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Sea-Doo maintenance – Top tips to expand the lifetime of your jet ski

Sea-Doo Jet Ski Maintenance Tips [Complete Checklist]

When the sun glints off the waves and the open water beckons, there’s nothing like the thrill of riding your Sea-Doo: the freedom, the speed, and the exhilaration are unmatched.

But to ensure that your adventures stay as smooth as the water’s surface, proper Sea-Doo maintenance is essential, and mastering the art of jet ski maintenance is paramount.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the nitty-gritty of jet ski care, unravel the secrets to keeping your Sea-Doo in mint condition, and share expert tips on how to keep your PWC performing optimally and extend its life.

From cleaning routines to oil changes, we’ll navigate the waters of maintenance, equipping you with the knowledge that will allow you to ride your Sea-Doo effortlessly!

Jet ski maintenance – Finding reliable services near you is the first step

Before diving into DIY maintenance specifics, consider scheduling periodic professional jet ski maintenance.

Remember that professional expertise is always a few clicks or phone calls away and a skilled technician can provide a thorough check-up, catching issues that might otherwise go unnoticed.

While DIY maintenance is essential, partnering with skilled technicians for periodic check-ups is a… strategic maneuver. These experts possess an in-depth understanding of the mechanics of your exact model, and their hands can unveil underlying issues that may save you quite some money down the road.

Pro tip: Don’t just rely on your traditional “jet ski maintenance near me” Google search – opt for a reliable service center, preferably an official dealer who has all the necessary spare parts, replacements, and gadgets to ensure proper care and safety, and is eager to safeguard your Sea-Doo’s integrity!

jet ski maintenance

Jet ski maintenance checklist – Your blueprint for success

Maintaining your Sea-Doo is a journey in itself, and it requires a structured approach, a compass!

Your compass here is a jet ski maintenance checklist, pointing you towards a well-maintained Sea-Doo.

Whether you’re a seasoned captain of the waves or a novice sailor, adhering to this checklist is a ritual that should become second nature. From hull inspections to spark plug replacements, each item on the list contributes to the longevity of your jet ski and ensures fun and safety on the water for years and years to come.

Pro tip: Hundreds of Sea-Doo models have been built over the years, so there might be differences in the way they need to be maintained or in where each part is located. Make sure you always refer to the owner’s manual of your exact PWC for the correct maintenance steps!

Maintenance Checklist


Pre-ride check

Fuel the Sea-Doo properly, inspect the hull, check   the engine, secure drain plugs, and make sure you have all your safety gear   
Before every ride   

After-ride care

Remove the Sea-Doo from water, place it carefully on   the trailer, flush the exhaust system, drain the bilge   
After every ride   


Gather your supplies, rinse thoroughly yet gently,   and dry with a microfiber cloth   
After every ride   

First service

Ask for a thoughtful inspection, a fuel system leak   test, an oil and filter change, and everything else described in the manual   
First 50 hours/6 or 12 months   

Oil and filter change

Remove old oil and fill up the tank with fresh   Sea-Doo oil to avoid malfunctions and rust on the engine’s internals   
100 hours/1 year   

Spark plug replacement

Install the plugs properly and never drop them into   the holes! Use a socket extension to replace and secure the new plugs, slowly   and carefully   
200 hours/2 years   

Supercharger rebuild

If you have a supercharged Sea-Doo, have it inspected   by a professional mechanic every year as a precaution to avoid damaging the   engine   
100 hours/2 years   

Coolant replacement

Sea-Doos use a special antifreeze liquid (coolant)   to cool the engine that needs to be checked every year and replaced every 3   years or 500 engine hours, whatever comes first   
500 hours/3 years   


Add stabilizer to the gas first and fill up the tank   completely. Flush the exhaust system with antifreeze and drain the liquid   completely. Lubricate the moving parts, remove the battery, and store it. Clean   the Sea-Doo carefully   
Before the off-season   

