Lowrance Ghost Trolling Motor Problems [Issues + Fixes] 

If you are looking to diagnose and rectify some of the most common issues with your Lowrance trolling motor, then you might be surprised to learn that you can fix many yourself.

So before you get in touch with the dealer, here is a snapshot of what this post covers.

At a Glance:

1️⃣ There are unusual issues, such as the head unit starts to flash, and the anchor lock quits working. This is relatively easy to troubleshoot

2️⃣ A common issue with early models of the Lowrance Ghost was that the anchor lock would not hold the position. This was generally resolved by updating the software.

3️⃣ Some customers have complained that they cannot pair the remote control device with trolling Motor. I’ll discuss the correct way to do this.

4️⃣ Some built-in safety features have confused customers. I’ll discuss the purpose of these and explain how to resolve them.

Understanding how electric trolling motors work can provide context for the issues and fixes of your Lowrance Ghost.

The rest of this article discusses these in detail, along with the suggested fixes to get you back out on the water.

👻 Common Lowrance Ghost Trolling Motor Issues

Lowrance’s Ghost Trolling Motor is arguably one of the best motors on the market. It provides a long-lasting, “ghost-like” (sorry, but I couldn’t resist) silent performance, up to 120 lbs. of thrust.

The interference-free trolling is excellent for anglers who love to go out for some bass fishing. In addition, it can be switched between 24 & 36 volts.

The most common issues which arise with the use of these motors are listed below.

The Head Unit Flashes And The Anchor Lock Quits Working

If the anchor mode quits while in operation, check the following.

Is The Battery Flat?

The battery may have become discharged. Press the battery charge indicator button and check the charge status.

🟢 Green means that the battery has 40% to 100% charge remaining.

🟡 Yellow indicates a charge level be 20% to 39%.

🔴 Red indicates that there is less than 10% battery life remaining.

If the indicator LED is red, the battery has discharged, and the anchor lock will not engage.

The battery needs to be recharged before the function will activate.

Has The GPS Signal Been Lost?

The system may have lost the GPS signal. This occurs naturally occasionally; however, checking that the system is in order is worthwhile.

  • Check that the TMC-1 is mounted in a good location and has a clear sky view.
  • Check the connections to the GPS unit are secure.
  • Check the battery condition (as discussed above)

Is Something Interfering With The Peddle?

An object may physically interfere with the peddle, “kicking” it out of the anchor lock.

Software Updates Gone Wrong

If the motor software has recently been updated, always ensure that you test it before driving to the lake or river. A typical problem with an update gone wrong is described in the following video.

The Anchor Lock Does Not Hold The Position

On some of the earlier models, the anchor lock system was very inaccurate, to the point that some fishermen commented that the system was not useable.

This has been rectified in future software versions.

To update the software, follow the steps listed below. There are two methods available that will enable you to update the software.

  1. The Lowrance smartphone app.
  2. A compatible trolling motor display.

The Lowrance Smart Phone App

The app is available from the i-Store (IOS) or Google play store (Android).

  • After the app has been downloaded from the respective store, follow the in-app instructions to pair it with the motor. 
  • When it is paired, select the function ‘Manage My Devices.’
  • Select ‘Ghost’ from the list.
  • Then select ‘Update firmware’ and follow the onscreen instructions.

The Software Can Be Updated Using A Compatible Chart Plotter

The first part of this procedure is activated from your pc.

Using your PC or desktop, connect to the downloads section on the Lowrance website.

  1. Select the heading entitled “Product Series.”
  2. This is a dropdown menu, and you should select your Lowrance Ghost Trolling Motor model from this list.
  3. Scroll down to the section entitled “’Software.”
  4. Download the latest available update file.
  5. Once the download has been completed, save it to a Micro-SD card.

The next section is managed at the compatible trolling motor display.

Insert the Micro-SD card in your multi-function display.

  1. Ensure the NMEA 2000 device network connects the multi-function display and the trolling motor.
  2. Ensure that the display is switched on.
  3. Locate the file on the SD card from the multi-function display.
  4. Click “OK” to launch the update program.

If you are replacing an original software version, it should significantly impact the anchor lock accuracy. 

Trouble Stowing The Trolling Motor

If you are struggling to stow the trolling motor Lowrance suggests the following remedy.

  • Use your foot to apply pressure on top of the mount and then pull the cord.
  • The amount may have become bound due to an uneven mounting location.
  • If the motor is not completely flat, use the black rubber washers provided to shim the area where it is not flat. 
  • This will apparently resolve the issue.

