Salt Water Operation

Your Honda Marine engine is designed and manufactured to precise specifications to ensure years of trouble-free operation. Operating and storing of your engine in salt water or polluted water may have adverse effects on your outboard. The good news is most salt/polluted water problems can be avoided by following a few simple steps.

Follow These Steps to Prevent Most Polluted or Salt Water Operational Issues



1. Always flush your outboard with fresh water after each use in salt water or polluted water. Follow the instructions shown in the Storage section of your owner’s manual. We suggest flushing with Honda Marine Salt Terminator.

Flushing with fresh water will prevent a buildup of deposits that can clog or corrode the water passages, sensors, and thermostat(s) in the cooling system.

2. Wash down the exterior with fresh water after each use. We suggest washing the exterior with Honda Marine Salt Terminator or a mild biodegradable detergent. Do not spray water into the air intake. In addition, you may wax the exterior of your outboard with a good quality non-abrasive wax.

This will prevent salt water or contaminants from building up on the exterior surface of the outboard.

3. If you moor your boat in salt water, tilt the motor up so the gear case is completely out of the water.

Keeping the gear case out of the water will prevent marine organisms from growing on it, possibly eating into the surface of the gear case.

4. Store your outboard out of direct sunlight.

Direct sunlight can damage the finish of your outboard and any rubber components if exposed for long periods of time. If storage out of direct sunlight is not possible, we recommend using a Honda Marine UV-resistant fabric cover while in storage.

5. Check the exterior for nicks and scrapes. Touch up nicks and scrapes as soon as possible.

Bare metal exposed to salt or polluted water will corrode and deteriorate. Corrosion can grow beneath the painted surface surrounding a nick or scrape if left untreated.

6. Apply Honda Marine Corrosion Inhibitor to all areas under the engine cover and to any exposed metal surfaces monthly. Do not spray Corrosion Inhibitor on the surface of the timing or alternator belt(s), the alternator, oxygen sensor, or anodes.

The salt air environment promotes corrosion of unprotected parts over time.

7. Apply Honda Marine Waterproof Grease monthly to the lubrication points as shown in the owner’s manual under Servicing Your Outboard Motor.

Fully greased components help to prevent salt water intrusion and subsequent corrosion.

8. Have the thermostat(s) and water pump serviced annually or every 200 hours of use.

Salt water and contaminants can decrease the service life of the water pump components and thermostat(s).

Refer to your owner’s manual for additional maintenance information. If you do not have an owner’s manual, you can download the manual here.

Honda Marine Accessories for Polluted or Salt Water Operation

All accessories are available at your local Honda Marine dealer.

Salt Terminator

For all marine applications, salt terminator is designed to dissolve and remove salt build-up commonly associated with marine environments while providing a protective sheen, guarding against future salt corrosion. Use salt terminator to flush marine engines, outboard engines, jet boats and personal watercraft. Spray salt terminator on all surfaces exposed to salt water or salt air to clean and protect them from salt corrosion. Use with the salt terminator miser to automatically dilute the concentrate and siphon it through a standard garden hose for engine flushing or exterior cleaning.

Honda Marine Grease

Honda Marine Multi-Purpose Grease is an extreme-pressure grease for high-load use with excellent water resistance properties. It provides excellent resistance to water washout, rust, and corrosion under severe duty conditions. It maintains superb consistency and adhesion under wide temperature ranges and extreme salt-water exposure. Available in 14 oz. cartridge.

Honda Marine Corrosion Inhibitor

This professional strength corrosion inhibitor and lubricant is especially effective in salt water environments.

  • Silicone free
  • No waxy buildup
  • Preserves metal surfaces
  • For use under the hood and on exterior engine parts
  • Ideal for preparation for winter storage
  • Contains anti-wear additives for long term lubrication
  • Provides penetration for loosening of corroded parts
  • Will not harm plastics or electrical wires

Touch-Up Paints

Original factory colors in aerosol spray cans. A 3-part system (primer, base paint, and clearcoat) is available to ensure long life. Also available in a touch up pen for small nicks and quarts for professional repair shops.