Battery maintenance

Don’t forget to charge your battery if you haven’t   ridden in a couple of weeks or remove it completely to store it for the   winter months   
Before the off-season/Regularly   


Lubricate the moving and metal parts at least once   or even twice a year   
Before and after the off-season   


If your battery is fully charged and in good   condition, reattach it to your PWC. Check the engine, flush the Sea-Doo for 2   minutes, inspect and lubricate everything, clean it, add any removable   accessories you have stored elsewhere, and make sure you have all the   necessary documents onboard   
After the off-season   

Jet ski cleaning – Unveiling the sparkle

Beneath your jet ski’s exterior, a delicate ecosystem thrives. Water, and especially seawater, can be the harbinger of corrosion and grime.

Regular jet ski cleaning is the key to maintaining both aesthetics and functionality, and it’s an important step, ideally performed after every ride! Even if you don’t have much time, you can always try to gently rinse your Sea-Doo with freshwater to at least remove salt, sand, and other debris.

Pro tip: Remember to pay extra attention to crevices and undercarriage areas where unwanted residue may gather.

how to clean a jet ski or sea-doo

How to clean a jet ski – A splash of know-how

When cleaning your Sea-Doo, follow these steps for a thorough yet gentle cleanse:

  • Gather supplies: You’ll need a soft-bristle brush, mild detergent, microfiber cloths, and water.
  • Remove extras: When you have enough time on your hands, make sure to remove items from the hood and storage areas, or even removable seats or covers, so you can better clean the saltwater from every little corner.
  • Rinse: Start by giving your jet ski a good rinse with fresh water to remove loose debris. Remove any bungs to drain as much water as possible and be careful so no water enters the electrical areas. Don’t forget to put the drain plugs back on when you’re done, otherwise you’ll be doing more harm than good!
  • Soap up: Mix a small amount of mild detergent with water and use the soft-bristle brush to gently scrub the surfaces. Avoid harsh scrubbing, as it can damage the finish.
  • Rinse again: Rinse the soap off thoroughly, ensuring there’s no residue left. Take extra care to clean beneath the seats, fuel tank, motor, etc.
  • Dry: Use microfiber cloths to dry your Sea-Doo. Don’t forget hidden areas where water might accumulate.


Pro tip: Another important process is flushing, used to flush out any traces of salt from your craft’s interior, like cooling systems and pump, to prevent corrosion. This process is important even if you only ride in freshwater (lakes and rivers), since you still need to flush out sand, debris, and algae. For better results, you can also use an additive cleaner when flushing the bilge.

Sea-Doo oil change – Nourishing the heart of the machine

Maintaining your engine’s fluids is a key step in the whole process, meaning you need to be extra careful with it – oil is the lifeblood of your jet ski’s engine.

Pro tip: Two-stroke Sea-Doos are different from 4-stroke ones, and supercharged models need special attention, too. Again, the most important thing here is to refer to your owner’s manual and follow the specific instructions for your model.

sea-doo oil change

Sea-Doo 2 stroke oil change VS Sea-Doo 4 tec oil change

Did you know that some older models of Sea-Doos require you to fill their tanks with pre-mixed fuel and oil? This is true for models manufactured before 2006, for whom the manufacturer recommends you contact an authorized Sea-Doo dealership.

All modern Sea-Doo models are manufactured solely with four-stroke engines, so you don’t need this pre-mixing. Instead, there are separate areas for both oil and fuel. If you aren’t sure, however, never guess!

Always refer to your owner’s manual to make sure you’re treating your craft correctly and consult your authorized dealer if you have any questions, since there might be differences from model to model!

How much oil does a Sea-Doo take?

Sea-Doo models with 1,494cc and 1,630cc engines have a full oil capacity of 5.1 and 5.3 quarts respectively, but you can change only around 3.2 quarts.

Entry-level Sea-Doos with 899cc engines, like the Spark series or some older GTIs, have a total oil capacity of 3.6 quarts, while you can only change around 2.1 quarts.

