How To Tell If Trolling Motor Is Bad: Things You Need to Know

Imagine you are having a great day fishing and suddenly the trolling motor is not working and you can’t even find out any reasons behind it. 

Here are a quick overview of why a trolling motor may not work properly:

If you notice that the trolling motor is not running at its full power, losing power while running, or even working intermittently then you can understand that it’s not in a great condition anymore. Besides circuit breaker issues, propeller issues could be some other possible causes of a nonfunctional trolling motor. 

Make sure to read the following parts of the guide to get a detailed explanation of each problem along with solutions of each problem.

Let’s jump into it, shall we?

How long does a trolling motor usually last?

The average life of a trolling motor is around ten years, but high-quality models in good condition can readily last for about 20 years. So if a trolling motor isn’t working correctly after 5 to 6 years, it’s most likely a specific problem that you can fix.

The owner can use a trolling motor for ten years, and using another engine may take three months before parts are needed. It all depends on the client’s mood or the frequency of usage. Check the engine mounts and rings if your trolling motor does not run at less or half speed.

How To Tell If A Trolling Motor Is Bad?

Every electronic device may have some problems in time intervals, and the trolling motor is no different. Let’s have a look at some wrong indications of a trolling motor that make a trolling motor bad.

Problem 1: Trolling motor works intermittently

Your trolling motor works; sometimes it doesn’t. When you take it out of work, push the pedal down and up, and it may work again. It may happen due to the armor burn. 

Maybe only one battery has sat down instead of two, and it turns on again after an hour. If you look at the different parts, you will see the gears may probably be worn in some areas.

Moreover, it limits the shift path when the pedal is depressed. The derailleur is held on with small nuts and bolts that don’t have enough tilt to compensate for the limited travel. 

Problem 2: Trolling motor not running at full power

Trolling motor may not run at full power for several reasons. Let’s have a look at them with the possible solution.

Low Battery

The first thing you have to check is the battery. Your battery may be discharged if left in water for so long.

If the engine stops for so long or runs continuously, the battery may be easily discharged. If it is low, this can be the possible reason.

Corrosion of internal parts

Most electric trolling motors have protective outer covers to keep out dust and water. Yet, a small crack in the outer shell can lead to internal corrosion.

You can see rust on gears, bolts, and other parts. It will prevent the engine from running normally. 

Electrical troubles

Trolling motors may suddenly stop turning due to overload, interrupting the circuit breaker’s operation. It usually happens when something sticks to the propellers. Even if the motor is overloaded beyond its capacity, the engine will not start or run at full power.

If you suspect that it is defective, thoroughly check the circuit breaker. It is essential to know what stumbled upon your circuit breaker initially.

Problem 3: Trolling motor losing power 

You can lose the interior by using it frequently. Rings, flanges, nuts, and gears can fail on the engine head. 

Moreover, it will reduce the motor power. Even if you connect all the cables correctly, you should check the inside to be on the safe side.

Problem 4: Trolling motor circuit fails

Vibrations for repeated use cause wires to lose, forcing the electrical circuit failure. Check out whether you have connected the cables perfectly or if any of them is even melted.

Problem 5: The propeller is not good

Sometimes a short circuit may happen due to overcharging the battery when your propeller gets tangled in the fishing line or aquatic plants. Sometimes internal cables can melt because of overheating. You should check your screw for circuits and connections to look good.

How To Fix A Trolling Motor?

Every electrical motor has some problems. Fixing it is not a big deal. Below we will talk about how do you troubleshoot a trolling motor?

Solution 1: Trolling motor works intermittently

You can change the switch or fix it using a rod to cut to the desired length. In fact, you have to go there and figure it out. Also, replacing a battery can be a good option.

Solution 2: Trolling motor not running at full power

When you get home, charge the battery. When your engine is fully charged, it has power. You must buy a Newport Vessel trolling motor battery if it does not charge properly.

If a component is corroded, you must replace it immediately. Based on the spare part, you may easily change it if you get the right understanding. Otherwise, you should go to a workshop and get professional service.

To restart your circuit breaker, press the button on the breaker. You may find a short in some cables if it gets disconnected regularly. If you cannot determine which cable is defective, take it to a workshop.

Solution 3: Trolling motor losing power 

If the internal parts are loose, carefully terminate them. Look in the manual for which one belongs and tighten it.

Sometimes it may just be screws and plates that are gone. Carefully place them in the correct position and secure them in place.

Solution 4: Trolling motor circuit fails

You can easily reconnect the cables if they seem to be loose. When you don’t know about the cables and ports, you’re better off looking at the user guide. If the cable melts, it must be replaced.

Solution 5: The propeller is not good

If you find anything stuck to the propeller or your engine head, carefully remove it. Restart the engine by resetting your circuit breaker. The engine will restart without further problems.

If the cables melt, do not try to start your trolling motor. You must replace them before you use the engine again.

How Do I Know If My Trolling Motor Breaker Is Bad?

A circuit breaker protects the trolling motor if the propeller gets stuck or tangled in bushes or rocks. Without the circuit breakers, the motor will need extra power to pivot the stationary propeller and ultimately burn out, causing damage.

The circuit breaker cuts off the circuit when the current gets to a specific point. Use a 60 A circuit breaker for ultimate protection unless the manufacturers require different sizes.

Also, make sure the wiring fuse between your batteries and trolling motor is working properly. If the switch or fuse is blown, replace it immediately. 

Finally, this problem can also be caused by the circuit breaker. Fortunately, you can fix it easily. Put it back in place, and your trolling motor should be running perfectly.

Can You Test A Trolling Motor Out Of The Water?

Yes, you can test your trolling motor out of water. While it may be helpful to test the trolling engine out of the water, it will not be safe for long periods. That’s because engines need water for cooling. 

Without it, your engine may overheat very fast. Most anglers will not run the trolling motor out of the water for more than one minute, which is extreme.

Final Thoughts

Anglers use trolling motors for moving the boat at a constant speed, but without periodic maintenance, your motor will not work correctly. Even a smaller one will last for so many years with proper care and attention. Moreover, regular supervision is essential to avoid unforeseen restorations or costly delays during the fishing season.

Knowing how to tell if a trolling motor is bad can save your money and time by avoiding needing to bring your trolling motor in for repairs. 

However, if you are unsure about something, seek help from the experts to avoid sabotaging your equipment.

Anthony Jones
Anthony Jones

Anthony is an expert in fishing and trolling motor equipment, based in Austin. In his free time, he can often be found out on the water, perfecting his fishing techniques and testing out the latest gear.

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