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It’s no secret the thrill you experience every time you take your jet ski for a ride. But owning a personal watercraft is about more than fun in the waters and wind blowing through your hair. It comes with responsibility.
To continue enjoying such carefree moments, you need to take proper care of your jet ski. And that means using the right engine oil to maintain it.
So, how will you know which oil is the right one to pick?
Simply picking the first bottle of engine oil you see is not a good idea. Ideally the oil you pick must improve performance and longevity of your jet ski’s engine.
In this article, we’ll outline all you need to know regarding jet ski-oil including how to service your watercraft.
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How to Change Oil in a 2 Stroke Jet Ski
The first thing you need to learn is how to change the oil in your jet ski. You’ll be happy to know that it’s a fairly easy process. The entire procedure won’t take you more than 10 minutes.
Sure, you can decide to hire a professional mechanic for the job but doing it yourself is cheaper. So why not save yourself some money? Note that below we list the generic steps involved in the oil changing process for jet skis. But be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for any additional steps.
Let’s get right into it.
What Will You Need?
To get the process started, you’ll need the following items:
- Oil: Not any engine oil will do. The oil you pick is determined by both the make and model of your watercraft. Not sure which one goes with your jet ski? This information is usually stated in the owner’s manual. Alternatively, you can check on the manufacturer’s website.
- Oil filter: Oil filters are available in different types. But always use the same oil filter that came with the jet ski.
- Pump: Here you’ll need a high-quality pump that’ll do the job effectively.
- Funnel: A funnel is crucial if you don’t want a messy job. You use this piece of equipment to pour the oil inside the watercraft’s engine. If you don’t already have one, a cut-out plastic bottle will suffice.
- Rags: Look for a few pieces of old cloth to regularly wipe off any oil that spills throughout the process.
Do you have the above ready? Now follow these four easy steps.
Warm Up the Engine
The first thing you want to do is warm up the engine before changing the oil. How? Taking your jet ski for a 30-minute ride is more than enough. Warming up the oil makes it much easier to remove it.
If you can’t take the watercraft for a ride, follow these steps:
- Attach the jet ski to a hose
- Leave it to run for at least three minutes
- Connect the hose
- Start the engine
- Turn on the water
- Leave it to run for a few minutes
- Turn off the water
- Turn off the watercraft
- Leave the oil to settle for a few minutes
Pump Out the Dirt
Using the pump, follow these steps:
- Remove the dipstick completely from the watercraft
- Place it on a clean rag
- Gently place the oil pump’s tube inside the hole where the dipstick previously was
- Be sure not to force the tube to go in further than it can
- Pump out the oil
- Remove the pump hose
- Dispose the used oil in a proper facility
Replacing the Filter
Once you’re sure all the dirty oil has been pumped out, the next step is to replace the old filter by:
- Removing the cap to get to the old filter
- Taking out the old filter
- Insert the new one
Pour in the New Oil
The final step is to pour in the new oil by doing the following:
- Place a funnel into the oil fill
- Slowly pour in the new oil
- Make sure you don’t overfill as this negatively affects engine efficiency
- Give the oil some time to settle
- Use the dipstick to check if it’s at the right level
And you’re done! Sounds simple enough, right?
Important tip: If you happen toaccidentally overfill the oil, use your pump to remove the excess oil.
Recommended 2 Stroke Oil
- Defects in Workmanship 30 Days
- TC-W3 certified warranty compliant
Recommended 4 Stroke Oil + Kit
- 1 Gallon Original Equipment Yamalube
- New SBT Brand Oil Filter for 1.8l Engine
- Changing your oil and saving money is easy with our Kawasaki 4 stroke oil change kit. This kit has everything you need to get the job done right. It comes with the following:
- SBT oil extractor pump
- Fits ALL 4-TEC Models - 2002+ GTI/ GTX/ RXP/ RXP-X/ RXT-X 130/155/185/215/255/260HP
- Kit includes OEM BRP 5W-40 Synthetic Blend Oil
How to Check Oil in a Jet Ski
Knowing how to check the oil level in your jet ski is equally important. You need to know how much oil is in your watercraft at any given time, because the oil level affects engine performance and efficiency. Having too full or too low oil levels are both undesirable scenarios that can damage your jet ski’s engine.
You need to know how to check the oil correctly. Not only will you avoid damaging your ski, but you’ll get an accurate reading.
So how do you check the oil level? By following these simple steps (Note that you can do the following while the watercraft is in or out of water):
- Make sure your watercraft is level
- Warm up the engine by switching it on
- Leave it idling for 30 seconds
- Stop the engine
- Wait at least 30 seconds for the oil to sit
- Pull the dipstick out
- Wipe it clean
- Re-insert the dipstick and push it down completely
- Remove the dipstick
- Read the oil level
What Should You Expect to See?
After following the above steps, the ideal level should be somewhere between the top and bottom marks on the dipstick. This is what is commonly referred to as the operating level. If the oil is below the bottom marks, it means it’s too low. What if it’s above the top marks? That shows it’s too full.
