Boat Repair: Fixing the Speedometer

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What You'll Need
Pitot tube

A minor boat repair often includes repairing paint chips, repainting some parts of the boat, or fixing your speedometer. Fixing your speedometer is a minor repair. However, if not immediately fixed, your boat can be in for a lot more trouble than you can imagine. In this regard, it is important that you know how to fix your boat’s speedometer.

Step 1 - Check the Cause of the Damage

If your boat’s speedometer is not working properly, then it is time to make some basic repairs to your speedometer. However, before you start pulling wires, it is important that you check what is causing the boat’s speedometer to malfunction.

Step 2 - Locate the Speedometer Tube

When checking for the cause of the malfunction, you need to locate the tube of the speedometer. You will generally find this under the dashboard of your boat up to the center of the speedometer’s back. You can easily recognize the speedometer’s tube because it is thicker than most wiring in the boat, and it is often colored black.

Step 3 - Check for Holes/Cuts on the Tube

Once you have located the tube of the speedometer, check to see if there are any holes on the tube that might cause the speedometer to malfunction. You can trace the tube of the speedometer from its back up to the pitot tube, which is located under the boat’s transom, or on the lower part of the outboard motor.

Step 4 - Disconnect the Speedometer Tube

If the tube of your speedometer is connected to the pitot tube, remove the tube from the speedometer by unscrewing the connector on the pitot tube. If it is connected to the outboard motor, just release the quick-connect joint.

Step 5 - Replace the Tube

A boat in the water.

Check to see if there are any holes or cuts on the tubes. If you do find holes on the tube, all you need to do is replace the damaged tube with a new tube. Make sure that you have the same length as the old tube. It is advisable to bring the old tube when you buy the new one so you can get the same specifications.

Step 6 - Replace the Pitot Tube

The cause of malfunction may also be due to a damage pitot tube. Check if the pitot tube has any holes or is damaged. If it is, replace it with a new one.

Step 7 - Check the Speedometer

If you do not find any holes or cuts on the tube or the pitot tube, you then need to check the speedometer itself. Disconnect the tube on the pitot tube or outdoor motor. Blow air into the tube for about 10 seconds. Ask someone to look at the speedometer for you while doing this.

Step 8 - Fix the Speedometer

If the speedometer needle does not move, remove the tube from the speedometer. With the compressor, take out any dirt or debris that may be stuck onto the tube. When you are done cleaning the tube, attach the tube back to the speedometer. Check to see if the speedometer needle will move again. To do this, just blow air on the other end of the tube.