Tilt Trim Not Working – 7 Approaches To Deal With This

tilt trim not working
tilt trim not working

Depending upon the dimensions of your boat and the water conditions, you should try different angle variations to find the perfect orientation for your engine.

That way, it will be easier to optimize the performance and extend the lifespan of your outboard. It takes a few seconds to manage the engine orientation with the tilt trim system, and you won’t have to worry about any extensive procedures. 

With that said, there have been a lot of complaints regarding tilt trim not working. If you’re also stuck in a similar situation, then the solutions here should help you manage the engine.

How to Fix Tilt Trim Not Working?

  1. Replace Relay

Issues with the tilt trim system on your boat can often be traced back to a faulty relay unit. This problem is not too rare, and you will eventually run into defective units from time to time.

The best thing that you can do in this situation is to replace the relay in your unit, and the issue will be fixed. Luckily, the replacement process is quite easy, and you won’t have to spend more than an hour on the process.

All you need to do is follow the factory manual to access the up and down relay. Then you can take out the defective unit after testing both with a multimeter.

After that, just install the new relay. Try using the control to manage the angle of your engine on the water.

  1. Fix Wiring Connections

As long as you’re sure that the hydraulic pump and the valves are in perfect condition, there is a good chance that you’re dealing with broken wires and corroded connection points.

The only way to verify this issue is relying on the use of a multimeter to check for continuity. Make sure to double-check all terminals to isolate the problem.

If the issue is only related to a particular connection point, just clean the section with a diluted vinegar solution.

inspect wiring

That will fix the problem. On the other hand, if the issue is related to broken wires, then you will have to replace the kinked wires. After that, the tilt trim system should start working perfectly.

  1. Check Hydraulic Pump

If you can’t find any issues with the wiring after using the multimeter, then it is possible that you’re dealing with a defective hydraulic pump.

So, even when the controller and relay are sending the signals, the hydraulic pump doesn’t have enough liquid to elevate the engine.

To tackle this problem, you should check the liquid levels in the pump and verify the power output. If the pump is defective, then make sure to involve members from the customer support.

That way, you can forward a warranty claim or seek guidance on possible replacement options according to the model of your engine. 

All in all, you will have to set aside a substantial budget to fix hydraulic pump issues. So, make sure to seek guidance from experts, and it will help you get around the problem faster.

Hopefully, these methods will help you overcome issues with the tilt trim not working.

  1. Check The Switch

At this point, you gotta shift your focus towards the switch. The problem might not even be with the tilt trim and you might just be dealing with a damaged switch.

Whether it is the connections or the switch itself is damaged, you will not be able to get any response from the tilt trim. 

So, if you’re sure that the relay is in good shape, the wiring connections are perfect, and the hydraulic pump is working properly, just check the switch next.

It will not take you that much time and you gotta also fix the connectors. 

If the switch is in poor shape and you’re not that sure about your skills when it comes to the maintenance of this switch, then get a replacement.

There is no need to bother with spending hours and days of your time to get the switch working again when you can get it fixed for a couple of bucks.

Spending too much time trying to fix the system will only hold you back and you will not get any performance out of the switch. So, be sure to reach out and have the experts help you through a fix.


Otherwise, you will just be holding yourself back and the performance will be sub par to say the least.

  1. The Battery Might Be Defective

The issue with the battery side of things can be just as annoying.

When you’re sure that the wiring is in good shape and the hardware is in perfect condition, fixing the power flow should be your next step. You gotta check the power flowing out of the battery and into the system.

You can rely on devices like a multimeter for this purpose. Using a multimeter will make your life much easier and you won’t have to hassle at all when you’re talking about a defective battery.

Once you’re sure that the reading on the multimeter is not enough, you can get a new battery. 

There is no point or no gain in sticking with a defective battery, and you can switch over to a fresh piece for a better performance.

Yes, it might sting your budget a bit to get a new battery. However, you’re not left with many options. So, be sure to reach out to the local dealers. 

battery icon

Trying to save money or going cheap on the purchase will only complicate the problem for you.

You won’t be able to gain anything out of the system, and the unit will not respond to any input. Hopefully, you won’t have to bother with the same error for years after getting the unit replaced. 

  1. Check For Lodged Gunk

Sometimes, all that you gotta do is to proceed with a servicing cycle. Your main focus here should be on checking the system for lodged gunk and then cleaning that out. Using compressed air will be more than enough to have you sorted out.

All that you gotta do is to grab a can of compressed air and then start blasting the system.

It might not take that much of your time, but it will be incredibly effective. All the build up on the connection points and obstructions clogging up the trim system will complicate the problem further. 

So, you gotta first check the system for lodged gunk and then clear all that to avoid more errors down the road.

Hopefully, the hassle will be pretty limited when it comes to cleaning the system. So, be sure to have all that in mind and clean the lodged gunk. 

Hopefully, you won’t have to bother at all with the system and fixing the unit will come easily to you.

It all comes down to how you’re planning on addressing the situation, and keeping track of the maintenance will put you in a better spot.

  1. Ask The Experts

You should also reach out to the expert working the official support channel. You gotta ask these experts to help you with a fresh piece and these professionals will make your life much easier.

Hopefully, the hassle will be pretty limited and you won’t have to go through much in the long run. 

The customer care team and the dealer support behind the established brands is pretty amazing.

You will not have to deal with these challenges on your own and asking the official support members will make your life much easier. 

There is no gain in trying to fix everything on your own. So, when you’re stuck or can’t seem to get a reasonable response from the tilt trim system yourself, then just ask the officials. 

team support

Engaging the official support team or asking the dealer will put you far ahead when it comes to troubleshooting minor issues.

So, there is no need to start from scratch when you’re stuck and can’t find a fix.

The Takeaway

The tilt trim features can create some problems for you from time to time. However, fixing these problems is not that hard.

You gotta start by checking the hardware and making sure that there are no issues with the switch or the connection points.

Ideally, a few fixes will be all that you need to fix the system. These fixes will include adjusting the wiring and making sure that the connection points are clean.

Hopefully, you won’t have to go through any challenges down the road. 

However, if you’re not able to fix the tilt trim system even after going through all of these errors, then you gotta call in the experts.

You won’t be able to fix the system yourself if the hardware is indeed in poor shape.

You can reach out to the officials working at the support channel for your respective brand.

Most of the certified brands like Yamaha and Mercury will help you with a fresh piece. So, be sure to reach out to an expert and that will make your life easier. 

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