How to Keep Your PWC in Good Shape

How to Keep Your PWC in Good Shape

One of the best things about summer is getting your Jet Ski, WaveRunner, or SeaDoo ready for a whole season of fun on the waves. There are many great things about owning a personal watercraft, like being able to go to your favorite spots on the water and share this joy with your kids (PWC).

It’s not all fun and games to own a Jet Ski, WaveRunner, SeaDoo, or other personal watercraft (PWC). It also comes with a lot of responsibility. These small crafts need a lot of love and care to keep working at their best, and you’ll notice the difference if you stop taking care of them.

Are you a new PWC owner? Or maybe you’ve had a PWC for a while, but you’ve never been in charge of taking care of it yourself. No matter what your job is, we think everyone should know how to keep their PWC running fast and well all season.

How To Clean A Jet Ski Or Other Pwc

Learning how to clean a Jet Ski, Sea-Doo, or WaveRunner is the first and most important thing you need to know about how to take care of it. This might seem strange at first, especially if you just spent an hour or so gliding over the waves. Didn’t this “wash” your PWC already? But the truth is that saltwater doesn’t clean very well, and even if it did, there are many places that only a human touch can reach. You’ll have to clean your PWC yourself if you want it to last for years. Even if you’ve only been riding in freshwater, you should still do this important step regularly.


Here are the steps for cleaning a Jet Ski or other personal watercraft (PWC) that has been in saltwater or freshwater.


  1. Remove as many extras as you can by opening the hood, storage areas, and glove boxes and taking out any seats or seat covers that can be removed. This lets you get to as much of the boat as possible, so you can get the saltwater out of every nook and cranny.
  2. Take off any bungs and unplug any bungs. This lets as much water as possible drain out of the boat or compartments. When these plugs are open, any sand, dirt, or other debris that got into the PWC can drain out more easily. For the best drainage, you should even take these plugs out completely every few rides.
  3. Carefully lock the trailer’s wheels. Put a box under the jockey wheel to raise the front of the ski and help it drain better.
  4. Use a hose to spray down the whole boat from one end to the other, inside and out. Make sure that no water gets into the air intake, coils, electrical areas, or fuel breather as you do this.
  5. Make sure to clean under the fuel tank, coupler, and motor with extra care because the siphon bilge can easily get clogged. Also, pay attention to the belt and pulley for the supercharger.
  6. After you’re done cleaning the body, don’t forget to clean around and under the tubs, seats, and other accessories. This helps get rid of the salt and sand that would otherwise gather in these places.
  7. Spend some extra time cleaning the area around the pump in the back and where the air comes in. Salt can easily build up in these places, which can cause corrosion. If you are having trouble getting to this area, try lifting the reverse bucket.


Not sure where to find these parts? Check the manual for your PWC! Each watercraft is a little different, so it’s important to take the time to learn how yours works.


When you’re done cleaning, rinse everything with clean water and dry it all with a microfiber cloth. Use a pump to get rid of any water that is still inside the boat.

How To Clean Out A Pwc After Using It

Even though flushing might sound like the same thing as washing, it’s not. It’s a different process that’s important for keeping your PWC healthy, working well, and lasting as long as possible. With this method, you’ll use water to flush out the intake, cooling systems, and pump of your PWC. This will remove any traces of salt from the inside of your craft, which would otherwise cause corrosion and eventually break down the system.


Even if you’ve only been riding in freshwater, you should still do this flushing procedure. Even though salt may not be a problem in freshwater, you still need to get rid of sand and algae.


Here’s how to flush a WaveRunner, Jet Ski, or other personal watercraft (PWC):


  1. First, make sure the PWC is sitting on a flat surface. If it’s tilted in one direction or the other, it will be harder to flush it well because the water will stay in one corner of the internal system.
  2. When it comes to flushing, each PWC is a little different and will need a slightly different method. We suggest looking at your owner’s manual for the best results. This document will probably tell you the exact steps you need to take, which will make your internal system clear and make it less likely that something will go wrong along the way.
  3. In general, you should gently blip your throttle to “blow” out any water that might still be in the water box. Check the owner’s manual for more detailed instructions on how many times to turn the motor when it is not in the water, especially when there is no cooling or back pressure.
  4. You could also choose to use a gentle cleaner additive when flushing. This will go the extra mile to keep the inside of your craft clean and free of corrosion.


How long should you let a Jet Ski, SeaDoo, or WaveRunner run until it’s clean? There is no set amount of time that a PWC can be used. Instead, go straight to the owner’s manual to find the best answer for you.

