Minn Kota Trolling Motor Making Noise: Possible Reasons & Fixings

minn kota trolling motor making noise
Minn Kota trolling motor making noise

A used Minn Kota troller is amazing as always because it’s cost-friendly and gives you an incredibly balanced performance. Nobody likes to hear their Minn Kota trolling motor making noise, even with a lower price tag. 

What would you do if you were in this situation? Would you change the battery? Or would you run to a mechanic? 

Before doing something like that, give this article a thorough read because we’ve rounded up all the possible reasons and fixes with our very own experts & mechanics.  

Let’s get down to the solutions.

Minn Kota Trolling Motor Making Noise: Possible Reasons & Fixes

Before diving into the fixes, you should know the reasons behind the noise. You may normally feel the trolling motor vibration, and that’s okay. But if the noise goes up a bit more than that, something is wrong. Here’s why.

  • The Motor is Overloading and Drawing Too Much Current

There’re several reasons why a trolling motor can make noise. The most common reason is that the motor is overloading and drawing too much current. 

Many different things can cause this, but first, you need to determine if the motor is drawing too much current or not.

  • The Motor is Above Water Level

After that, you have to check whether your motor is submerged in water or not. The motor should be about one inch below the water surface. If it’s above water, it may not spin properly or make the proper amount of noise.

  • Debris in the Propeller

If the motor is submerged but still making too much noise, check if there’s any debris in the propeller shaft. Remove any debris obstructing the shaft and test the motor again.

  • The Bearings have Gone Bad

Another possibility is if your trolling motor starts making noise when you turn it on, chances are your bearings are going bad. Old bearings may cause overheating and eventually start making noise. 

  • Broken Shafts

But if you’re hearing a grinding sound rather than a clicking one (which can happen when metal is grinding against metal), you might have broken shafts or even cracked shaft collars. You’ll need to replace those parts to fix the problem.

If your trolling motor still makes too much noise after checking these things and removing any debris, contact a certified marine mechanic as soon as possible. As with most problems with your boat, an early diagnosis can prevent more expensive repairs later on.

Even if you don’t like doing it, a diagnosis always helps. Maybe there is nothing wrong with the motor. Maybe just a trolling motor silencer can solve all the noise. 

How to Test the Trolling Motor

Before taking your trolling motor out for a day of fishing, it’s important to test it to make sure it’s in good working condition. Here’s how to do a basic test of a trolling motor:

  1. Make sure the trolling motor is properly secured to the boat. It should be firmly attached and not able to move around.
  2. Start the boat’s engine and let it idle.
  3. Slowly increase the speed of the trolling motor. Pay attention to how it’s performing. It should be able to move the boat at a steady speed without any issues.
  4. If you’re happy with the performance of the trolling motor, you’re all set! If not, it’s time to troubleshoot or take it to a professional for repairs.

However, there’s more to it. Read on.

  1. Mount the Trolling Motor

Once your boat is in the water, take the trolling motor and mount it onto the transom. Some boats have a slide plate already installed on them for this purpose, while other boats require that you fasten the motor directly to the transom. 

All trolling motors come with instructions on how to mount them and attach them to the boat. Once attached, lower the motor into the water. If you don’t know, here is how to mount a trolling motor on a ski boat. 

  1. Attach the Motor with a Battery 

Now, attach the motor to a 12-volt battery and run it on medium power. If the propeller spins in the direction you want it to, then your trolling motor is working perfectly.

In case you don’t have a 12-volt battery, you can test it with the help of another boat. But, you have to make sure that there is no wind in the air. Otherwise, your boat may travel too far away from the other boat and get damaged.

Even after that, if it doesn’t work properly, you should use a screwdriver to tighten the terminal nuts. You should also check whether any wire has got disconnected or not.

Begin by trying out each of your forward speeds all by themselves. You’ll want to get an idea of how fast your boat goes at each of these different levels, as this will help you later on when fishing for different species of fish that swim at different speeds.

