How often should my Jet Ski get maintenanced?

When Should I Maintenance my Jetski?

  This is a question that we at JetSkis International get asked on a daily basis. There are variables that we want you, as our customers and friends, to understand. Every manufacturer sends home an owners manual with a Jetski. Inside this manual is the recomended maintenance or service schedule. Every manufacturer has it's own service schedule. For instance; Honda recommends changing the engine oil "Every 50hrs or every year".
Honda Aquatrax F12 Service Schedule
 Sea-Doo owner's manual states "(100 hours for the Sea-Doo SPARK and 50 hours for all other models)" Source.
 
Kawasaki recomends replacing engine oil every 25hrs or 1 year for the jet-ski ultra 300x and 300lx. Source.
Kawasaki JetSki maintenance and adjustments schedule
Yamaha 2-stroke service manuals show 100hrs/6months for break-in and 200hrs/1 year for standard service.

 How many of you put fifty hours on your jet ski every year? My guess would be, very few. How many change the oil every 25hrs? 50hrs?

Oil

 Now that we see what the manufacturers recomend, let's discuss a few things. For one, Marine Engine Oil. Oil is the most important lubricant in your watercraft. Oil is responsible for keeping your engine clean, lubricating vital moving parts, and cooling turbo equiped watercraft. That's a lot of responsibilty to put on one small part of your jet ski. Not to mention how fickle oil can be. When you open a new jug it's all clean and shiny, but after a day at sea it's black as coal and already loosing it's viscosity(the slippery part).

 Oil, when exposed to heat, air, and moisture, will begin to oxidate(degrade). This undoubtedly results in wear, sludge, and thickening of the oil. These are all potentialy dangerous to the internal engine components of your personal watercraft. This is why we recomend changing your oil every year whether you use all 50hrs or not.

Spark Plugs

Recommended to be changed every 200hrs.
 The name spark plug should say it all, but this is another very inexpensive part of our annual maintenece that many people probably overlook. From the first time they are fired, they are battling against an onslaught of gas, oil, carbon, and pressure. On there own, each of these could damage a spark plug, but jet skis are high RPM powerhouses that get run wide open for 20 minutes then turned off and put in the garage. All that oil and carbon builds up and eventually blocks the spark from happening. This is refered to as a fouled plug. Even worse is quickly starting your jet ski in the yard before going to the lake and not allowing the full 15 minutes for the watercraft to reach operating temperature before hitting the kill switch. Now you have a flooded cylinder with gas, oil, and carbon build-up just eating away at the spark plug. I cannot even count the number of calls we get where one of customers took their jet ski to get fixed and the shop didn't know why it wouldn't start. Our reply " Did you change the spark plugs?" Seriously, make sure you include spark plugs in your annual service. It will keep you on the water longer.

Air Filter

Recomended replacement 25hrs/year. The infamous air filter. Every time I take my truck to get an oil change the service guy always tells me I need a new air filter. "Looks new to me , but yeah go ahead."  The air filter didn't make it to third on the list because it's not important or for that matter, it's not any less important than any other maintenece item. Your air filter allows "CLEAN, DRY" air to enter the carberator/fuel injection system without adding any unwanted dirt or dust that could get in the cylinders and cause the engine to go "BOOM". These modern watercraft engines require a perfect balance of air and gas in order to give the rider the experience they paid so much money for. Again, this is a much more cost effective maitenece item than replacing a worn pistion or the entire engine. Salt water especially, is corrosive and will be very unforgiving on those who choose not to use common sense maintenece advice.

Conclusion

 We always recommend that you follow your manufacturers warranty, unless the recommended interval will leave you high and dry. For less than $100 a year, you can keep your PWC running smooth and ussually avoid the extreme costs associated with improper maintenence.