Properly Fueling Your Pwc

Making sure the PWC stays fueled is an important part of any maintenance list. This means keeping the fuel tank full, but it also means getting rid of any fuel that has gone bad or hasn’t been used in a year. All of these things work together to make sure that when you’re ready to hit the waves, your boat will be as safe, functional, and ready to go as you are.


But it’s not always as easy as it sounds to put gas in your Jet Ski, Sea-Doo, or WaveRunner. Depending on the model you have, it may need different types of care in this area. Some older PWCs, for example, need to be filled with fuel and oil that have already been mixed. Most newer models don’t need to mix the oil and fuel ahead of time because they have separate places for each. Don’t guess if you don’t know what your model needs. Make sure you read the owner’s manual to make sure you are taking care of your craft the right way.


Do you have plans to store your PWC for the winter? Maybe you already know that you won’t be riding it for a long time. Fill up the gas tank before putting the car away as a safety measure. This stops condensation from building up while you’re gone. You could also add a fuel stabilizer as a good safety measure to make sure your fuel doesn’t cause any problems while it’s sitting still for weeks or months.


When you get back to your trusty PWC, be sure to dump out any old fuel you left in the tank and fill it with new fuel. But be careful about how you get rid of this fuel. If you put it in a body of water, it could pollute the ground, and if you put it in the trash, it could start a fire. Instead, hire a pro to drain and get rid of your fuel.

Schedule For PWC Maintenance

After a ride, you clean and flush your PWC. After the fuel has been stored for a while, you get rid of the old fuel. But what else is on a typical maintenance list for a Jet Ski, and when should it be done? To make things easier, we’ve split these extra PWC maintenance tips into two groups: maintenance you should do after every trip and maintenance you only need to do once a year.

Tips For Maintaining Your Jet Ski And Waverunner After A Ride

So, you just spent the afternoon on the water and are now back on land. You’re about to store your PWC for the night or a few days. What do you need to do to make sure it stays in good shape until your next trip?

1. Clean Your Jet Ski

We’ve already talked about what this looks like in detail. Whether you rode in saltwater or freshwater, this is still an important part of the maintenance you need to do after a ride. Make sure to clean both the outside and the inside for the best results, and if you need more specific instructions, check your owner’s manual.

2. Clean The Systems For Air Entry And Cooling

When you take your personal watercraft (PWC) out, you also agree to flush the internal systems when you’re done. If you don’t do this, your PWC’s internal systems could rust, which could damage the whole boat. After every ride, you’ll need to do this, no matter where you were or what kind of water you were in.

3. Check For Damage

This is best done before you get on your PWC and head out on the water, but it doesn’t hurt to take a quick look after a ride either. This check doesn’t have to be very thorough. It just means giving your PWC a thorough once-over and looking for anything out of place, broken, or missing. If you take good care of your craft and treat it well, it’s likely that you won’t notice much damage. Still, it’s a good habit to get into because you never know how much damage could be happening before you notice.

4. Use A PWC Lift

Leaving your PWC in the water for a long time will definitely cause damage. Instead, use a PWC lift to store your watercraft every time you get back from a ride. These lifts help keep the intake from getting clogged and the hull from coming apart. Lifts not only stop these problems from happening, but they also make it much easier to clean and flush your boat.

5. Use A Cover

Putting a cover on your PWC is a good idea if you’re going to store it outside. This keeps it from getting damaged on the outside and also keeps more serious problems from happening. After every ride, just put this cover back on it after you’ve cleaned and flushed it.

PWC or Jet Ski Maintenance Schedule for the Season

Every time you go out on the water, you’ll need to clean and store your PWC properly. However, there are some bigger jobs that you won’t have to do as often. Once a year, either at the beginning or end of the year, is enough. Here are the top things you should do to maintain your PWC each season.

1. Look After The Fuel

We’ve talked a lot about this: always fill up your Jet Ski, Sea-Doo, or WaveRunner before putting it away for a long time, and throw away any old fuel when you bring it back out in the new year. Fuel stabilizers are also a good idea because they keep the fuel from turning into something that could be dangerous after sitting for a long time.

2. Switch the oil

How often should the oil in a Jet Ski or other PWC be changed? We suggest doing this at least once a year, preferably at the start of summer when you’ll be using your PWC more. Make sure to change the oil in both the engine and the pump while you’re at it.

3. Lubricate The Fittings

Joints, fittings, and seals can get tighter after a year of not being used. Take a bit of lubricant and make sure everything still moves smoothly and all the parts work right. This will solve the problem.

4. Prepare Your Jet Ski Or Pwc For Winter

Make sure to do the right things to get your PWC ready for winter once the season is over. This means draining all the water, giving it a thorough cleaning, greasing all the moving parts, filling up the fuel, and adding a fuel stabilizer before covering it and putting it in a safe place until next season.