How to Lubricate a Throttle Cable on an Outboard Engine

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Lubricating an outboard motor's throttle cable appears to be a straightforward proposition: you add lubricant to the cable. What that description doesn't address is the adventure you face as you gain access to the throttle cable ends to which you must apply the lubricant. With a few twists of a screwdriver and a few taps of a hammer, you get a lubricated throttle control cable and the grand tour of your outboard's throttle control system.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • 2 books

  • Allen wrench

  • Punch

  • Plastic mallet

  • White marine grease

Loosen the two remote unit mounting screws on the face of the remote control with a screwdriver. Pull the remote and cable away from the side of the control station. Place the remote face down on a flat surface and slide two books of similar size under the remote so that one is on each side of the control handle.

Loosen the control handle screw, recessed in the center of the back of the remote housing, three turns with an Allen wrench. Set a punch on the Allen screw and tap the punch lightly with a plastic mallet. Finish loosening the screw to remove the control handle.

Remove the screws on the back of the housing with a screwdriver. Pull the remote housing away from its cover. Apply a light coat of white marine grease to the throttle cable where the cable end enters the cable's flexible metal casing.

Press the release and remove the motor's top cover. Set the cover aside.

Apply a light coat of white marine grease to the throttle cable where the cable end leaves the flexible metal casing at the throttle linkage on the carburetor.


  • "Johnson Repair Manual - 2.5 to 250 HP Models, 2002-2007"; Seloc Marine; 2007

About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.