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SUBJECT: # 27333: Mercury Optimax problems - dont ever buy one

Submitted by Richard E. Moore (47.234.0.51) from NORTH CAROLINA on 6/24/2005 3:19:00 PM

* do not purchase a Mercury outboard ever, especially Optimax! MERCURY MARINE WILL NOT STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT TO CORRECT PRODUCT DEFECTS.. IN THE FALL OF 2000 I PURCHASED A MERCURY 225 SALTWATER OPTIMAX.. AND IT I HAVE EXPERIENCED POOR PERFORMANCE,, (INTERMITTENT MISS FIRE FROM DAY 1) AND THE DEALER CANNOT FIND OR CORRECT THE PROBLEM, AND MERCURY WILL NOT EVEN GIVE ME THE NAME OF THEIR FACTORY REPRESENTIVE.. THAT TELLS ALL,, A FACTORY REP THAT MERCURY CUSTOMERS CANNOT CALL.. * DO NOT PURCHASE A MERCURY PRODUCT * POOR QUALITY, AND MERCURY WILL NOT STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT! pos!


I AM GOING TO REPLACE THIS OPTIMAX POS WITH A YAMAHA, OR JOHNSON 4 STROKE!



  1. 6/24/2005 9:48:00 PM Submitted by jethro (172.164.121.129) from AL says Good Grief
    You bought the motor in 2000 and are just now complaining? My Mercury came with only a one year warranty. How did you get five or more? Have you read your owners manual yet? It gives phone numbers to call at Mercury. You can also try the yellow pages for Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

    After all else fails, you might try reading the instructions.


  2. 6/25/2005 12:30:00 AM Submitted by Jerry (24.238.247.134) from TX says Troll
    Sounds like a crock to me. A friend of mine had problems with his early Optimax (forget what year) and they replaced the powerhead for free. What is the serial number of your Optimax.


  3. 6/25/2005 10:52:00 AM Submitted by Don (66.157.50.252) from LA says Mercury is junk
    I can agree with the Mercury is junk , I had one and I rather be bank fishing than taking a chance if I make it back to the dock or not with the Mercury , know of three people right now with new mercurys on their boats and all have troubles , one boat has two of them on it and both have different issues going on , the only reason I think you see so many of them is the are part of a boat package deal ----the best motor now is the e tek then the yamaha


  4. 6/26/2005 9:35:00 AM Submitted by Minx (68.107.226.198) from VA says Geez......
    ....sounds like a "Product Loyalty" debate coming up. Kinda like a Chevy/Ford Nascar thing :) Wasn't it too long ago Yamaha was blowing powerheads when we didn't break them in right? Wasn't Johnson/Evinrude another name for boat anchors before they got bought by Bombadier? I gotta kinda figure every motor has it's problems and toss in a marine environment and what is perceived as a motor problem can be anything from bad fuel system to a shorting ignition switch. Yeah, Mercury probally has problems somewhere, been at it a long time. I kinda like the paint scheme, looks good with a bright yellow boat, but then again, that E-tek thing from Evinrude, shiny white paint, good gas mileage....on the other hand a Yamaha with gray paint? Might have to change the pinstripe on the boat.....decisions, decisions :)


  5. 6/26/2005 4:32:00 PM Submitted by Jerry (24.238.247.134) from TX says Yamaha ha ha
    http://2coolfishing.com/ttmbforum/showthread.php?t=24913


  6. 6/26/2005 6:46:00 PM Submitted by Dunk79 (68.44.136.169) from NJ says Well Minx...
    Take my word for it. Merc optimax's are not getting any better. I know 10-12 guy's that are waiting on powerheads for their 02-03-04 Optimax's. Some of them with twins and both engines nedd PH's.. Don't even get me started on their gearcase problems.. They seem to be getting worse. The guy's I know with 98-99's with up to 1800hrs on them, they are running fine. It's gotten old hearing the 02's had the problems cured... Then it was the 03's then the 04's and now the 05's are suppose to be right??

    The Yam HPDI's are fine, just don't buy a 250 or 300. The 150/175/200's are good engines.. Yam over extended themselves doing end runs around everyone to get their engines on too many boats as package deals. Their quality control when to crap..

    Since Bomb took over OMC the 02's on...you won't find many problems at all mentioned on any board you go to..

    Merc's had enough time to get their DFI's right. They have been side tracked and put their money into this 4 stroke joke they call Verado.. Bomb's Etecs will run circles around them in every catogory..


  7. 6/27/2005 6:02:00 AM Submitted by Minx (68.107.226.198) from VA says Just so that you know......
    ...it'll probally be the E-tek that gets the nod. I was kinda hoping I could have that electric sensing shift & throttle stuff Mercury has on it's bigger models, but me thinks it ain't available on a 90 saltwater. Trying to lose mechanical links, besides, white looks okay on a canary yellow boat.....right? :)


  8. 6/27/2005 9:24:00 AM Submitted by Richard E. Moore (47.234.0.51) from NC says Mercury Optimax problems - dont ever buy one
    follow-up.. I have called mercury marine @ 920-929-5040.. manytimes about this problem,, they said just take it in to a Mercury dealer for service.. I have had this boat / motor in the shop 6 times for this problem.. every time they say the spark plugs need changing.. (they only last 25 hours for a set of NGK Platinum or Irridiums (SP).. but the Plugs are not the issue.. as it misses second time out on new plugs.. POS Optimax.. My serial # is 0T165724.. in 2001 they replaced the power head, it had saltwater in the block.. they put the old ECM and electrical hardware back on the new Head,,, and the problem is still there today, and Mercury Marine will not do a damn thing about it...

    totally disapointed with Mercury..I will never buy another one, or recommend there products..


