Neither avid nor casual boaters are immune to possible problems and faults occurring within their motor. Whether the error is caused by one’s wrongdoings or something out of their control, the results can prove to be disastrous if left unattended.
In this post, we will be going over all the most common problems you may experience with your Minn Kota Trolling Motor, as well as how to fix them. Additionally, we will list whether or not such issues can be resolved by yourself or require repairing at a professional center.
Table of Contents
- Why is My Minn Kota Trolling Motor Not Working?
- How to Repair a Minn Kota Trolling Motor?
- How Do You Reset a Minn Kota Trolling Motor?
Why is My Minn Kota Trolling Motor Not Working?
There can be countless reasons and various factors as to why a trolling motor may stop working. Below, we will take a look at a few of the more common reasons boaters find their trolling motor out of commission.
Your Minn Kota trolling motor may be malfunctioning or stop working due to:
- Battery Failure
- Bad Connections
- Circuit Breaker Issues
- Loose Wiring
- Broken/Damaged Rotary Switch
- Broken Propeller Pin
The all-electric trolling motors are powered by batteries, and many problems or errors can come from the battery failing. Most of these motors use a 12-volt deep cycle battery designed to deplete and recharge.
If the battery is unable to provide power to the trolling motor, then it won’t be able to function.
There may be several reasons why your trolling motor’s battery may not be working.
These include not being charged, using the wrong charger, incorrect wire connection, corroded wiring, loose connections, and not checking battery electrolyte levels.
Another internal issue you can run into with your electric trolling motor is lousy wiring connections. These can pose a severe threat to your motor as wrong contacts can quickly degrade your motor and cause permanent circuit damage.
In addition to physical connection errors, corrosion can also contribute to bad connections. You can spot deterioration easily by checking to see if there is any rust or white powder within the terminals or on the open ends of the wire.
You can avoid corrosion issues by doing consistent checkups. Remember, corrosion can degrade your electric trolling motor just as fast as faulty connections, if not faster.
Circuit Breaker Issues
Circuit breakers protect the trolling motor when the propeller gets jammed, tangled, or stuck by cutting the trolling motor’s circuit once the amperage reaches a certain point.
Without a circuit breaker, the motor would have to exert extra force to free itself, resulting in heavy damages. That being said, it is essential to make sure the circuit breaker is correctly working.
Playing into bad connections, loose or corroded wiring will cause your electric trolling motor to stop working. Allowing loose wiring to persist can cause a loss in power and functionality.
Loose wiring is also a safety issue! Exposed and loose wires can lead to electrocution dangers for people on the boat.
Broken or Damaged Rotary Switch
You should consistently check that the main rotary switch of your electric trolling motor is working so that it can be fixed or replaced when needed.
In some cases, the broken rotary switch may result from a damaged pin inside the rotary switch. You can check to see if the pin is the issue by opening up the rotary switch.
If the pin is perfectly fine, then you may need to troubleshoot for other problems or replace the entire rotary switch.
Broken Propeller Pin
Similar to the rotary switch, another error you can find within your motor is a bent or broken pin that drives the propellor. If this is the case, then the motor will not supply enough thrust, which could render your boat completely immobile.
How to Repair a Minn Kota Trolling Motor?
Now that you have a better understanding of some of the common issues that may be causing your trolling motor to malfunction, we can look at how to address those problems.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to repair your motor by yourself, but some issues may need professional help from either repair centers or through Minn Kota’s contact page.
Addressing Battery Failure
The easiest and most common fix to any battery-related issues is simply charging the battery.
Additionally, you may want to clean out any nooks and crannies that may have dust or debris lodged inside, as this may be disrupting the connection between the battery and its charger or motor wiring.
Pro Tip: To prevent connection issues in the future, it is a good idea to add regular battery care to your maintenance list.
If you are unsure whether the issue is battery-related, you can conduct a voltage check. This check not only allows you to know if the battery needs charging but can also notify you if there is a case of battery failure.
