A Simple Guide to Jet Ski Maintenance
Summer is just around the corner, and there are few greater joys than whipping around the waves on your personal watercraft on hot, sunny days. Jet skis, of course, are wildly popular – in 2017, the number of jet ski participants aged six and older reached approximately 5.42 million.
While there's much fun to be had on the water, owning a jet ski comes with a great deal of responsibility as well. Any powersports dealership will tell you that to keep your jet skis in tip-top shape, you'll need to do some regular maintenance. Below, you'll find some basic tips to take good care of your personal watercraft so you can be sure to keep the fun going all summer long.
Cleaning Your Jet Ski
Whether you're riding in saltwater or freshwater, cleaning your watercraft should be a critical part of your maintenance routine. After riding, once you're back on dry land:
- Detach any removable accessories.
- Remove bungs and open up bung plugs to allow water, dirt, and debris to drain out.
- Immobilize the trailer wheels and elevate the front of the jet ski to increase drainage.
- Spray down the jet ski with a hose, but make sure that water does not enter the air intake, coils, electrical parts, or fuel breather.
- After cleaning the body, remember to clean around and underneath the tubs and seats as well as around the pump and intake area.
- Rinse the watercraft with clean water and dry it using a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching.
Flushing the Internal Systems
Flushing your jet ski is critical to maintaining the craft's functionality and longevity. To do this, you’ll flush out the insides of the intake, cooling systems, and pump, eliminating any salt or debris that could corrode and damage the system. Every personal watercraft is different, so make sure to refer to your owner's manual before flushing. Most of the time, though, jet skis will need to begin in a level position. The general practice is to blow water from the water box by gently tapping the throttle. In addition to water, you can use a gentle additive cleanser.
Fueling Your Jet Ski
Like your car, your jet ski runs on fuel. And it's a best practice to always keep your personal watercraft's fuel tank full. Again, not all jet skis are the same, so the type of fuel you use may differ depending on your model. Some older models require pre-mixed fuel and oil. However, newer models don’t require this mixing, having separate areas for fuel and oil. When you're ready to put your jet ski in storage for the winter, top off the fuel tank in order to prevent condensation from forming. Then, when you're ready to break out your watercraft again, dump the old fuel remaining in the tank and refill it with fresh fuel.
Cleaning, flushing, and fueling are just the beginning. Make sure to keep up your maintenance schedule. From changing the oil to lubricating the fittings to checking for damage, there are many tasks to keep in mind. Stay organized, take good care of your personal watercraft, and you're sure to have a fun-filled summer./p>