All recreational vehicles need to be winterized to protect against rust and damage to the engine. Properly winterizing jet skis will ensure that they have a longer life. Many people choose to take their watercraft to a maintenance shop to have it done while others prefer to save money by doing the work themselves. A jet ski is not difficult to winterize but it is important to begin the process as soon as possible, ideally after your last ride of the year. For some that means the end of summer while others will use their toys well into fall’s Indian summers. Here are some steps to take to make sure your jet ski is ready for fun come spring. But always make sure to read your owner’s manual first. There may be steps you need to take for your particular make and model.
If you own a boat, winterizing a jet ski is a very similar process so you may want to work on both vehicles at the same time. To see instructions on how to winterize your boat, click here.
- Drain the water from the water craft by taking it out of the water and tilting it so the stern is higher than the bow. You can do this right at the loading dock after taking it out of the water for the season.
- While the jet ski is out of the water, start the engine and occasionally turn the handle bars from left to right. Do this for 30 seconds and stop for 30 seconds. Continue for two more starts or until there’s no more water. You never want to run your boat for more than 30 seconds when it’s out of the water or it may overheat.
- In its storage place, make sure to place the jet ski on an above-ground stand. Also make sure the jet ski is level.
- Your watercraft will have gas in it, so make sure there are no flammable materials nearby.
- Wash the jet ski as soon after the last ride if possible. Car washing detergent is fine to use. Make sure to remove all algae and grime.
- Dry the jet ski completely. Make sure to check the hull for moisture.
- Wax your jet ski using car wax or any others you may find in specialty RV or boat stores.
- Fill your gas tank. A gas tank that is not full is at risk of forming condensation in the engine, which can be very destructive.
- Add gas stabilizer to your tank. This will help your carburetor from clogging with gummy gas.
- Run the engine for 30 seconds to allow the stabilizer to circulate through the engine and remove excess water.
- Remove the air cleaners and spark plugs. Make sure the wires to the spark plugs are grounded.
- Spray fogging oil through the carburetors and spark plug cylinders and cover with a piece of cloth. Push the start button on the jet ski (even though it will not start) so the oil gets dispersed. Replace the spark plugs and air cleaners.
- Unlatch the jet ski and allow water to evaporate.
- Check your battery and chargers for specific safety instructions first. Disconnect the battery, making sure to disconnect to the negative terminal first.
- Store the battery in a warm place, on a rubber surface instead of cold concrete. Since it can give off dangerous fumes, it’s not recommended that you store the battery inside your home, but in the garage instead.
- Attach the battery to a trickle charger and check the battery’s water level during the storage period.
- Placing a wool rag inside your exhaust will prevent bugs from nesting in there.
- Cover your jet ski with a tarp.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.