Tales of woe, relating to a Suzuki DF5 Outboard Engine.

Ocean Gem
Geoff & Eileen Mander
Fri 20 Dec 2013 15:36

Date: Friday 20th December 2013


As has been referred to in earlier log entries, we are unfortunate in that we have a Suzuki 4 stroke outboard engine (5hp) that has been very unreliable. In fact the history of this useless piece of scrap iron almost makes me want to weep. 


The engine was purchased new, in England in September 2011.  It wasn’t used a lot but basically it ran OK until we reached the Cape Verde islands in December 2012, where it refused to go for more than a minute without stalling.  After arriving in the Caribbean I have had it serviced in Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, Guadaloupe and Antigua (twice). Every time the engineers appear to fix it, but after just an hour or so’s use it starts to fail again.


So whilst we were in Pointe a Pitre I returned the engine to the Susuki service agent based there for what would now be its 7th service in less than 6 months use.  This time they told me that the previous engineers in Antigua had damaged the carburettor and I would have to buy a new one and have it fitted by them.  I collected the repaired engine and managed to drive about 50 meters away from the dock before it failed again. Back to the workshop it went, where it stayed for a couple more days.  They would run it for an hour or so on the test bench, but when I collected it, it would fail after just a few minutes use.  After several days they told me that there was nothing more they could do.  They had absolutely no idea what the problem was!


So I now have a relatively new engine that doesn’t work and the official service agent tells me that he can’t fix it. Since last January I’ve spent more money on service costs than I paid to buy the new engine.  The only conclusion I can come to is that the engine itself it poorly designed and/or badly constructed. 


As soon as I can I’m going to buy a new engine, then when we are next sailing over somewhere deep, I’ll consign the Suzuki to a long overdue watery grave.  And when I next get back to a shore side life I’ll seek therapy to try to cure my Tourette like symptoms of twitching and uncontrollable cursing whenever I hear the word Suzuki.