Read the manual.

There are a huge amount of resources online - specific to your motor and it's usage. We try our best to answer questions - but we are trying to provide support for a vast range and depth of brands and models.

When troubleshooting a trolling motor, following a systematic approach to identify and resolve any issues is essential. While the trolling motor often shows the 'symptoms' of an issue, something elsewhere in the system is sometimes causing it. Trolling Motors do need a clean and constant power supply - and voltage drops or spikes will cause issues with basic functionality. So - if you are having issues with the unit turning off or the 'Spot-Lock' functionality stopping - here are the first steps you can take:

  1. Inspect the propeller: Remove the propeller and check for any debris, fishing line, or vegetation wrapped around the shaft or impeding the propeller's movement. Clean and remove any obstructions.

  2. Check the power source: Ensure that the trolling motor is receiving power from the battery. Check the battery connections for corrosion, loose or damaged wires, and verify that the battery has a sufficient charge.

  3. Examine the circuit breaker and fuse: Locate the circuit breaker or fuse on the trolling motor and check if it has tripped or blown. Reset the circuit breaker or replace the fuse if necessary.

  4. Inspect the wiring: Inspect the wiring connections between the battery, motor, and control panel. Look for loose, frayed, or damaged wires. Tighten any loose connections and note any damaged wiring.

  5. Clean the contacts: Corroded contacts can impede electrical flow. Clean the battery terminals, wire connectors, and any other electrical contacts using a wire brush or battery terminal cleaner. Ensure that the connections are secure and free of debris.

  6. Test the foot pedal or control panel: If your trolling motor has a foot pedal or control panel, check if it's functioning correctly. Verify that the pedal or control panel cables to the motor are secure and undamaged.

  7. Test the motor manually: Disconnect the motor from the control panel or foot pedal and connect it directly to a power source (such as a separate battery) using alligator clips or appropriate connections. This test can help determine if the motor itself is functioning properly.

  8. Consult the owner's manual or manufacturer's website: Review the troubleshooting section of the Minn Kota trolling motor's owner's manual. If you don't have the manual, visit the Minn Kota website for resources such as FAQs, troubleshooting guides, or customer support.

Spot lock, Boats and Batteries

A few people have reported that their units can't keep a spot lock. Before we pull a motor off a boat and send it back for repair/assessment, here are some extra things to consider and check.

The motor can only do so much

We have had a few people who expect a little too much from the motor they purchased. 

It's important to understand and correctly match your boat size to the motor size - if it is too small, the unit will have to work constantly at full speed to keep the boat in position.

In addition, if the current/wind/swell gets up too high, again, the motor may find itself having to run at full speed to keep itself in place, and most units, by design, will switch off the spot lock if the motor is running at maximum power for more than a few minutes. This is to protect the motor.

As per Minn Kota - "You need at least 2 pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of fully-loaded boat weight (people and gear included). If things like wind or current are major factors where you fish, you’ll want a little extra thrust."

All the manufacturers will specify the maximum size their products are recommended for - if you are close to or over that recommendation, you are not going to get the performance you might expect out of it.

The Battery might be the Issue

All these devices require power to run - this power is supplied from a battery system that directly affects performance.

If you have a unit that runs well at the beginning of the day but progressively degrades in performance (say, as the battery loses charge) - then it's possibly the battery or charging system, not the motor itself that has the issue.

Lead Acid and Lithium batteries operate slightly differently in this regard - but both can cause issues. Lead Acid batteries will drop in voltage as they discharge - and most motor units will have some kind of protection system in them that will shut off before totally draining a battery. In addition, the low power supply will require them to run harder to maintain the same position - eventually causing the Spot Lock function also to shut off. Lithium batteries don't drop in Voltage but can spike as they run out of juice - again causing issues.

Unfortunately, we have a lot of returned motors that once tested on a solid power supply - display no fault. So if possible, it's good to isolate issues before pulling motors off and transporting them around the country.

Minnkotta i-Pilot specific Troubleshooting

Watersnake Geo-Spot Specific Troubleshooting

If none of this helps

If the issue persists after performing these initial troubleshooting steps, get in touch with us, and we can look to get the unit back for testing at your local support centre. We are here to help and want to resolve the problem, but it needs to be remembered that we generally have no control over the installation or the use of many items we sell, but we will do all we can do to ensure the product we have sold is functioning as it should.