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Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

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  • Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

    I have twin 225HP Optimax engines on my Intrepid 322. I continue to be plagued with failures of the oil level sending units on the engine mounted oil tanks. The audible alarm sounds and the tachometer display reads "Oil Reserve - 100% Remaining!" (Version 2.8 software). Each time I have removed the engine cowling to find that the oil level is fine, the oil temp and oil pressure are also fine. This problem has provoked the automatic limit function of the engine RPM and has left me limping home for 40 miles on one engine. I replaced the tank and sensor probe (part #87856156A2), twice. The engines only have 200 hours on them. I'm using genuine Mercury Optimax oil. What could be causing this problem?

    Thank you,
    Joe Hinkens
    805 717-0774
    hinkens@autobody.net


  • #2
    Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

    time to call merc tech
    HUMAN BUILT = HUMAN FIXED
    CERTIFIED MARINE TECH

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    • #3
      Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

      "time to call merc tech"?

      I emailed them at "Mercury Marine.com" and they simply replied telling me they are not set up to handle technical questions and to call an "authorized Mercury repair center". Been there and done that.

      Am I missing something? Can I call Mercury to get answers?

      Thanks,
      Joe

      Comment



      • #4
        Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

        Read this on a different site. MERCURY SERVICE PROTOCOL: If the customer has problems with a dealer that can not or will not fix his problems please have him do the following: Call Mercury at 920 929 5040, ask main operator for "consumer affairs." Must have serial number of engine handy or it is a wasted phone call. Explain to consumer affairs specialist what the situation is. They will then put the wheels in motion. When procedure is followed the consumer affairs specialist documents the call, adds all product history to the call. If a rep is required, all this info is sent to him. The rep has 36 hrs to respond. This too is documented along with steps taken to resolve [problem].

        Comment



        • #5
          Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

          Thanks Fenwick,
          I'm on it. I'll post the results as soon as I know more.
          Joe

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          • #6
            Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

            I just got off the phone with Mercury Tech Support at 920 929-5040. Surprisingly, they were relatively helpful. Initially, the tech support person was appologetic and assured me that the oil tank and sending unit I had replaced perviously would be replaced at no charge if they were less than a year old, which they are. I was persistent and asked if there were any other permanent fixes that Mercury was aware of. The tech support guy put me on hold to check and came back with some answers that might make some sense.

            He asked what kind of oil I was running. I explained that I run the Optimax oil although I have run other oil at times due to the lack of availability of Optimax oil in some locations. He explained that some oils contain ingredients that break down the floating characteristics of the little doughnut float in the tank. The thing appears to be made of some type of light ceramic with some magnetic particles to signal the sensor probe inserted into the tank. I guess it could get saturated with oil and not float any more. I saw on another post that someone had that happen. When I checked mine during the alarm mode, it appeared to be floating about 50/50, meaning that half of the float was below the surface and half was above the surface of the oil in the tank. I thought this was normal. It seems to me it's just a funky design. Mercury needs to step up and redesign the thing. I've checked the threads on this forum and I'm not alone. A LOT of people are having problems with this same issue. In the mean time, I'll make certain to run Optimax oil and hope that all goes well. Comments? I'm all ears.

            Thanks,
            Joe

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

              Call Mercury at 920 929 5040. I'm glad this was a good lead for you. I found it doing a search about your problem. We need to share this with our fellow Boaters. Hope this means a happy ending for you and your problem is solved.
              Fenwick

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

                Thanks Fenwick,
                After thinking about the information Mercury gave me, I took the oil tank off the engine and inspected it along with the sensor probe. Everything looked fine. Nevertheless, I flushed and cleaned the tank and sensor probe with lacquer thinner. I squirted a little down the hole where the sensor probe sits and then blew everything out with an air. I put it all back together, topped off the oil, and low and behold.......no alarm. I ran the engines on the garden hose for about 10 minutes and everything is working fine. I haven't put the boat in the water yet but my hunch is it's fixed. I'm keeping the new oil tank and sensor I ordered as a backup just in case. And I bought some extra Optimax oil today just to be sure I've always got some on hand. I've put the Mercury Tech Support number in my phone database. You can bet I'll keep that number handy. Thanks for your help Fenwick. It made my day.
                Joe

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                • #9
                  Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

                  I just limped in from a ROUGH offshore trip on one 135 HP with the same problem !!! Dave

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

                    hey, been there done that . the float in oil tank; [on motor] in ng ,sending false reading to smart craft system. showing 100% on oil !

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

                      tech support is good , if you are a merc dealer ! please,,, just replace the on motor tank !!

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

                        Mine was sending false signals to the smartcraft also,but tank was full and everything was working properly. If u dont wanna hear the alarm, i just took an alligator clip and grounded the 2 little blue wires...no alarm! But this is just temporary. Bought a new tank & my prob was solved

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

                          I had the same problem recently except I isolated the problem down to the floating magnetic coil lost its magnetic pull. I tested this by pulling the sensor out of the tank and disconnect the wire and puting a multi-meter to the wires and putting a fairly weak fridge magnetic and tested continuity. The magnet caused the two leads in the sensor to touch and the circuit was completed. I then placed the sensor back in the tank and raised and lowered the ceramic float manually via a bent coat hanger and was not able to close the circuit.
                          I tested the other functions of the oil system to be sure I had isolated the problem by connecting the sensor terminals via jumper wire and, sure enough it ran fine for 10 minutes without a sensor alarm. I ordered the new tank kit from Mercury and will install and update.
                          Here is what I plan to do just in case this happens again: Keep the extra good sensor (in case that fails) that comes with the oil reservoir kit I ordered on the boat. I will also have a piece of wire to use as the above mentioned jumper with the male ends of the connectors that the sensor uses. That ensures that I will be able to make it back under my own power without having to idle if this were to happen again. This is a temporary fix and the oil level in the reservoir tank should be checked frequently to ensure that the motor has oil it can pull.
                          If you test the sensor with a magnet and do not get continuity then you just need to order the $15 sensor. If you isolate the float, you (unfortunately) have to order the whole kit. I hope this helps explain how to diagnose and fix this problem.

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: Optimax 225 Oil Reserve Alarm

                            Wonder what the outcome was?

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