Ulterra Trolling Motor Problems

At some point in time, you are going to run into an issue with your trolling motor no matter who the manufacturer is.

And while this can be infuriating when it happens there are generally some common issues that arise that are quick to troubleshoot if you have the right information.

As many Minn Kota trolling motor owners will attest, their customer service tends to be hit-and-miss.

That’s what this guide tackles. To be your fast reference and get you back on the water ASAP!

Before I begin I’ll sound like an old timer here and remind you that regular maintenance can prevent many common Minn Kota trolling motor problems.

Ulterra Trolling Motor Problems: Common Issues and Troubleshooting Tips

Common Ulterra Trolling Motor Problems

Deployment And Stow Issues

Your Ulterra trolling motor may encounter issues lowering or raising the shaft due to trim unit complications, which is typically belt-driven. If you experience problems such as the shaft failing to move, hearing error beeps, or if the motor doesn’t respond to the stow/deploy button:

  • Check the manual override feature to manually stow the shaft.
  • Press the Stow/Deploy button twice quickly as a common workaround.

Control And Steering Problems

Steering difficulties can be frustrating. If your trolling motor’s propeller or steering system is unresponsive, it might be because the shaft isn’t deployed fully into the water.

  • Ensure the shaft is deployed to an adequate depth for proper operation.

Erratic Steering While In Autopilot

The autopilot feature should guide your motor smoothly, but if steering becomes unpredictable, adjustments may be necessary.

  • Check for software updates or recalibrate the system to improve steering accuracy.

Motor And Propeller Issues

You might notice your trolling motor losing power or the propeller emitting excessive noise during operation. Several issues could cause these symptoms:

  • Inspect for alignment issues if the propeller is vibrating.
  • Look for signs of damage or wear that could lead to a decrease in motor thrust.

Troubleshooting Ulterra Trolling Motor Problems

Deployment/Stowing Issues

When your Ulterra trolling motor isn’t deploying or stowing correctly:

Press the stow/deploy button twice quickly. If you don’t, the motor will appear stuck.

Look for damage to wires leading to the control board, especially between the motor base. One or more of the three wires connecting each of the three Hall Effect Ulterra motor sensors to the primary control board may be damaged. They are encased within black or gray mesh tubing running along both sides of the motor base extrusion. These wires—colored red, blue, and black—are susceptible to damage if proper care is not taken during motor maintenance. They may be inadvertently pinched, cut, or otherwise harmed in the process.

Check battery and wiring for low voltage; verify connections are clean and secure. Use a voltmeter to check the battery voltage.

Make sure no debris is between the steering housing and the base or pinching the power cable. Clean any contaminants on the shaft for smooth deployment.

The damper should have the leg facing down; the tilt nut bracket and nut should not be bent or damaged

Observe the tilt motor for irregular movements, and adjust the lift belt tension to fit one finger snugly between it and the shaft

💡 Pro Tip: If you encounter consistent beeping or freezing, a motor reset might be necessary.

Control And Steering Problems

Control and steering should feel responsive and accurate:

  • Proper Deployment: Ensure the motor’s lower unit is a minimum of 14-15 inches below the base to avoid lockouts. Adjust trim as needed.

Erratic Steering While In Autopilot

Maintain steady control during autopilot use:

  • Battery and Connection Audit: Load test your battery and ensure all connections are secure.
  • GPS Signal Strength: Ensure the GPS signal strength on your remote shows at least 1 bar.
  • Autopilot Mode Relevance: Choose between Locked Heading AutoPilot and Locked Course AutoPilot based on conditions and adjust according to drifts.
  • Adjust Boat Scale Setting: Match your boat size with motor thrust on the remote to avoid overshooting positions.

Minimize interference:

  • Distance From Metallic Objects: Keep your GPS navigation controller away from ferrous metals.
  • Heading Sensor Placement: Install the sensor on a flat surface, away from magnetic materials, aligned with the keel.

Regularly check the propeller for obstructing debris behind it.

Motor And Propeller Issues

Troubleshoot propeller and power problems effectively:

  • Addressing Propeller Vibration: Rotate the propeller 180 degrees upon reinstallation to reduce imbalance. If the issue persists, consult a service provider.
  • Power Loss: If your motor is losing power, start with simple checks like ensuring a fully charged battery and secure connections.

Should these tips not resolve your concerns, seeking professional guidance from an authorized service center is advised. Remember that consistent maintenance can prevent many of these issues, and proper installation initially guards against future troubles. Keeping a close eye on your motor’s performance and health ensures it remains a reliable asset.

Regular Maintenance Of Ulterra Trolling Motors

Clean Trolling Motor Prop of Weeds and Fishing Line

You’ll likely encounter weeds and fishing line when you’re out on the water. Keeping your propeller free of debris not only preserves its condition but also ensures better performance.

Remove any visible weeds or lines during your trip, and take the time to clean behind the propeller thoroughly for hidden obstructions.

Remove and Inspect the Trolling Motor Prop Drive Pin

Regularly inspect the Prop Drive Pin after removing the prop. Check for signs of wear or bending.

Replacing this pin is straightforward, and it acts as a protective measure for your trolling motor against underwater hazards.

Wash Your Trolling Motor – Especially In Saltwater

Saltwater is your trolling motor’s adversary, capable of causing corrosion. Rinse your motor with fresh water after every use in saltwater conditions. Lubricate the shaft with water-based silicone to allow for smooth operation.

EnvironmentCleaning Frequency
FreshwaterEvery few trips
SaltwaterAfter every trip

Tighten Mounting Bolts

Movement and vibration can loosen mounting bolts over time. Prevent potential damage and maintain stability by regularly securing all bolts and ensuring they’re snug.

Check and Tighten Battery Connections

Maintain your battery connections to prevent voltage drops and ensure reliable operation. Tighten connectors, inspect the wires, and replace any corroded ones to ensure your fishing trips go without a hitch.

Properly Charge Your Trolling Motor Batteries

Your batteries’ longevity and performance rely on diligent charging after each use. Fully charge them before setting out to guarantee your trolling motor’s optimal function.

Trolling Motor Cable Management and Inspection

It’s vital to keep wires organized and protected from damage. Utilize zip ties or PET expandable braided sleeving to manage cables and avoid cutting or pinching when stowing your motor.

Prolonged Storage Preparation

Before an extended period of inactivity, it’s wise to coat all metal components with a silicone spray to fend off corrosion. Disconnect your trolling motor from power sources, and use a smart onboard battery charger to maintain battery health during storage.

Frequently Asked

  • Check for obstructions around the propeller and remove any debris.
  • Ensure your battery is adequately charged and functioning correctly.
  • Reset the motor by turning it off and then on again.
  • If the issue persists, consult professional help.
  1. Verify if the motor is correctly aligned with the stow direction.
  2. Examine the stow/deploy mechanism for any visible damage.
  3. Perform a manual stow using the instructions from Minn Kota if the automatic function is non-operational.
  4. For further information, visit the Minn Kota support section.
  • Locate the manual override on the motor and release the system as instructed in your owner’s manual.
  • Securely deploy the motor until you can get it serviced by a professional.

The red status light typically signals an issue such as:

  • Overheating of the motor.
  • A potential electrical problem.
  • An error in the control system. Detailed diagnostics may be required.
  • Firstly, inspect the battery connections and wiring for any loose connections or corrosion.
  • Examine the deployment mechanism for any physical blockages or impediments.

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.