A voltage check will prevent you from taking your dead motor out onto the water. Plus, you won’t waste your time trying other solutions that won’t fix the battery’s problem. If the battery does fail the check, you will need to get a replacement for it.
Finally, to maintain a healthy battery with long life, try not to deplete the battery fully when using it, recharge before every use to maintain optimal power, and trip the circuit breaker after every use to prevent power leaks.
Repairing Bad Connections
The first step to reducing the chances of a bad connection occurring is by making sure the correct-sized wire is connected to the trolling motor and battery.
If incorrect sizes are used, the wires could heat up exponentially, causing the motor to shut down.
Aside from using wires with the correct size and length, you can additionally position the batteries closer to the motor to lower the distance that the wire has to run.
As for wire corrosion, the best way to lower the chances of it spreading is by placing dielectric grease on the wire connections and motor terminals.
Clearing Circuit Breaker Issues
Since circuit breakers will protect the motor from damaging itself and you from getting hurt along with it, it is essential to have a proper circuit breaker that works.
For the most protection and functionality, make sure you use a circuit breaker with a 60-amp rating unless the manufacturer’s instructions specify something different.
Additionally, make sure the fuse and wiring between the trolling motor and its batteries are working correctly. Replace any blown fuses or switches immediately, and also check for a tripped circuit breaker.
A tripped breaker is easy to fix, as you can quickly tell if it is out of position. Just flip it back into place, which should resume the motor’s normal function.
Repairing Loose Wiring
The easiest way to fix loose wiring is checking the plug and area where it is plugged in, as that is where the loose connection usually resides. You can also further prevent power loss caused by loose wiring by coating your terminal connections with dielectric grease.
If you need additional wire extensions, then a six-gauge wire will work for more than six feet in length and an eight-gauge wire for anything under.
Fixing a Broken or Damaged Rotary Switch
The good part about repairing the rotary switch pin is that it is relatively easy once you open the switch. After opening the motorhead, you’ll want to remove the motor handle before disconnecting the rotary switch from the wires.
Don’t worry, each pin is labeled for the specific wire, so you won’t have any trouble trying to figure it out. Once the switch is marked, you can diagnose whether or not the problem is within the rotary switch and whether it needs a repair or replacement.
Replacing a Broken Propellor Pin
You can check the functionality of the propeller by turning it with your hand. A broken pin may have difficulty turning the propeller and require a replacement part.
Pro Tip: You can take care of your propeller by taking it out and cleaning it after every few uses.
How Do You Reset a Minn Kota Trolling Motor?
If you encounter an error with your Minn Kota trolling motor and require a reset, there are several ways you can do this. The first is to power down the motor and allow it a few moments before starting it up again.
Some Minn Kota trolling motors will have a reset button installed on the motorhead, which can also be pressed for a more efficient reset. The reset button is the easiest and quickest way to give your motor a soft reset, though it may not work in some cases.
If these easier methods don’t do the trick, you can turn the motor off and remove the battery. Wait about 10-20 seconds before reinstalling the battery and powering up the motor again.
In some cases, the motor may be having power or connection issues rather than problems with the actual components. In that case, it may be wise to consult either the motor’s manual, a person knowledgeable in the motor’s components, or Minn Kota’s official contact page.
How Do I Reset My Terrova or Ulterra Trolling Motor?
For those who own a Minn Kota Terrova or Ulterra motor, you may encounter a scenario where the motor needs to be reset. The key difference between resetting the Terrova and Ulterra motor is the auto-deploy or stow feature of the Ulterra motorboats.
To reset the Ulterra motor, first, you’ll want to turn the motor off before turning it back on again, making sure to press the power button three times in less than two seconds. This step will initiate the recalibration process, which can usually fix most errors present within the motor. It is also an excellent option for giving the motor a soft reset if you wanted to restore its default functions that might have been altered.
Since the Terrova trolling motor doesn’t have the deploy or stow feature, the reset method will be slightly different. Near the end of the control head, a button should initiate a reset for the motor. By pressing it, you should be able to reset the motor with little to no difficulty.