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Minn Kota Trolling Motor Prop Not Spinning: How To Fix It?

Minn Kota Trolling Motor Prop Not Spinning: How To Fix It?

Minn Kota is one of the top brands for trolling motors.

Not only are Minn Kotas well built and durable, they also cost more than most other trolling motor brands.

So if the propellers on your Minn Kota trolling motor suddenly stop working, you may be worried about the cost of repairing it or, worse, having to buy a new motor.

Fortunately, there are several ways you may be able to get your props spinning again, depending on what caused them to stop in the first place.

Keep reading to find out about various Minn Kota prop problems and how to fix them.

We’ll also talk about what direction your props should be spinning once you get them working again.

Are you ready to get started?

5 Causes and How to Fix Them

Newport Vessels NV-Series 55lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator & 30" Shaft

The truth is, a trolling motor’s props may stop spinning for a number of reasons. Maybe it was working the last time you went boating, but now, only a few days or weeks later, the props won’t turn.

Worse yet, maybe you’re out on the water and the props suddenly stop spinning, leaving you stranded or with no choice but to paddle your way back to shore.

Or maybe the motor is brand new, or you recently bought it used, and you can’t get the props to start spinning at all.

Whatever the case may be, you’re probably left wondering what to do about it.

What could be causing the problem, and how do you fix it?

1. Corrosion

trolling motor prop corrosion

If the props were spinning the last time you used it, but won’t work now, something inside the motor head may have corroded.

If even a little bit of water found its way inside the motor head, then internal wires, plugs, or circuit breakers may have rusted. If the corrosion is extensive enough, or if essential components of the motor head have rusted through, the props may stop turning.

Use a screwdriver to remove the outer covering on the motor head. Then, visually inspect each part inside the motor head. Look to see if anything looks rusty or broken.

If you find any corroded or broken parts, you will simply have to remove the part and get it replaced. You should be able to find the name of the part by looking in your owner’s manual, and you can then buy a replacement part online through Minn Kota.

2. Loose Connection

trolling motor wires loosing connection

Another thing that may cause the props to stop working is a loose connection. This may be the case if your trolling motor stops working when you’re on the water, or if you buy a new trolling motor and can’t get the props to spin.

Parts inside the motor head or control box may shake loose with repeated uses. If you suspect a loose connection, open up the motor head and check all the internal components. Be sure not to disconnect anything while performing your inspection.

If everything looks good inside your motor head, remove the covering from the control box and check all the connections there.

If you find any loose parts, either in the motor head or the control box, simply reconnect the wires in the appropriate spots. If you’re not sure where they should be connected, consult your owner’s manual.

3. Electrical Problems

Weize 12V 100AH Deep Cycle AGM SLA VRLA Battery for Solar System RV Camping Trolling Motor, in Series 24V 36V 48V

If you’re out on the water and the motor suddenly dies, you may be dealing with an electrical problem, or the battery may need recharging.

If possible, check all the connections to make sure nothing has simply loosened up. If you can’t find any loose connections, chances are, you won’t be able to fix the problem while out on the water.

It’s a good idea to keep a set of oars or paddles in your boat for situations such as this.

Once you’re back on land, try recharging the battery. If that doesn’t work, you may need a new battery. Again, double check all the connections and inspect for corrosion before you spring for a new battery.

4. Props Tangled

When you’re out on the water, you may notice that your motor is still running, but you’re not going anywhere. In this case, something has caused your props to stop spinning without actually killing the motor.

Turn off the trolling motor and fold it up into the boat. Chances are, something like seaweed or fishing line has simply gotten tangled up in the props.

If you find anything wrapped around the props, carefully remove it, then check to see if the props are working again. If so, great!

If not, the wire that delivers battery power to the props may have simply come loose. Open up the motor head and control box and check the connections.

Check out this video for a step-by-step guide for how to clean your prop.

How to Clean Your Trolling Motor Prop

5. Speed Set to Zero

Finally, if you just ordered a new or preowned trolling motor and you can’t get the props to start turning, check the speed setting on the controls. If it is set to zero, the props won’t spin.

Change the speed to a higher setting and try again. If the props start spinning, you fixed the problem. If not, you may need to look a little deeper, checking for loose wires or corrosion as described above.

Which Way Should a Trolling Motor Prop Spin?

Newport Vessels NV-Series propeller

If you went through all the potential problems and solutions outlined in the previous section, then chances are, you found the problem. But even if you’ve got the props spinning again, you may be wondering if they’re spinning the right way.

If you’re viewing the trolling motor from behind, the props should spin in a clockwise direction. Unless, of course, you’ve got it set on reverse; in that case, the props would rotate counter-clockwise.

Which Way Does a Prop Spin to Go Forward?

PEXMOR Electric Trolling Motor going forward

As noted above, the props should be spinning in a clockwise rotation for moving the boat forward through the water.

If the props are spinning too fast and you can’t tell whether they’re rotating clockwise or counter-clockwise, there is an easy way to tell if they’re rotating the right way or not.

Using a lighted match or incense stick, as demonstrated in this video, hold it close to the props and start letting them spin. As they pick up speed, they will either suck in or push away the smoke from the match.

Using this technique, you can accurately determine which way the props are spinning.

How Do You Reset a Minn Kota Trolling Motor?

So, assuming you’re out on the water when your Minn Kota stops working, you’ll need a way to reset it to the stowed position so it doesn’t become damaged as you paddle back to shore.

The exact process for doing this may vary from model to model. If it’s just the propellers that stopped spinning and the rest of the electrical system still works, you may be able to simply push a button or a series of buttons, as outlined in this user’s manual.

If you’ve completely lost power to your trolling motor, you may have to reset it manually. Check out this useful user’s guide for resetting a Minn Kota Ulterra by hand.

Minn Kota Fortrex Trolling Motor

Again, the process may be slightly different depending on the specific model of trolling motor you own. Check your user’s manual for specific instructions, or watch a tutorial video.

Of course, neither of these options is likely to help you if you’re stranded out on the water. The best way to know how to handle such a situation is to prepare for it. Know ahead of time what to do if you ever find yourself with a dead trolling motor out on the water.


And there you have it!

Experiencing any problem with your Minn Kota trolling motor can be an unnerving experience. But, if you follow the steps in this guide, you should be able to find the problem and get it fixed yourself.

With any luck, you’ll be back on the water in no time!