  9. 6/28/2005 10:34:00 AM Submitted by Brian (67.80.115.113) from NJ says Court
    Small claims court?


  10. 6/28/2005 5:04:00 PM Submitted by Richard (65.41.228.110) from FL says Mercs
    Just like ford- Fix or repair daily, but fast on race day. Canary yellow? Minx, you should definitely go with the white motor. I once had a white Merc 175, was part of a package on a Sea Ray Laguna ('88- remember?) - ran like a top. Must be the color...


  11. 7/5/2005 6:43:00 PM Submitted by tha merkinator (67.51.235.206) from NY says e-tec or verado
    1st of all , sorry to hear of yer troubles.. i would start calling every number you can get, and ask to speak to the persons supervisor if they cant help you..also, always ask who your speaking to... but, 5yrs is a long time to have an engine- it never ran right?? the merc's have never been as reliable as the omc's BUT the omc's have never been able to keep up with the mercs!!

    also, i dont know if someone has been watching too many info mercials...lmao -now, excuse me if i am wrong...BUT the e-tec is a 2 stroke correct?? the verado is a 4stroke...now there isnt a 4stroke in the world that can keep up with a 2stroke of the same displacement, at least not without many thousands of dollars to make is worked to the max...why ya think with dirt bikes they let the 450cc 4strokes run with 250cc 2strokes?? cause they make more power for their weight and displacement!!! i have been an omc guy for a long time but i have been building some merc v6 outboards recently.. there isnt an engine that will keep up with the mercs of the same type and size.. 200 rude(omc) against 200merc, both 2strokes and there is no comparison as far as performance.. i have an old 175hp 2.0liter merc..1978 i believe and i have been smoking $$50grand plus checkmates with their overweight 454ci motors as well as the few omc powered lake and bass boats i have come across.. the boat is only running 70mph on gps right now with nowhere near the right prop... when i get her propped correctly, 80+mph and most of the boats round here will be far behind... have a good one


  12. 7/11/2005 4:54:00 PM Submitted by Richard E. Moore (47.234.0.51) from NC says Update to Optimax issues
    Well I just got back from vacation.. and I put about 25 hours of hard off shore running with my Optimax.. and to my supprise it ran perfectly.. go figure?? I went 20 miles off NC shore.. caught 2 Dolphin, 5 kings, and three worthless sharks.. one Dolphin was 43 inches, and the other was 39.. the Kings were small.. all about 10 to 12 pounds.. but I have to say.. the Mercury Optimax purred with out a miss.. just hope it stays that way.. BTW.. if you dive AR330 INDRA Wreck.. what out for the two 8 'sand tigers... they wanted to steal my fish i speared.... they are very persistent. beware


  13. 7/12/2005 7:55:00 PM Submitted by Minx (68.107.226.198) from VA says Just outta curiosity....
    ...what possessed you to run offhore off Carolina with a motor you obviously didn't trust? Or does someone need to reconsider his position? Hey FLA Rich....daughter picked the boat color, I was opting on a dark blue :)


  14. 7/13/2005 8:33:00 AM Submitted by Richard E. Moore (47.234.0.51) from NC says reply to Minx.... about Optimax
    Minx, I never said that I did not trust my Merc... I has never left me.. (yet) this is simple... when I pay 14k for an outboard motor..I expect it to run without a miss.. and so would you!


  15. 7/16/2005 8:50:00 AM Submitted by Minx (68.107.226.198) from VA says Sorry....I just got
    confused. Hope you have a kinder impression with that new Johnson or Yamaha, glad to hear the "OPTIMAX POS" ran sufficiently to return you safely.....bests, chuck


  16. 7/30/2005 2:33:00 PM Submitted by Reg Allison (168.209.98.35) from South Africa says 150 Mercury Optimax 2005 model
    This motor (new) is fitted to a 17 ft watersking boat(new)and has has been a disapointment from day 1. Currently have 25 hours on the motor / boat. Motor is very noisy and has excessive vibration. This is particularly noticable from idle in gear to 3400 RPM. At above 3400 RPM the vibration goes away. Dealer has tried another gearbox and raised the motor 40 mm from where it was initially mounted, but the problem is still present. They also checked the serpentine drive belt tension and ran a full electrical check on the computer with not problems identifed. The motor is fitted with a 19 inch pitch s/s Lazer 2 prop - have also tried a High Five prop but still have a problem. The dealer is now fresh out of ideas and says that this is the way it is. Everyone who ride on the boat comment on the vibration and noise. Has anyone out there experienced this problem or have any suggestions. Many thanks.


  17. 10/13/2008 11:00:00 PM Submitted by opticrap #15188 from FL says 2004 busted
    My 2004 seadoo has a 250 jet optimax with 60 hrs and craped out on me. Estimated repair cost $9,000+ they contacted merc. and they do not want to help me out well there goes $18,000 thanks Mercury. Dont buy any Sea Doo boats even more so if its powered by optimax 60hrs?


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