October 12, 2023

Winterizing Your Jet Ski

Who’s ready to trade the jet ski for a snowmobile? With the summer season in the rearview mirror now, it’s an excellent time to get your non-winter toys ready to sit for a few months. This includes any ATVs you don’t use when it’s cold and any strictly summer-use watercraft.

How do you winterize your jet ski? We have the necessary steps to keep your personal watercraft in the best shape so it’s ready to go next summer.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Before you get started with winterizing your jet ski, clean out the storage compartments. Remove any sunglasses, sunscreen or towels, all the summer remnants that scream, ‘We had a good time!’ 

Now for the jet ski itself. The first step is to drain the water if you still need to. Jet skis pull in the water from the lake or ocean to cool its internal systems, so you’ll need to drain the craft fully to prevent the water from freezing. The best way to do this is to run the engine for 30-second intervals and tilt the handle back. You’ll also want to flush the cooling system to remove dirt and grime from the craft.

Once that’s taken care of, it’s time to clean the jet ski thoroughly. This is an important step, so don’t skip it! Wash the jet ski hull with mild soap, as well as the seat and controls. You want to get any algae and dirt that may have gotten in between the grooves of the machine during its summer use. 

INTERNAL SYSTEMS

Once you’ve got the jet ski clean, it’s time to move on to the vital winterizing tasks. Leaving fuel in your tank will degrade over the winter; therefore, when the craft isn’t in use, you must fill the tank with a stabilizer. A stabilizer will prevent condensation from forming, which you never want in your gas tank. Run the engine briefly to ensure the stabilizer mixes well with the fuel.

Once that’s taken care of, it’s time to look at the cables and seals of the craft. Like the fuel, the seals and cables will degrade over the winter, so use a lubricant recommended by the jet ski manufacturer. A proper lubricant will prevent cracking of any plastic casings and rusting of any metal.

Believe it or not, moisture is the enemy of idle watercraft; you’ll need to treat the engine with fogging oil to prevent condensation from forming. Use it on the carburetor, the spark plugs, and cylinders. At this time, it is important to take the time to clean any dirt or corrosion you might see.

Once that’s all taken care of, it’s time to disconnect the battery. If it’s left connected, but the vehicle isn’t running, the battery will drain throughout the winter. It might even be dead when you’re ready to use it again. Remove it from the craft and store it on a mat or shelf in an environment above freezing. If you’ve got a trickle charger, hook it up to the battery to keep a small charge going through it.

READY TO WINTERIZE?

No one wants to say good bye to the warm summer months and the toys that bring us so much enjoyment. However, with the season ahead, there is lots to look forward to with your ATV, Side by Side, or snowmobile.

Need some help with your winterizing? We can get your vehicle all prepped and ready for you to store. We will add fuel stabilizer, fog the inside of your engine, and everything else your ride needs for a long winter nap.

If you have any questions or want to book an appointment to winterize your jet ski, or any other vehicle, contact us and we’ll get started!

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