Have you ever been stuck with a faulty trolling motor that you wished you could fix up by yourself? Are you tired of taking your trolling motor from one repair shop to the other without any positive results? If yes and yes, then you have come to the right place.

Here, we are going to dissect the trolling motor into the various working parts. And try to explain the possible faults that can occur from any of the working parts if they cease to function correctly.

Firstly, we have to understand what machine this is. So what’s a trolling motor? Actually a trolling motor is better described as a self-contained unit that consists of an electric motor along with a propeller. And its controls, and attached to the bow or stern of an angler’s boat.

The trolling motor usually lifted from inside the water whenever the primary engine of the boat is in operation. To reduce the drag that would be caused by the water on the motor. The trolling motor is usually a secondary means of propulsion.

It is an auxiliary power to ensure precision in maneuvering the boat, typically mounted on the transom, beside the primary outboard motor, or on the bow. It aids to ease in catching of fish when the fisher has to cast the bait as the boat is in motion. These uses lead to the production of different types of trolling motors.

A trolling motor used as the auxiliary power for maneuvering is usually mounted on the bow. While the other used for trolling game fish as a secondary means of propulsion is on the transom.

Electricity, gasoline or hand usually power the different types of trolling motors. However, they all have some parts in common which include the rotor, propeller, shaft, and controls. We are going to consider the internal components of the electric trolling motor. It ensures a better idea of where the possible fault can emanate from and how to fix it.

First of all, you have to carry out a test on the trolling motor to be entirely sure that it is not working. The first test you should carry out is by connecting it to a battery to be sure that the trolling motor was not affected by a weak battery.

Turn on the trolling motor after attaching it to a battery of about 12-volts. Electric trolling motors feature either a 12V, 24V or 36V DC electric motor that is brushed. And they can all be powered by a 12–volt battery.

Once the battery is connected, move the throttle to rev the trolling motor. If the trolling motor responds to the throttle the motor is in excellent condition, and if the trolling motor doesn’t respond to the throttle, then it means that the fault is not from the power source. Now open the head of the controls. And check each of the wires to ensure that they are still properly connected.

You should check the wires connecting to the motor, the wires connecting to the battery, and the component that changes resistance to the flow of current in the throttle to allow revving in opposite directions.

Once you have tried revving the motor with the battery and it does not respond, you can try testing the system with an external motor. Connect to cables of the external motor to the port of the motor in the controls, and then power it on.

The external motor is most likely going to work since we know that the fault is not from the power source. You can use a multimeter to test for the flow of current to the motor. If the meter indicates that current is allowed to flow to the battery, then you know that the fault is from the motor.

If you do not have any of the devices used to test the trolling motor. Then you can opt-in for the light bulb test. The light bulb test involves the use of two light bulbs connected to the points of the motor in the controls.

Last step

After joining these bulbs, you are to join the trolling motor to a power supply (which is usually a DC battery). Now rev the trolling motor, and do so in both directions. If the bulbs come on and also get brighter as you rev the trolling motor due to the increase in the voltage supplied, then you are fully assured that the fault is from the motor.

Now that we know that the fault is from the motor. Then opening the motor housing should be the next thing we have in mind. The first thing you would see is the pin that drives the propeller on the shaft that protrudes outward.

If the pin appears to be damaged, then you should consider changing the pin. However, disassembling the whole motor to check for other faults is the best thing to do. The problems that you can find here would usually be damaged parts.

These damages arise from excess current, water leaking into the motor and mostly mechanical damages such as bending, wear, etc. Once you have this figured out, your next step should be getting new parts.

However, getting the parts might be hard, and it is advisable you get another motor. Getting a new motor is the best option for your faulty trolling motor if you consider the effects of buying the wrong parts. It is because most fairly used equipment usually has minor faults that you might not easily or quickly notice.


You should consider all the dos and don’ts of opening a trolling motor. It ensures that you do not damage other parts from trying to find the fault of one piece. Taking apart a trolling motor is usually at your own risk. And you should ensure that you get the required replacement parts. They are of top quality to ensure that you do not fix in a faulty replacement part.

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