill-maintenance, abuse, etc.; opting for bad quality is another common reason. Some motors, on the other hand, go bad because of overuse.

How much can an outboard motor cost?

You can buy an outboard motor for as low as $200 (or even lower), and the price can go up to $90,000 (or even more). The price depends on the manufacturer, model, make and year, technology, and much more. Suzuki’s engines, for instance, can range from $2,600 to $17,999. The prices are subject to change at any time.

Are older Suzuki outboards any good?

Older (second-hand) pieces may still be worth buying after a thorough inspection. If its hours are still low and isn’t damaged at all, you can consider testing the product (if the seller allows). Complete the purchase once you’re satisfied with the product. Older models are good as well if properly maintained.

How to know the Suzuki motors’ important information?

You’ll have to open the cover and look for the aluminum plug (you’ll find it on the engine block). There you can find the printed model number, serial number, month, and year of manufacture.

Conclusion

Suzuki offers a pretty wide range of outboard motors, and you’ll indeed find one based on your needs. No matter how good or bad these engines were in the past, the bottom line is that they’re ruling the boat market today. Japanese products are known for their quality, so you can always go for them. By the end of this article, you must have learned a lot of interesting stuff related to Suzuki outboard motors, and now it’s your turn to go out and buy one for your boat. Good luck!

Sources

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