Outboard won’t start

hi guys

ive got a 115 Johnson outboard that won’t start

I’ve tried to start it couple of days ago after 6 months of sitting there but won’t start.

ive charged the batteries and changed the sparks plug but won’t turn over.

all so won’t go into gear.



Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 14642

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 try new fuel. 

Wed, 2018-02-07 11:00

 try new fuel. 


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

Posts: 197

Date Joined: 15/01/10


Wed, 2018-02-07 11:04

1. Do you have a spark?. check using a spark tester.
2. Do you have fuel?- pump the bulb
3. Do you have compression? compression tester



Vinesh87's picture

Posts: 2756

Date Joined: 02/04/11

 Deadman switch?

Wed, 2018-02-07 11:16

 Deadman switch?

Auslobster's picture

Posts: 1881

Date Joined: 03/05/08

Just to be clear...

Wed, 2018-02-07 11:19

 ....nothing at all happens when you turn the key? Have you got a kill switch? That might be engaged. I know you've also said that it doesn't go into gear...have you at least tried jiggling the gear lever? For most outboard outboards it has to be dead in neutral for them to start.

Could also be a blown fuse.  And double check all your electrical connections, including the battery terminals.

Posts: 15

Date Joined: 17/03/11

Not firing

Wed, 2018-02-07 11:46

it turns over but not firing


tried new fuel


It seems like these not pumping enough petrol though 

Posts: 226

Date Joined: 08/10/13

 If its a 2 stroke and it was

Wed, 2018-02-07 12:09

 If its a 2 stroke and it was not run till the carb bowls were empty then the carbs will need cleaning. You can take the bowls off and clean them and make sure fuel is getting through.   I would first try some crc or something straight into the intake whilst turning over just to make sure it has spark. It should run for a few seconds on a quirt of crc.

Leethal's picture

Posts: 33

Date Joined: 28/10/07

depends on what year it is

Wed, 2018-02-07 18:46

depends on what year it is but they usually have a manual choke

push the key in when you turn it and keep it pushed in until it fires then let it go. If it sounds like it’s going to die again, push the key in for a second or two to activate the choke again

I’ve had a couple of johnno’s and if they hadn’t been used for even a few weeks they’s turn over for ages before they’d even firie if you didn’t give them a little choke (and usually just a touch again once it had fired up to keep it running)

If it doesn’t turn over at all I’d be thinking lanyard/deadman switch or dodgy neutral switch

Leethal's picture

Posts: 33

Date Joined: 28/10/07

 Pump the fuel line bulb a

Wed, 2018-02-07 18:50

 Pump the fuel line bulb a few times and it should feel firm(ish) and you’d feel the fuel inside it.

if it doesn’t feel like that is pumping you may have an air leak in the line somewhere

Posts: 5013

Date Joined: 17/06/10

Have you determined that you are getting a spark

Wed, 2018-02-07 20:29

Have you disconnected the spark plug leads and removed the spark plugs.
Then connected one of the leads to a screw driver and hold the screw driver tip in close proximity (2 - 3mm) to a clean head of a bolt that secures the power head.
When you turn the engine over a bright blue spark should be produced between the tip of the screw driver and the bolt head. This indicates that you are getting power to the spark plug.
Refit spark plugs and leads, ensure choke is closed either manual or electric. try starting motor. If motor does not start after 2 trys of starting it by starter motor.

Observe that engine stops rotating quickly after starter motor has stopped turning it over.

Make sure key is in off position remove both spark plugs and spray in each cylinder one of the hard to start spray cans of start up fluid on the market such as "start ya bastard" or similar product.
A spray of approx. 1/2 - 1 second should be sufficient or as directed on the can.

Refit spark plugs and try to start motor again with choke closed try2 - 3 times. Then try 2 - 3 times with choke open.

Should the engine run briefly then stop the problem is fuel related, carby,fuel line (possible hole sucking air etc

Should the engine not show any signs of cylinder firing ie: engine cough, back fire or run for a brief period.

If there is no indication of the engine firing then at a guess I would suggest that the problem is electric and beyond my knowledge and your require the services of an outboard mechanic.