One thing is for sure is that jet skis are expensive. You gotta pay the dealer a fortune, then you’re up for registration, insurance and fuel. Then you’ll need to do routine servicing if you want any hope in actually selling your ride in the future when you upgrade.
And maintenace certainly isn’t something that you can skip either. The last thing you’ll want to do is break down out there in the middle of nowhere, with miles between you and the next vessel. Maritime Laws do vary country to country, but one thing is for sure: Your personal watercraft must be seaworthy at all times.
A Guide for Do It Yourself Jet Ski Maintenance
I’ve written this guide for beginner jet ski owners looking to save a few dollars, however there is an important point that I need to make here. That is – this isn’t a replacement for a proper service by a mechanic every few months.
Think of this as more of a preventative maintenance guide. It’ll help you save some dollars, prolong the life of your jet ski and keep your ski in the best condition possible.
It’s best to set aside 3 to 5 hours to get through all of this once per month.
1. Washing Down Your Jet Ski
It’s important to wash down your jet ski after each ride. This gets rid of the stuff that has no place inside your jet ski, including salt, sand and other foreign materials. Don’t be surprised if you come across small crustaceans during that time.
2. Flushing The Inside
This goes hand-in-hand with washing down your ski. You need to flush the insides when you’re washing it down and after each ride. Some guys do it at the boat ramp if there is a water supply tap, but otherwise, find your local carwash, gas station or take your ski home.
3. Changing Spark Plugs
Changing spark plugs on jet skis isn’t that difficult with numerous guides and YouTube tutorials taking you through the process. Both SeaDoo and Yamaha have their own unique specs and change intervals. If you can, learn how to do a compression test and then do a spark plug replacement without going too tight or lose with the tension.
4. Oil Changes
Just like your car, you can certainly change the oil on your jet ski. I’ve created a guide with the best jet ski oils to help you get the best longevity out of your engine. You’ll need yourself an oil siphon pump while your jet ski is on the trolley at home, though a trailer works well too.
5. Internal Checks
There are plenty of things that you can check on a DIY service. These include:
- Check the steering and throttle cables which can often come loose.
- Physical and visual check on all the hoses and retension clamps
- Check the battery and ensure it’s secured well. Check the terminals.
- If your ski has an intercooler, consider removing it by following a tutorial
- Most importantly, pay attention to your pump, impeller and intake plate
As I said, this is a guide only and doesn’t replace professional servicing from a dealership or aftermarket service workshop. There are times when just a minor check up between intervals is necessary and this is what this guide is.
Your owner’s manual has specific instructions for your make and model of jet ski, and you may void your warranty by doing all the work yourself. In any case, by following this guide, you’ll be able to spot developing problems long before the next service is due.
Stay safe out there and I’ll see you on the water!