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Losing power to starter

I have a 2009 Hurricane Deck boat with a Yamaha F150 4 stroke outboard.  I have power to all the switches and accy's but am losing power to the starter when I try to start. Battery is putting out 12+ volts, but when I check volts going into the starter, it drops down to around 3 volts. I assume the problem is either in the ignition (fuel pump engages and there is a click at the starter when I attempt to start) or in the wiring harness.  Any ideas on how to test these or what the problem may be?


  • cjjjdeck
    cjjjdeck Member, Moderator Posts: 1,872 ✭✭✭✭
    The first thing I would check is the cable connections at the battery and going to the starter as the condition you describe could be poor contact (check for corrosion).  Another condition could be a bad/weak cell in your battery.
    2012 SD237 I/O Mercruiser 5.0L MPI ECT/ Bravo 3
    2012 Load Rite Elite Tandem axle trailer

  • nquirk
    nquirk Member, Moderator Posts: 672 ✭✭✭✭
    Is the battery producing 12+ volts standing or does it also produce that voltage when cranking it over (producing a draw)  Measure both  because when you put a draw on it to crank, if the voltage drops below 10v, try another battery.
    2010 Hurricane SS 188 OB
    2010 Mercury Optimax 200HP / Mercury SS High Five 19P
    2010 Trailmaster SC trailer
  • Dpierce
    Dpierce Member Posts: 3
    Check the low profile fuses on the engine.  If I recall, there's a 20amp for the starter.
  • M99
    M99 Member Posts: 68 ✭✭

    If the cable connections are all good, then I'd be looking at a bad starter. The voltage will always drop as the starter engages.  But that's also when any bad connection will show up. If you check voltage at each connection, as you engage the starter, you can find where the voltage drop occurs.  If the cables all check OK, it is almost certainly a bad starter motor trying to pull too much amperage. A frozen motor would cause the same thing, but is easy to check by pulling the spark plugs.  Then the motor should turn over easily with little load on the starter.