Intermittent low oil level

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Well-known member
Mar 30, 2006
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Seaside Heights NJ
Has anyone experienced (or know of someone who has) an intermittent problem where the low oil warning comes on? I've got an '04 150 2 stroke and have had no issues with it all season. But then Murphy showed up. I was moving my boat from my marina to the ramp where my mechanic (my regular Merc guy but doesn't repair Yamaha) was waiting to do the haul out and winterize, when this problem happened.

I was moving along for about 5 minutes when things happened. The dash was buzzing, my oil indicator was flashing and the engine throttled back on its own. I stopped the engine and removed the cover, and found the oil level in the engine tank was at the low line. A legitimate low oil warning. I had just topped up the remote tank before leaving the dock, so there was plenty to be had. A quick check of connectors turned up nothing. Couldn't locate the emergency switch (never needed it, out of sight, out of mind), so I decided to limp to the ramp and watching the tank to be sure it always had some oil. When I restarted the engine, the alarm was going for about 30 seconds when the alarm shut off. I looked back at the tank and it was now half full. Checked it again about a minute later and it was full. Whatever wasn't worked decided to fix itself. Does not leave me with a warm, cozy feeling. I ran the boat in the bay for about another 20 minutes without a problem before heading for my haul out.

Obviously, something I'll need to check out during the off season. I'll check connectors and clean contacts, but any suggestions on where to from there? I figured my #1 and #2 most likely component failures would be the filter at the remote tank (output from the pump) and the level sensor in the engine tank. I can check them before I do anything, but I'll probably just replace them since it seems everything was working when I hauled out and no problem during the winterizing. That being the case, not much I can test or measure to find a fault if all is working again.

Any ideas or suggestions?