Important tip: Always remember to check the oil level after each ride.
How to Service and Maintain a Jet Ski
The last thing you need is to be stranded in your jet ski while adrift. If you don’t want that to be your fate, you must take preventative steps to ensure that it always functions optimally. We list a few tips below.
Read the Owner’s Manual
No matter how many watercrafts you’ve owned in the past, know that every model is different. All jet skis come with a manual that you make use of.
Read the manual as it’ll clearly outline:
- The different procedures you need to perform to use and maintain the ski
- What you’ll need for each procedure
- Step by step instructions on how to perform the procedures
Regularly Maintain the Engine Fluids
When it comes to jet skis, they can either have two or four stroke engines. It’s important to know which engine your jet ski has because this determines the oil you’ll use.
Two stroke engines require premixed oil and fuel. On the other hand, four stroke engines don’t need a mixed solution as they have separate areas for oil and fuel. Be sure to use the correct oil for your watercraft’s engine to avoid damaging it.
Every time you store your ski with fuel inside, make sure you add a stabilizer. This will prevent it from going stale. If you happened to store your ski without adding this substance, add fuel stabilizer—and cleaner—before starting your water craft the next time.
Get Rid of Old Fuel
If you have any old fuel left in the engine you must dispose it. That’s non-negotiable. Using old fuel under the guise of saving costs will do your engine more harm than good and may require repair costs in the long run.
Drain the fuel with a pump. Alternatively, you can call in an expert to do it for you.
Important tip: Never dispose of this fuel in streams or sewers as it can cause explosions or contamination. Rather take it to authorized fuel disposal centers.
Check for Damaged Parts
Regularly inspect your ski for any loose or damaged parts; this includes cables and wires. Replace any parts that are detached or damaged
Important tip: Never start your watercraft if you smell any fuel as this could be a sign of a damaged fuel tank or leak.
Clean the Outside
Throughout the article we’ve been focusing on the watercraft’s interior, but the outside matters too. Make sure you clean the exterior of your jet ski. This goes beyond merely wanting to cruise in a clean watercraft. You also want to prolong its lifespan.
Each time you go for a ride, your ski is exposed to aquatic elements found in salt waters. To prevent premature staining and corrosion of your ski, make sure you wipe it down after each ride.
Once a Year is Enough
So how often must you perform service and maintenance procedures on your jet ski? Your first thought might be to perform these procedures regularly, but this is unnecessary. Once a year is enough for these tasks:
- Change the engine oil
- Replace the filter
- Drain the pump oil
- Lubricate the engine parts
- Add grease to bearing fittings
Always Use a Lift
It’s not advisable to store your watercraft in water for long periods. Make use of floating PWC lifts to avoid water damaging your craft. The same lifts can be used for easy boarding and exiting the jet ski. In addition, lifts make it much easier to walk around your boat.
What Happens When Summer is Over?
Now that summer is over, it’s time to winterize your watercraft. Here you do the following:
- Drain any residual water from the engine
- Clean the ski
- Lubricate handles and metal hinges
- Fill it up with fuel
- Add fuel stabilizer
- Cover it up and it’s ready for storage
Kawasaki Jet Ski Oil Change
Do you own a Kawasaki jet ski? The oil changing process is pretty much the same as for most models. The only differences are that:
- This procedure needs to be done in a well-ventilated area.
- As you start the engine, you need to flush the cooling system in the process.
- Make sure the engine is running before the water is turned on. If you turn it on before the engine is running, the water may flow back via the exhaust pipe into the engine, causing massive damage.
- Be sure to turn the water off before the engine is switched off.
- Never run the engine without cooling water flow for more than 15 seconds.
Yamaha Jet Ski Oil Change
When changing oil in a Yamaha jet ski, make sure you always use the recommended oil from Yamaha. And always use the original Yamaha factory filter to ensure proper fit and optimum functionality.
Also, change the filter at every oil change to improve engine operational efficiency.
Good to Know
With your jet ski now in tip-top shape, you can now consider taking part in some of the IJSBA events. As long as you conduct regular service and maintenance of your watercraft, we’re certain it won’t fail you during the race.
IJSBA events are competitive races that are open to individuals who own jet skis. But to be eligible to take part in such races, it’s imperative that your personal watercraft is properly serviced in accordance with the organizer’s regulations.
A few common races you can consider taking part in one day—or watch as a fan—include:
- South American Championships
- P1’s World Championships
- Thai Royal Airways World Finals
Your personal watercraft is no doubt one of your most prized possessions—not to mention a sizeable investment. This is why taking proper care of it is non-negotiable if you expect it to last long.
Never skip service dates and conduct annual maintenance on your units for optimum operational efficiency.
This also means using high quality oil for the maintenance tasks. Yes, lower quality oil is cheaper, but it’ll unfortunately damage your ski’s engine over time—costing you more in the long run.
With that said, can you now confidently maintain your jet ski? If you have more questions, leave a comment below.
Last update on 2023-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API