EFI vs. a Standard 4 Stroke Outboards

EFI vs. a Standard 4 Stroke Outboards

When choosing 4 stroke outboards – depending on the horsepower range you need for your craft – one of the decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want an electronic fuel-injected (EFI) engine or a standard, carbureted 4 stroke.

From the Start

First, when it comes to starting 4 stroke outboards, an EFI engine has the advantage. With no choke involved, it definitely makes starting your engine easier.


Because of the more sophisticated equipment involved in making them work, EFI outboards cost more than traditional 4 strokes. But, because of their many other advantages, you might find that an EFI engine is easily worth the additional purchase price.

Environmental Considerations with 4 Stroke Outboards

EFI engines have a clear edge from an environmental perspective. They produce fewer emissions than carbureted engines. However, in recent years, manufacturers of marine engines have made great strides in reducing carbon emissions of their 4 stroke carbureted engines. Most now carry a 3-Star or even a 4-Star C.A.R.B. (California Air Resources Board) rating and are well within current EPA guidelines governing the release of carbon emissions.


If weight is a factor, it’s important to note that an EFI engine is going to be heavier than a carbureted engine of the same horsepower. That’s because an EFI engine requires more moving parts to make it work.

Fuel Efficiency

Despite its extra weight at the same horsepower, an EFI engine will give you better gas mileage. This is especially true if your plan is to try to get away with a lower horsepower engine than the one for which your boat is rated. With a carbureted engine, you’ll burn a lot more gas while trying to push watercraft that are heavier than the engine is designed to move.


Because of their design and how they operate, electronic fuel injected outboard engines require less maintenance than a standard 4 stroke carbureted engine.

On the other hand, when EFI outboards do require maintenance or repair, the cost to maintain and fix them is generally higher.

Another important consideration – if you’re someone who enjoys working on your own engine, you won’t easily be able to diagnose and fix a problem you experience with an EFI engine, which requires sophisticated computer diagnostics for troubleshooting issues.

Elevation Considerations

Depending on your location and how you like to use your boat, choosing an EFI engine may be an easy decision.

Carbureted engines are only designed to work up to 5,000 feet above sea level. If you live in or head to a mountain state with your boat, you probably don’t want to have to worry about switching out your jets every time your elevation exceeds 5,000 feet (and switching them back when you head to lower elevations.) A computerized, EFI engine is designed to compensate automatically for changes in both temperature and elevation.

Finally, because an EFI engine relies on a computer and isn’t dependent upon the fluid dynamics involved with a carbureted engine, in general, it’s going to provide you with better throttle response and overall better performance.

Which will you choose? Online Outboards offers a variety of both EFI and 4-stroke carbureted motors 2.3HP to 30HP to meet your needs.

Shop EFI Outboard Motors Shop 4-Stroke Outboard Motors

Previous Post Next Post

  • Cumberland Watersports