4 Ways To Fix Outboard Motor Primer Bulb Wont Get Hard 

outboard motor primer bulb wont get hard
outboard motor primer bulb wont get hard

The primer bulb in your motor serves as the perfect mediator between the fuel line and the carburetor. It is almost impossible to get optimal efficiency from your unit without relying on the primer bulb.

So, you have to ensure that this component is working perfectly to extend the lifespan of your outboard motor. Recently there have been many reports regarding outboard motor primer bulbs not getting hard.

If you’re in a similar situation and your outboard motor primer bulb won’t get hard, then the methods mentioned here should help you overcome this issue. Keep in mind that the problem can be from a number of reasons.

Depending on the root of your issue, the steps required to fix it might vary. This is why make sure that you go through all the steps carefully and then try fixing the motor primer.

Outboard Motor Primer Bulb Won’t Get Hard

  1. Poor Orientation Of Primer Bulb

Improper installation is one of the most common reasons why you might be running into issues with your outboard motor primer not getting hard.

The primer bulb won’t get hard unless the flow of fuel in the system is managed properly.

So, you will need to install the unit correctly again, and hopefully, your issue will be fixed.

To check the orientation of the primer bulb, you need to inspect the arrow on the unit. Depending upon the brand of primer bulb you bought, you need the arrow to point toward the motor.

So, if your arrow is pointing towards the fuel tank, then that is likely why you’re unable to get the primer bulb hard. Ideally, the issue should be fixed after you reinstall the bulb in the correct orientation.

Make sure that the connections on your primer bulb are all tight. This can help people in avoiding tons of dangerous problems later on. The process is easy but just remember to double-check the connections.

  1. Defective Fuel Valves On The Device

The valves on the fuel tank can also lead to problems with your primer ball not getting hard.

If the flow of fuel from the tank to the ball is disrupted by debris or a crooked valve, it can impact the functioning of the primer bulb.

So, if the supply of fuel from the tank is not managed properly, the primer bulb won’t get hard.

To get around this problem, you need to fix the valve connections with the main tank and make sure that there is no air stuck in the fuel valves.

In some situations, simply removing the primer bulb and putting it back again will fix the problem.

So, you can inspect your unit thoroughly to get around this issue with the primer bulb. The dust should all be removed carefully, and this will take some time.

This is why make sure that you remove all the clogs to fix the problem. In most cases, the issue can be avoided if you frequently maintain the primer bulb and valves.

This is why it is recommended that you clean these often so that the issue never appears on your vehicle.

  1. Air Stuck In Fuel Lines Of Primer Bulb

People should note that just like dust and debris, there are some cases, where the problem is from air getting stuck inside the fuel lines of the primer bulb. This can be quite annoying as the device will stop working.

The issue mainly results in getting negative performance from your motor.

damaged wire

This is why it is essential that people look into these problems and prevent them from ever appearing.

The best way to fix the problem is by simply removing the connections from the primer bulb and then connecting it back to the motor.

The main reason this works is that air or dust stuck inside the lines prevented fuel from crossing through. While the clogs will make the entire fuel impure, the issue with air is that it stops fuel from passing through.

This can make the issue difficult to identify which is why it is best that you try this once. If you notice that your problem is now fixed, then it means that the issue was from air getting stuck inside the primer bulb.

The steps mentioned above are enough to fix problems like these in most cases.

Although if you notice that the primer bulb is still not getting hard then the only thing you can do is replace this. Go through the step provided below for additional details on this.

  1. Faulty Or Damaged Primer Bulb

Many users running into these issues mentioned that they were using a faulty bulb that they bought from Walmart.


If you’re in a similar situation and tried to save some money on a primer bulb from Walmart, then there is a good chance that your unit is faulty.

Even if the orientation and the fuel connections are managed properly, it won’t get hard.

In some cases, the primer bulb can also go bad over time. This is because the device is made from plastic. This deteriorates over time which is why you have to get it replaced eventually.

To fix the issue, you will have to contact a reliable dealer. Spend some money on a premium primer bulb. The installation only takes around five minutes, and you won’t have to spend a huge budget to get a reliable primer bulb.

There is no point in having a poor primer bulb. Especially not one that will have a negative impact on the efficiency of your system. If you are having trouble trying to replace the bulb on your own, then some additional things can be noted.

When it comes to this, one easy method is using the manual provided along the device. This should contain all the instructions required to replace the primer bulb on your Outboard.

However, if you are still having trouble then the next best thing that you can do is watch a video.

Keep in mind that there are also some users that might not want to change the primer bulb on their own.

When it comes to them, it is best that they contact the support team for their product. The team will ask you some questions regarding the device so answer them carefully.

This should allow them to understand what might be causing the issue and provide you with a viable solution.

If the primer bulb is faulty then you will be asked to send the device back to them. You can then get this replaced from their dealership or any workshop around you.

Hopefully, this will help you better understand why your primer bulb won’t get hard.

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