How To Fix Minn Kota Trolling Motor’s Noise 

At this point, you already know why the trolling motor is making noise and how to test the motor. But how do you fix the noise? You can do the fix in three ways-

  • Repair the Trolling Motor

The following steps are necessary to follow to repair the trolling motor-

  1. Remove the head of the trolling motor and place it on a flat surface that won’t be damaged. 
  2. Remove the screws holding the faceplate on. This is usually done with a screwdriver or drill, depending on what kind of screws are used. Note which screws go where, and make sure to save them in case you need them later.
  3. Test the wire connections to see if there’s still power. If YES, test each individual wire to ensure it’s not exposed, as this can cause a short and electrical fire/shock hazard.
  4. Buy replacement wires if some are damaged. Be sure to buy the same size and gauge as what you’re replacing so that everything fits properly.
  5. Replace the wires by unscrewing and pulling them out of their sockets and putting new ones in the same way, making sure not to cross any wires or put them in the wrong socket (this can cause damage).
  6. Replace the faceplate by screwing it back on with your original screws or new ones if needed. 

And by this point, you’re done with the repair!

  • Minn Kota Brush Replacement

The steps to replace the Minn Kota brush are:

Step 1: Get rid of the propeller first.

Step 2: Unscrew the top and bottom portions of your trolling motor by removing the five screws that keep it together. You can use a screwdriver to do this.

Step 3: Use a tool to remove the cap and armature, as well as the brushes. If you don’t have them at home, you can buy an armature kit. This is cheaper than buying all parts individually.

Step 4: Take out the old brushes and put in new ones. Then, put everything back together in reverse order.

  • Minn Kota Armature Replacement

There’re a few things you’ll need, including a wrench, screwdriver, and a hammer. And if you’re fairly familiar with the repairs, you must have these in your bag. 

Step 1: Unplug the wires.

Step 2: Unscrew the nut under the shaft with a wrench.

Step 3: Use the hammer to loosen the armature from the shaft.

Step 4: Remove the screws of the armature with a screwdriver and take out the armature from the motor.

Finally, place a new armature in, but make sure it is inversely positioned as compared to when you took out the old one. Secure it by cutting back on the screws and nut and then reconnecting all of your wires.


How do you lubricate a Minn Kota Trolling Motor?

To lubricate a Minn Kota trolling motor, you have to follow the following steps-
1. Turn off and disconnect the battery from the boat’s electrical system.
2. Remove the prop from the motor.
3. Spray lubricant into both ends of the motor and distribute the lubricant evenly.
4. Spray lubricant onto each end of the shaft where it connects to the propeller.
5. Reattach propeller to motor and reattach battery to boat’s electrical system.

How do I know If Minn Kota control board is bad?

Typically a Minn Kota control board will fail in one or two ways. The first is that the trolling motor stops working entirely while the boat is running. And the second way that control boards fail is when the boat is moving forward but not in reverse. Or vice versa.

Which trolling motor is the quietest?

Fortrex 80 Bowmount Minn Kota Trolling Motor is the quietest trolling motor that we suggest as well as one of our most popular and most powerful models. With either 80-pound or 101-pound thrust, this outboard trolling motor is perfect for anglers who want to cover water quickly but quietly.

How do I reset my Minn Kota?

Resetting a Minn Kota trolling motor is fairly simple. It requires the removal of its foot pedal from the unit. In addition, you have to press either its forward or reverse control switch five times within five seconds. The motor then resets itself automatically.

Final Thoughts 

Having an old boat has both its merits and demerits. Minn Kota trollers are very popular for their durability and longevity. That’s why you bought it in the first place. 

Even with paying way less money, we don’t like hearing the Minn Kota trolling motor making noise. That’s why we have put 100 percent of our efforts into giving you the solution to this problem. 

Don’t forget to share it with your other fisher friends if you like our work. You may save a ton of their money by doing so, who knows?

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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