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Many boat owners are unaware of the differences between a car engine and a boat engine That leads some to think they can buy a car part—at a greatly reduced price—and just use it to power a boat. But this is not a good idea. Boats and cars are two difficult vehicles, and therefore have two different makeups. There are many key differences between a car and a boat, including the exhaust systems, cooling systems, fuel systems and electrical systems. For example, because of the potential of corrosion, a marine pump has a seal, backing plate and a bronze impeller. An auto pump would fail immediately in a boat due to corrosion.