Pro tip: If your PWC is from the REC LITE lineup, pay extra attention: when it comes to a Sea-Doo SPARK TRIXX oil change, you’ll need less oil to fill up your tank.

How to perform a seamless Sea-Doo oil change

We recommend doing a Sea-Doo oil change at least once a year, preferably after 100 engine hours. Here’s how to do it:

  • Come prepared: Make sure you know what equipment you’ll need and what kind of oil your Sea-Doo 4 Tec takes before you start the process. You can even find complete Sea-Doo Oil Change Kits, which include the right amount of oil, filter, O-ring, and sometimes even the suction pump.
  • Warm up your engine. It’s easier to extract and change warm oil, so either turn on your Sea-Doo for a couple of minutes or do the oil change after one of your rides.
  • Level your hull. Leveling your Sea-Doo will allow you to do the whole process much more easily. Do this on a trailer, not on the water, of course!
  • Drain old oil: Remove the oil drain plug to drain the old oil.
  • Replace oil filter: Install a new oil filter to ensure clean oil circulation.
  • Add new oil: Pour in the recommended oil type and monitor the oil level using the dipstick.
  • Check levels: Start your Sea-Doo briefly, then let it sit for a few minutes before checking the oil level again. Top up if necessary.
  • Dispose of old oil: Properly dispose of the old oil at a recycling center.


Pro tip: Never start the engine if the suction pump hose is still in as it can damage the engine! More importantly, never run the engine if there’s no oil in it, as it may result in serious damage!

When should you change the oil in a Sea-Doo?

To ensure the longevity of your Sea-Doo engine during the winter months, it’s best to change the oil at the end of the season. This is because oil is susceptible to contamination, which can lead to engine damage. The most effective approach is to do this during the “winterization” process, so you can have your Sea-Doo ready for the next year.

Jet ski spark plug replacement – Igniting performance

Periodic spark plug checks and replacements are crucial for consistent power delivery. Replace worn-out spark plugs to keep your Sea-Doo’s engine running smoothly.

jet ski spark plug replacement

Sea-Doo supercharger rebuild – Breathing new life into power

The Sea-Doo supercharger is a performance part created to boost an engine up to 230-300 HP. A beloved component for many, your Sea-Doo’s supercharger might require attention to ensure that the rush remains relentless.

The supercharger rebuild is the process of refreshing and restoring this crucial element because, if a supercharger fails, it can shoot metal debris into the engine, leading to a costly engine rebuild (in the thousands) and a ton of hassle. Ideally, this process should be performed after 100 engine hours or 2 years.

Consulting your Sea-Doo’s manual or seeking professional assistance is recommended, as the supercharger rebuild demands a precise touch and a thorough understanding of your jet ski’s mechanics.

If you own a pre-2017 Sea-Doo, the supercharger needs to be rebuilt after 100 hours or 2 years, whichever comes first.

For models after 2017, the company has described their superchargers as “maintenance-free” and only recommends an inspection every 200 hours.

However, because of the high risks of engine damage, many owners rebuild their superchargers every year, especially if they… ride hard with a performance Sea-Doo.

What does “riding hard” look like?

  • Regular off-shore riding
  • Riding a lot at full speed
  • Do a lot of aggressive “race-style” accelerations
  • Jumping on waves or wakes regularly

If your jet ski gets a lot of “abuse”, inspect it more frequently!

sea-doo pwc maintenance

Setting sail on smooth waters

Maintaining your Sea-Doo is a labor of love that ensures years of waterborne adventures. By adhering to a regular maintenance routine and occasionally seeking professional assistance, you’ll enjoy the thrill of riding the waves while extending the lifetime of your beloved jet ski.

Remember, every drop of effort you put into maintenance adds up to the sea of memories you’ll create on your journeys.

So, dive in, stay vigilant, and let the good times flow!