Evinrude E-TEC Engine Cranks But Won’t Start

  • Information on this page pertains to all 2007 thru 2014 Evinrude E-TEC outboard motors that crank but won’t start.

An outboard motor that cranks but will not start up and begin to work refers to when a crankshaft in an internal combustion engine rotates but fails to start the motor. The term “cranks but won’t start” is an observation that should not be confused with similar starting issues e.g. engine fires up but stalls after a few seconds of running, or engine cranks slowly but does not start. This carefully observation is so important because it determines its possible cause and solution.   

To simplify the process of tracing and correcting an electronic or mechanical system fault contributing to an engine that cranks but won’t activate and being to work, we’ve created a easy-to-understand trouble chart that lists the most likely possible cause and the course of action needed to repair the problem. So, if your outboard motor cranks but will not turn on and start to run, use the trouble chart below to diagnose and remedy the issue.

Engine Cranks But Wont Start 40 50 60 75 90 115 130 150 175 200 225 250 300 hp
Outboard turns over but will not start

Part Description and testing

Fuel Manifolds. The fuel supply and return manifolds send gasoline directly through the high pressure side of the fuel system. The fuel supply manifold provides pressurized gas to each fuel injector inlet port. The fuel return manifold supplies a direct passage for gasoline moving into the fuel injectors to run to the fuel chamber of the vapor separator.

Make sure their is no air in the engines fuel supply manifold.

Vapor separator vent check. There should never be fuel or even a trace of fuel in the vapor separator vent hose. If there is too much gas discharge, it signifies a malfunctioning vapor separator vent. An easy way to test for fuel in the vent is to temporarily install clear tubing for monitoring purposes. You must replace the vapor separator with a new unit if the venting of gas is continuous. 

Fuel injector pressure test. The fuel injector pressure test requires the use of an injector test fitting kit. Make sure to disconnect the batter cables at the battery terminals before beginning the procedure. Carefully relieve the fuel system pressure so as to avoid fuel spray reaching an ignition source. The test must be performed with the injectors mounted to the cylinder head and with the fittings installed with manifold retainer.

How do I check the fuel pressure on my 2011 Evinrude 200 hp V6?
Fuel Injector Pressure Test

Be sure to use a cap and tie strap to seal off the outlet fitting as seen in the image above. Attach a pressure tester with a rating of 0 to 30 psi (0 to 207 kPa) directly to the inlet fitting as seen in the picture above. Then pressurize the injector to 30 psi. Pressure must hold for a minimum of five minutes.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately there are many possible causes and actions needed to diagnose an Evinrude outboard motor that cranks but does not start. Some of the inspection and testing procedures listed on the trouble chart can be accomplished without much mechanical experience. Although some, but not all, of the testing tools can be pricy.

Begin by checking the most obvious. Are you getting fuel? Is there fuel pressure? Is the lanyard install? Is the stop circuit grounded? What is the condition of the spark plugs? Regardless of the possible cause, if the engine cranks but does not start, the most likely solution is listed on the trouble chart.

If you have additional questions that need answered, leave a comment so I can address them. 


Hey I am Dennis, an inboard, outboard and sterndrive marine technician with 5+ years of experience. Send me a question using the comment box on this page. If needed, I can post additional advice, diagrams or illustrations to address any question.

One thought on “Evinrude E-TEC Engine Cranks But Won’t Start

  • Daniel Hernandez

    I have a 2007 Evinrude ETC 300HD Engine cranks But won’t Start ,gas flow Good , engine key switch and landyard New , Stater New , Alternator new ,capacitor new , check voltage on all wires , new cylinoyed , 2 new batteries , spark plugs Good and wires .. What else could it possibly be Please Help


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