FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How can I get a replacement owner's manual for my Tohatsu outboard?
How can I get a service and/or parts manual for my Tohatsu outboard?
Tohatsu service manuals & parts catalogs for 4-strokes, 2-strokes, and TLDI outboards can be ordered through your local distributor.
Where is my nearest distributor located?
How much do Tohatsu outboards cost?
As the distributor of Tohatsu outboards, all outboards are sold through our distributor network. Each distributor is free to set their own retail price, therefore, you should contact your local distributor to find the actual retail price in your area.
What horsepower motor should I put on my boat?
There is no one simple answer to this question. There are many factors which must be taken into account, most importantly is to never exceed the horsepower rating of the boat. Other factors to be taken into account are the weight of the boat, weight of passengers/gear, and your expected use of the boat (do you want to water ski? troll around your local lake? etc). To find the best "bang for your buck" please consult your local distributor and discuss your needs with him/her. They will be more than happy to help you find the best outboard for your particular needs.
What size propeller should I use?
As with trying to choose the right horsepower, choosing the right propeller to fit your needs requires you to take a number of factors into account. We have put together a detailed section regarding propellers to help you determine which is the best prop for the job. Please bear in mind that there is no one magic answer that will absolutely guarantee that the prop you choose will give you the performance you expect; sometimes it's simply a matter of trying different props to determine which one will work best for your particular application.
How do I order replacement parts for my Tohatsu outboard?
What is the ratio of oil and gas that I need to mix for my Tohatsu 2-Stroke or TLDI outboard?
With the exception of our outboards which have oil injection systems, Tohatsu 2-stroke outboards require a 50:1 (20mL of oil for each liter of gas) oil/gas mixture after the initial break-in period. Tohatsu outboards which have oil injection will automatically mix the correct amount of oil and gas depending on the engine requirements; you don't have to pre-mix your oil & gas with these systems. We've put together a handy chart to help you calculate the amount of oil/gas to mix.
Can I use any kind of oil in my Tohatsu 2-Stroke outboard?
For your 2-stroke outboard, be sure and use only 2-cycle outboard oil, with an NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) certified rating of TCW3. Never, never, never use automobile oil in your 2-stroke outboard. You can find Tohatsu 2-stroke outboard motor oil at your local distributor.
TLDI outboards should only be run using an oil that meets or exceeds TCW3 oil specifically formulated for use in Direct Injection motors and are semi-synthetic or full synthetic. Standard TCW3 oil is not recommended for use in TLDI outboards.
Can I use any kind of oil in my Tohatsu 4-Stroke outboard?
For your 4-stroke outboard, you should use Genuine Tohatsu FC-W 4-Cycle Oil. Tohatsu FC-W 4-Cycle Oil is NMMA Certified and has been specially formulated to handle the higher RPM's that outboards are subjected to, as well as special rust inhibitors to combat the harsh operating conditions of the marine environment. Genuine Tohatsu Oil reduces friction & wear and ensures the internal components are properly lubricated for optimum performance. If Tohatsu 4-Cycle Oil is not available we recommend using an NMMA Certified FC-W 4-cycle oil formulated for use in outboard engines. Look for oils bearing the FC-W trademark.
Your Tohatsu 4-stroke outboard is equipped with an Engine Oil Warning Lamp (except for 2hp, 2.5hp & 3.5hp). When the warning lamp is off, it indicates that sufficient oil pressure is present. If the warning lamp is on (red light is on) or blinking on/off, immediately shut down your outboard and check the oil level. Replenish as needed. If the oil level is at the appropriate level and the light continues to stay on or blink, consult your local distributor for assistance (do not use your outboard until a distributor has corrected the problem).
You may notice the engine oil warning lamp come on when you first start your outboard. This is normal and should go off after a few seconds. On cold starts, the lamp may stay on longer due to the oil being thicker. If so, stop the engine and restart and the lamp should go off quickly. If the warning lamp does not go out after 4-8 seconds, stop the engine and consult your local distributor.
Do I have to use any special type of gas (super unleaded, regular unleaded, etc) in my Tohatsu outboard?
The octane rating for Tohatsu outboards are 91 (RON) or 87 ((R+M)/2).
Tohatsu outboards are formulated to use E0-10 ethanol fuels only.
Any fuel with an ethanol content above E10 is prohibited and could lead to issues.
I don't have any water coming from the "tell tale" water hole on my outboard. What should I do?
Immediately shut down your outboard! Do not start your engine back up until the problem is corrected or you will overheat and severely damage your engine. First check that the telltale is not stopped up (using a wire or air pressure) and then check the water intake on your lower unit and make sure that it is unobstructed. If the water intake is clear then chances are your water pump impeller needs to be replaced or you have an obstruction inside your lower unit. Take your outboard to your nearest distributor for inspection.
How often should I have my water pump impeller changed?
