“I have gear oil leaking out of my lower unit”

Over the years I have been here at Fairwinds Service I have been asked a lot of questions about concerns customers have about their two-stroke outboard.  One of the most popular is “I have gear oil leaking out of my lower unit”.  Although this can happen, and it would be an important concern, I have found that most of the time it is not gear oil but instead the accumulation of unburned oil and exhaust that will eventually make its way down through the exhaust housing and then down into the lower unit.  This accumulation can appear as a black oil forming around the prop shaft area and dripping down the skeg.  It can even leave a puddle of oil under the motor – this problem can even be worse when the motor is not running properly, in need of a tune-up or cooling service, or from just doing a lot of low speed running.  I also hear this complaint a lot in the spring when the boat has been sitting in one place all winter, especially in boats that have been winterized.  Often, this is the fogging oil dripping out and mistaken as gear oil.

One quick check is to look at the oil condition in the lower unit.  If it is the same color as what you are seeing leaking out of the lower unit, it may indicate a problem.  If oil is leaking out of a gearcase, that would mean that water is leaking into the gearcase.  The oil would then appear milky white.

If you are still unsure, or think you have a problem, you can bring it into Fairwinds Service and our qualified technicians will check it out for you.


71 60hp Johnson with Hdro-Electric shift (Solenids,Electri gear

Hi I am trying to find parts for my Dad's 15ft fishing boat, that has a 1971 Johnson 60hp motor.... After attempting to check the green and blue wire going to lower unit... Checked with it in Neutral the green read 12volts same wire in forward know volts.. Then checked blue wire had volts in Neutral, not suppose to right??? Then checked both green and blue in Reverse, they both had 12 volts... Also when checked ohms in Neutral had 7.2 ohms checked in Forward I believe know ohms, checked both green and blue one at a time had between 7.2 and 7.3.... We have drained lower unit after having both seals replaced and oil looks fine....So after reading several different forms on different sites was wondering if what they are saying that Safety Start Switch isn't one, that it is called an Electric Gear Shift to control the lower unit gear Solenoids.... If this is so where and how much will it cost for one of these Electric Gear Shift Switch???? Can you buy used ones and get buy, yes cause it always seems Money is a problem isn't it????? If you want you can email me direct to my email address which is d.duffer@twc.com with your answers.... Thanks Very Much kyfishman  BG KY

“I have gear oil leaking out of my lower unit” | Fairwinds

I like the valuable info you provide in your articles.

I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.
I'm quite certain I'll learn lots of new stuff right here!
Good luck for the next!

“I have gear oil leaking out of my lower unit” | Fairwinds

Greetings I am so thrilled I found your blog page, I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Google for
something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to
say thanks for a tremendous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design),
I don’t have time to read through it all at the
minute but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds,
so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up
the great b.

“I have gear oil leaking out of my lower unit” | Fairwinds

Great article.

“I have gear oil leaking out of my lower unit” | Fairwinds

These are actually wonderful ideas in about blogging. You have touched some
nice things here. Any way keep up wrinting.