Thursday, May 28, 2015

Caring for your Personal Watercraft

PWCs are a blast to ride and a great way to stay cool in the summer heat.

BUT - given the area we live in, many skis get used in salt water, which is highly corrosive. Given enough time, almost all metals will suffer some form of deterioration through reaction with the environment, and salt water simply accelerates the damage.


Use a corrosion inhibiting storage spray such as the ones offered by BRP and Yamaha. Undo every connector and spray inside, then reconnect.

Exposed metals also need a layer of protection. WD-40 is not a good choice for this. A thick waxy film that is not easily washed away, such as white lithium grease, is best. Spray all exposed metal surfaces at the start of the season, and then about every 50 hours if you use your ski each week. Areas to watch for corrosion are battery terminals, throttle connections, and oil pump.

Be sure to keep your hull and body waxed and sealed. This will protect the color and finish of your ski and keep it looking great. 


After a day of riding in salt water, fresh water is your friend. Be sure to clean all plant and dirt residue from your PWC, then flush the system with a flush kit according to the manufacturer's directions. Not bothering to flush your engine means that salt water will collect and deposit salt crystals, which will quickly corrode and probably block the system.

Then spray down the entire engine compartment, opening the drain plugs to remove the water. When finished, sponge up any remaining water that may be trapped here and there in the hull. Leave the seat off to let everything dry out and to help prevent mildew.


If your next ride is more than a few weeks away, consider fogging the engine. Fogging coats the internal surfaces of the engine with a lubricant that helps prevent corrosion.


Engine: Make sure the engine has the correct amount of coolant to avoid overheating. 

Oil: Check oil levels before every ride.

Battery: Most batteries these days are maintenance-free, but you must still maintain a charge or your battery will fail prematurely. A battery tender is a great way to always have your battery correctly charged. Watch for corrosion on the terminals and leakage at the caps. If you find corrosion, scrub it off with a wire brush and rinse the battery with fresh water. 

Faithfully caring for your ski the proper way will ensure years of happy riding.

All the products shown are available in our Parts Dept. It's also a great idea to schedule a pre-season and post-season maintenance with our Service Dept to prepare your ski for both use this summer and non-use over the winter. Call Steven at 209-832-3400 to make an appointment.

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