You should inspect your water pump impeller each year before taking your boat out on the water. We recommend you change your impeller every year at a minimum depending on the amount of use you put on your outboard. One thing to remember is that even if you only use your outboard a couple of times a year you still need to have your impeller checked/replaced every year. Water pump impellers are made from rubber and will deteriorate over time even without being used (commonly referred to as "dry rot"); this can be just as damaging to your water pump as wear and tear.
When used in salt water we also recommend you lubricate the driveshaft splines and hardware while changing your water pump and the lower unit has been removed. This greatly reduces problems from salt corrosion on shaft splines and installation hardware.
I don't have a remote electric start engine, is there any way to shut off my Tohatsu outboard without having to pull the safety lanyard cord off each time?
Yes, simply press in the "button" where the lanyard cord attaches to the outboard. This will shut off the engine without having to remove the lanyard cord.
Do Tohatsu outboards come with lower unit oil already installed from the factory?
Yes. The lower unit gear oil has already been added at the factory, however, you should check to ensure it is completely full before starting your outboard for the first time. To replace/add lower unit oil we recommend any GL-5 type SAE 80 or 90 weight oil. We also recommend changing the oil in the Fall before the weather turns cold. This will remove any condensation before freeze damage can occur. You may also want to check out our web page giving you step-by-step instructions on how to change and check the oil in your lower unit.
Do Tohatsu 4-stroke outboards come with crankcase oil already installed from the factory?
NO!!! Tohatsu 4-stroke outboards are not filled with oil from the factory. Before you start your 4-stroke outboard you must add oil to the crankcase. If you do not add oil, you will severely damage your outboard. Running a 4-stroke without crankcase oil would be like running your car without oil...the engine will seize up and you will end up having to replace the engine block/powerhead (this type of damage is not covered under warranty). Please consult your owner's manual for the proper oil type and amount to add and for the proper break-in and operating procedures. Refer to the dipstick or sight glass and Do Not Overfill. Overfilling the crankcase with oil will cause running problems!
How can I tell what shaft length my outboard needs to be?
Measure from the top of your transom to the bottom of your keel. If it is from 15" to 17" long you'll need to get a Tohatsu outboard with a "short" shaft. If it is from 20" to 22" long you'll need our "long" shaft outboard. Tohatsu outboard shafts are measured from the bottom of the engine mounting bracket to the cavitation plate on the lower unit. Generally most boats need either a short or long shaft although some boats require a 25" shaft (ultra-long shaft) outboard.
Please note that depending on the particular model, some Tohatsu shaft lengths may be 2" longer than "standard" (ie: a short shaft may be 17" instead of 15" and a long shaft may be 22" instead of 20"). Therefore, depending on the configuration of your keel, the shaft length required by your boat may be different than the above recommendation. We recommend that you consult with your local distributor to determine which is the correct shaft length for your particular boat.
I have a Tohatsu 2.5hp (or 3.5hp) outboard. What size shear pin do I need to use?
For the 2-stroke models and 4-stroke 2, 2.5 and 3.5, any 5/32" x 1" (4mm x 24mm) shear pin will work just fine. There are two types of shear pins available; brass and stainless steel. Brass shear pins are available through aftermarket companies and will "give" if you strike an underwater object. However, brass shear pins may also break more easily if shifting or accelerating too quickly. Stainless steel shear pins are much harder than brass shear pins and won't "give" if striking an object which could cause damage to the prop. However, stainless steel shear pins won't break as easily as brass shear pins when accelerating quickly or when shifting gears. Stainless steel shear pins are standard with new motors, along with the resin prop.
What is the break-in procedure for my Tohatsu outboard?
The break-in period is the most critical time in the life of your Tohatsu outboard. Correct operation during the break-in period will prolong the life of your new outboard and will ensure optimum performance. Properly breaking-in your new outboard will ensure the initial smooth operation and lubrication of all moving parts (pistons, gears, bearings, etc). For a complete list of break-in procedures for all Tohatsu outboards (both 2-stroke and 4-stroke) click here.
Why does the Model Year label on my outboard not match the year shown on my Manufacturers Statement of Origin (MSO)?
The EPA emissions label on the side of the outboard shows the year the outboard was manufactured, however, this should not be confused with the "Model Year" of the outboard. The model year starts at different times than the calendar year, therefore, it is possible the emissions label will show the motor produced in one year, but the MSO shows a later model year. For example, an emissions label may show a motor was produced in 2013, but the MSO may show that it is a 2014 model year outboard.
Are Tohatsu outboards rated for saltwater use?
Yes. All Tohatsu outboards are designed to be used in both saltwater or freshwater applications. Tohatsu outboards are used worldwide by commercial fishermen whose main application is saltwater usage. To help combat the corrosive effects of saltwater, all Tohatsu outboards are treated with a unique paint process which includes starting with marine grade aluminum alloy and then applying a high solid epoxy primer undercoat and then a high solid acrylic resin coat of paint. In addition, critical parts are made of stainless steel and all outboards include a zinc anode. As with any outboard used in saltwater, it is recommended you thoroughly flush your motor with freshwater after each use.