Learn PWC Maintenance 101. Presented by CapeCoral Jet Ski Repair.
With your ski out of the water take a moment to fire up and briefly rev your engine a few times to blow water out of your engine and exhaust. If you've been riding in saltwater, you'll need to flush your engine and pump with freshwater and rinse your boat inside and out. They are salt fighting agents available such as Salt away. But a lot of frequent riders swear that a good bio-degradable soap and water bath works just fine.
If you are running a screen type aftermarket spark arrestor, you should cover it with the plastic bag to prevent water from getting into your engine as you rinse it. To flush your ski, connect the host to your ski according to manufacturer's specs with the water off. Make sure to start your engine before you turn the water on. Flush your ski with freshwater for a few minutes. Turn the water off and rev the engine a few times to blow the remaining water out. Always be sure to turn the water off before you turn your engine off. When you are finished flushing and rinsing, get as much water out of your engine compartment as possible. Coat your engine and related components with WD-40, especially on bare metal, hose clamps and battery terminals.
If your trailer was exposed to saltwater be sure to give it a thorough freshwater rinse as well. If you will be storing your watercraft for a period of two months or more, you should consider prepping it for storage. This process also known as winterizing will help minimize the adverse effects of storage. The first thing is to add stabilizer to the fuel, this is available at any marine or auto supply store. Mix it to the ratio specified on the bottle and add the stabilized fuel to your tank. Give your ski a final engine flushing for about five minutes. This will do two things; it will run stabilized fuel through the fuel system and it will flush residual salt or lake water out of the engine.
Fogging oil is especially designed to coat parts with a thick protective layer of oil. Some watercraft have a small access plug for this purpose. Others require the removal of the top of the spark arrestor box. Follow the directions on the can which usually requires fogging the engine at medium idle until the engine dies. Next, remove the spark plugs and ground the leads. Pour 1 ounce of two-stroke oil into each of the cylinders. Cover the holes with a rag and turn the engine over just a couple of rotations to coat the cylinder walls with oil, then reinstall the spark plugs. It's always a good idea to lube cables and fittings and a wash and wax will make it easy to clean up at the end of storage.
Finally, remove your battery and place it on a smart maintenance charger like a battery tender, that will automatically monitor the battery and keep it topped off. If it isn't a sealed battery, check in every few weeks to make sure that the fluid levels are adequate and top it off with distilled water if necessary. If it's possible to store your ski with the engine cover off to ensure good circulation.
Your trailer could also use some TLC. Coat the tires with protective. If it is to be stored outdoors, cover the tires to protect them from the sun. Also a couple of pumps of marine grade bearing grease into your bearing buddies is a great idea. These simple chores will help keep your watercraft ready to rev when you are.
We hope these tips will be helpful to you as you broaden your horizons in the world of personal watercraft. For further information, feel free to contact SPT for technical info. BAWA for rider info and your local authorities where you will be riding for specific rules and regulations in that area. There is an enormous amount of fun to be had for you, your family and your friends as you ride right from the start.