Around the world, jet skiing has emerged as one of the most popular summertime activities. As with larger boats, jet skis, wave runners and other personal watercraft have to be maintained accordingly. While you may not be paying too much attention to your jet ski during the winter months, it's imperative to do preemptive maintenance on your vehicle before the cold weather arrives. With the MSRP of a new Seadoo GTX jet ski starting at $13,000 as of early 2011, winterizing your jet ski can help you extend the life of your investment.
Winterizing The Engine
Immediately after your final ride of the season, take the jet ski out of the water and drain all of the water from the engine. It is recommended this be done right at the loading dock. Use your watercraft's trailer to your advantage by ensuring the bow is tiled above the stern.
Fill the jet ski's gas tank with fuel. Considering that over time fuel breaks down and changes consistency, use a bottle of fuel stabilizer, available at almost any automotive or marine store.
Start the engine, remove the air cleaners and spray both carburetors with fogging oil. Continue spraying until the engine stalls, then reinstall the air cleaners.
Remove the spark plugs and spray the chambers with the fogging oil. Remember to make sure the spark plug wires are grounded. Cover each spark plug chamber with a rag and turn the engine over. The engine won't start, but the engine turning over will allow for an even distribution of fogging oil throughout the chamber. Wipe away any excess oil and reinstall the spark plugs.
Remove the battery by disconnecting the negative terminal followed by the positive terminal. You'll want to store your battery in a safe, warm place resting on a rubber mat. If the battery is left in a cold environment, there is a chance it can drain and not function when you reinstall it. Do not leave the battery in your home, as it can emit toxic fumes.
Use a hose to rinse away remaining dirt, grime and algae before storing your watercraft away for the winter. To further protect your jet-ski's finish, apply a coat of wax to finished portions of the interior.