How to Determine the Year of a Honda Outboard Motor by the Serial Number

Written by tom price
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It is vital for the owner of a Honda outboard motor to know what year the motor was manufactured. Not knowing the model year of the motor will make it impossible to order the correct parts to repair the motor in some cases. Knowing the model year of the Honda outboard will also allow the owner to purchase the correct repair manual for the engine, so that repairs can be properly done by the owner. Although it may seem like a difficult task at first, determining the model year of the Honda outboard motor by using the serial number is really a very simple task.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Shop rag
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Computer
  • Internet access
  • Browser

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  1. 1

    Locate the serial number plate on the right side of the outboard, just beneath the engine cover and close to the transom.

  2. 2

    Wipe any soil off the serial number plate with a shop rag, so that all of the numbers in the serial number can be read clearly. Record the serial number, using a pencil and a piece of paper.

  3. 3

    Turn on a computer with Internet access and open a browser. Paste into the address bar of the browser and press the "Enter" key on the computer. This will open the serial number lookup section at

  4. 4

    Scroll down to the Honda Marine section on the Website. Compare the serial number in question to the charts displayed on the website to determine the model year of the Honda outboard in question.

Tips and warnings

  • The model year of a Honda outboard motor can only be determined by using the serial number through the 2006 model year. Contact a Honda Marine dealer for information on how to determine the model year of Honda outboard motors after the 2006 model year, because Honda stopped using model year designators in the serial number beginning with the 2007 model year.
  • For models years prior to 1997, a Honda Marine dealer must be contacted in order to determine the model year using the serial number.

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