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Old 19 May 2004, 10:49   #1
Country: UK - Channel Islands
Town: St.Helier
Make: Rib-X
Length: 6.4m
Engine: Outboard 200 Merc Optimax
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 29
SmartGauge Alarm

Hi everyone,
I was wondering if you could help? I was out the other day when my Optimax smartgauge alarm went off saying "Oil Reserve 96% remaining" I have looked in the manual but can't find anything substantial to help. Apparently I am meant to fill the oil reservoir up directly.
When it occured I simply turned the ignition on and off a few times in order to suck some more through from the oil tank. The engine is still in it's 10 hours run-in stage hence using more oil thatn usual - I am thinking this could be a reason!?!?!?

Can anyone help?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 19 May 2004, 12:01   #2
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Country: UK - England
Town: Newport IoW
Boat name: Amean/Pronto/Rumbo
Make: Solent Rib Princess
Length: 7m +
Engine: 200hp Etec 260x 2
MMSI: lots of them
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,857
that happened to me.
take off engine cover and check oil in resevoir if half full unscrew cap start engine and you will see it fill up slowly when its just over flowing screw cap back on no problems for me since if it's not this plenty of mechanics on here
who will soon put you right
regards tim
Tim Griffin
RYA and RLSS UK Training and Rescue Centre
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Old 19 May 2004, 12:05   #3
Country: UK - England
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Boat name: varies
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 128
Hello RLS,

I have a very vague recollection of something similar happening on a 115hp Optimax that we were running on a dory. I think, and my memory is v. hazy on this , that it means that your 2 stroke tank has got to a low enough level that the engine/gauges decide that you are now into the reserve. At a guess, a litre or so remaining? It then counts down as a percentage to 0%, when I guess you've truly run out! If the oil tank is full, then double check that the float switch/sender isn't stuck, and then if it is still happening, ask the dealer! I think that we also had some trouble with an smaller internal oil tank within the o/b housing itself, that we needed to bleed to make sure that there was no air in it. That also set off the oil reserve alarm, in fact the smaller tank may have been the reserve itself! Might be worth a look, but I would ask the dealer. There must be loads of people in the forum with Optimax units, so I'd be surprised if nobody knew what was going on. Hope someone can help.


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Old 19 May 2004, 12:09   #4
Country: UK - England
Town: London
Boat name: varies
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Engine: varies
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 128
Ahaaaah! Tim beat me to it and obviously knows more about it than hazy memories! It was 3 yrs ago, thats my excuse. Tim's fix should work though.


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Old 19 May 2004, 13:05   #5
Country: UK - England
Town: Paignton, Devon
Make: Chinook and Viking
Length: 7m +
Engine: 150 Etec + 125 Merc
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 526
The important thing to remember is the main oil tank in the boat is fully sealed after filling. If it is bleeding air in this will not allow the oil to be fed up to the engine reservoir, this will then drain and not refill
Brixham BSAC
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Old 19 May 2004, 15:08   #6
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Country: UK - England
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Tideway has got it right, the reserve oil tank is the tank under the cowl. The alarm usually goes off when the main tank runs out, air in system when new or when you forget to tighten the cap on the main tank.

Check that the main tank has the cap on tight and all hoses look ok.

Run the engine with the cowl off and slacken off the bleed screw on the top of the reserve oil tank (Black plastic cap).

If everythings ok with the system, you should see the oil rise in the reserve tank, might take a few mins. When its nearly to the top, tighten up the bleed screw and alarm should stop

PS. Always good to have someone by the killcord if you run the engine with the cowl off. Watch for the flywheel! If in doubt get the dealer to do it.
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Old 19 May 2004, 15:27   #7
Country: UK - England
Town: Herne Bay
Boat name: Rotary Rescue
Make: Pacific 22
Length: 6m +
Engine: Mermaid 160
MMSI: 235021725
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 328

Yep, i agree with what has been posted.But check your oil line to make sure there is no kinks from the main oil tank to the Res.tank.There is also a soft rubber line coming from the engine to the main tank to pressurise main tank again check for kinks in this any of these will give you oil level problems.
I had an opti in that had the same sort of problem and it was the air supply to the main tank that was trapped by a wiring loom in the lower cowl.But do what other have said,it that dont work take it back to your dealer.

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