Evinrude E-TEC 150: Should You Buy One?

The Evinrude E-TEC 150 is no more. In May 2020, Evinrude parent company BRP announced it would discontinue production of all Evinrude outboard motors.

Evinrude ETEC-150 outboard should you buy

It was bad enough to lose the Evinrude brand, but it’s even worse if you’re in the market for a modern two-stroke midsize outboard. That’s because the E-TEC 150 was the only two-stroke option in its size. So if you want a 150HP two-stroke motor, you’re going to have to buy it used. With the inherent risk of buying a used outboard, here are some basic questions to ask before purchasing a used Evinrude E-TEC 150 outboard. 

Are There Common Problems With a Used Evinrude E-TEC 150?

Evinrude has always built rugged outboards, and the E-TEC 150 is no exception. However, any outboard motor powered by an internal combustion engine will encounter the occasional mechanical failure from time to time.

Evinrude outboard motor

There’s no reason to believe the E-TEC 150 has been more problematic than any other outboard model. In fact, Boats.net is an authorized Evinrude OEM parts distributor, and our parent company owns several Evinrude dealerships. We’ve never experienced a higher than normal percentage of orders for replacement Evinrude E-TEC parts that would indicate a widespread problem. And our dealerships have never received disproportionate negative feedback about the E-TEC compared to any other 150HP outboard motor.

The only question mark that ever hung over the E-TEC 150 was that of its fuel injection system when it was unveiled back in 2004. At the time OMC, the previous owner of Evinrude, had gone bankrupt partly due to ongoing issues with fuel injection systems fitted to Evinrude outboards. This made people wary that the new E-TEC motors would suffer similar issues. However, the direct fuel injection system developed by new owner BRP was not only revolutionary, but has proven itself to work flawlessly. 

Are There Reliability Issues With a Used Evinrude E-TEC 150?

Our OEM parts distributors and Evinrude dealerships have never noticed trends indicating the E-TEC 150 has issues that make it any less reliable than other outboard makes or models. 

Evinrude outboard engines

If fact, the E-TEC has proven more reliable than certain other outboards. BRP was so confident in the E-TEC’s reliability that the manufacturer specs state the motor needs no break-in period, and will run for 300 hours or 3 years between scheduled maintenance. However, two-stroke motors generally operate at higher RPMs and produce more power than four-strokes, which puts more stress on the powerhead. 

With that in mind, always ask to see the service history when buying a pre-owned Evinrude outboard. Walk away from a seller who can’t provide a detailed service history, even if the asking price is low. Chances are the price is low for a reason, and the lack of a service history is a red flag.

To ensure the pre-owned E-TEC 150 you purchase remains reliable, you need to keep up the routine maintenance for as long as you own it. Obviously maintenance and repair costs add up over time. However, the costs of ownership are generally lower for a two-stroke vs a four-stroke outboard.

Will It Be Hard to Get Replacement Parts for a Used Evinrude E-TEC 150?

With BRP no longer manufacturing Evinrude outboards, will replacement parts still be available to service and repair them? Of course they will!

Evinrude E-Tec 150 outboard engines

BRP continues to manufacture OEM parts, and there are plenty of engineering companies producing aftermarket parts as well. Your local Evinrude dealer will continue to stock the most commonly needed parts, and we’ll continue carrying OEM Evinrude outboard parts as well. 

Are There Any Evinrude E-TEC 150 Model Years to Avoid?

There weren’t too many mechanical changes to the E-TEC 150 over its production lifespan. 

Evinrude E-Tec 150 outboard specs

Small improvements were made as technologies moved forward, but otherwise each successive model was similar to its predecessor. There certainly weren’t any “bad” years in which the E-TEC was blighted by a poor design or a quickly abandoned feature.

It’s usually best to buy the newest used outboard you can. But a well-maintained and dealer-serviced older E-TEC model might be a better investment than a newer model that lacks a service history. Just take into account the hours on the engine. Typically two-stroke motors spend more time running at WOT, which reduces their overall lifespans. So an older E-TEC 150 with less run-time on the motor may be a better bet than a newer but more heavily used model.


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