Some users have had other difficulties with deploying and stowing the motor, which is caused by a damaged ram. The video below explains how to resolve this.

The Propellor Won’t Come On When The Motor Is Stowed

This is correct and is incorporated as a safety feature to prevent the motor from causing injury when it is in the stowed position.

The Battery Levels Are Difficult To Understand

A commonly asked question is about the battery levels and what each LED color means. It is easy to check the battery condition by pressing the “Battery Test key.”

This action will cause the LED to light up, illuminating with one of three colors (Green, yellow, or red.)

🟢 Green means that the battery has 40% to 100% charge remaining.

🟡 Yellow indicates a charge level be 20% to 39%.

🔴 Red indicates that there is less than 10% battery life remaining.

 Lowrance battery level indicator

The Ghost Trolling Motor Is Installed On The Wrong Side

The Ghost is designed to be mounted on the port side of the boat. If it is not mounted on the correct side, it may cause calibration issues.

The Wires From The Foot Pedal Have Become Disconnected

This Ghost Trolling Motor diagram explains the function of each wire coming from the foot pedal.

 The cables are listed below.

  • The thickest cable is the main connection from the foot pedal to the trolling motor.
  • The cable with a 9-pin “male” connector must be connected to the transducer.
  • The cable with the 5-pin “female” connector must be connected to the trolling motor compass.
  • The micro-C connector is to be connected to the NMEA 2000 interface, which integrates it into the other sensors on the boat network.
  • The red and black wires are for the power cables.

The Lowrance Ghost Trolling Motor Remote Cannot Be Paired.

If you struggle to pair the remote to the trolling motor, follow the steps below.

  • Set the trolling motor back to the factory setting – hold the “2” and “3” buttons together to establish configuration mode.
  • When the mode is entered, the 24v and 36v LEDs will light up, and a tone will sound.
  • Hold the “1” and “2” buttons together, and an audible tone will sound.
  • The motor will reset and go back into the factory defaults.
  • The trolling motor will restart
  • Select “pair remote.”

This should resolve the issue, and the remote should be paired with the motor.

The 22.1 Software Update Has Affected The System

A voltage drop may be apparent if the system has been updated with the latest (version 22.1) software update.

Under certain circumstances, the system will report an inaccurate supply voltage (the discrepancy is 1 volt) compared to the actual supplied voltage.

The discrepancy occurs after the angler manually stops the sonar to engage the same unit’s two-dimensional, side, or down scan. 

Lowrance has advised that this issue will be resolved on the next software release.

The System Prevents The 360 Degree Scan from Starting

A new Ghost 360 scan will not start. In this instance, the system will display the following pop-up message: “Active pilot is engaged; disengage and try again.” 

The system has a built-in check that prevents the 360° scan from starting when the following conditions are in place.

  • The Motor is in anchor mode.
  • The autopilot is in navigation mode. 

To enable a 360-degree scan, place the trolling motor on standby before commencing the action.

❓ FAQs

What Lbs. Thrust Is Lowrance Ghost? 

The motor can be switched between 24 and 36-volt power supplies, which produce the below thrust levels. I’ve written an article explaining how trolling motor thrust affects the performance of your Lowrance Ghost.

  • 36 volts – 120 Lbs.
  • 24 volts – 97 Lbs.

What Transducer Comes On Lowrance Ghost?

The Lowrance Ghost is supplied with the HDI nosecone packaged as standard equipment.

The system can be upgraded with the following equipment

  • The optional Active Imaging™ 3-in-1 nosecone system provides picture-quality images to each side of the boat and the full 360 views.
  • FishReveal™ Smart Target View provides real-time imaging, including forward, down, and scout views.

🔑 Key Takeaways

By any measure, the Lowrance Ghost is a very capable trolling motor, and while it is well-built and reliable, sometimes components become unserviceable. 

The issues we have identified in this article are the most common we come across – hopefully, they will help point you in the correct direction as well.

For comparison, you can also check out the common issues and fixes with the Garmin Force trolling motor.

Check out the common issues with the MotorGuide Tour Pro or the Minn Kota series for a broader understanding of trolling motor problems.

I’m the founder and chief editor here at Kite Ship. The electrification of boating is the most exciting thing to happen to the marine industry in a generation! Welcome, and I hope that we can provide the portal you need to dive into the world of electric propulsion and power.