I’m noticing a lot more jet ski owners not doing the proper flushing procedures or doing them at the right time.
I know this process can seem scary and overwhelming, especially if you do it in the wrong order, but it’s not that bad.
So, in this post, I’m going to dive into the nitty-gritty of engine flushing. We’ll talk about how often you should be doing it, the best times to do it, and I’ll even throw in a few handy tips I’ve picked up over the years.
Where Do You ride Your Jet Ski?
Where you ride affects the steps and how often you should flush your engine.
If you ride in saltwater or any dirty water, I suggest you flush after every ride or at the end of the riding day!!! It’s the standard for most boats that go in saltwater.
Once you’re done riding for the day, you need to hook up to a clean freshwater supply and flush it. (Clean water, as in tap water)
If you ride in a lake or fresh water, flushing after every ride is not necessary.
It won’t hurt to do it after every ride if you like, especially if you’re going to clean it after every ride, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t do it after a freshwater ride. (The average owner goes months without flushing their engine, they only ride in fresh water)
Important: Never flush a hot engine, allow the engine to cool down for 30 minutes before you flush it! Only flush for 90 seconds max!
Flushing a Jet Ski
The Reason To Do It
There’s a joke that “the two worst things for your boat are sun and water” it’s funny because it’s true.
Saltwater is highly corrosive, damaging metal and moving parts.
Even freshwater can be corrosive, though less so.
To prevent damage, it’s recommended to mist the engine compartment and pump area after flushing and avoid leaving your machine in the water for extended periods. Using a drive-up dock or lift is ideal.
Flush In Freshwater
Flushing your engine in a freshwater lake after saltwater riding is okay, but be mindful of local laws to prevent contamination.
If you’re in doubt, always go with the garden hose as it’s better water, and you’ll need it to clean the rest of the machine off anyway.
Mist The Engine Compartment
After a saltwater ride, you should flush and also mist the engine compartment and rinse the pump area.
Make sure to remove the drain plugs when cleaning the engine compartment, and then put them back in before you ride!
Tip: Once a month, I suggest spraying “silicone lubricant (Amazon Link Ad)” on the engine and pump area, anything metal, electrical or shiny should get sprayed. You should do this for sure if you ride in saltwater, but if you ride in freshwater, you can do it at the start and end of the riding season.
What Will Happen If You Don’t Flush A Jet Ski?
Failure to flush will lead to metal parts corroding and even phantom electrical problems down the line.
The picture below shows a Sea-Doo that was not properly flushed or maintained after numerous rides in saltwater.
As a result, it suffered extensive damage.
The deterioration was so severe that the green antifreeze in the ride plate began to leak through the corrosion holes.
The jet pump is made of mostly metal, and while it’s painted, corrosion still finds a way.
How To Stop Corrosion
Keeping your watercraft in great condition, especially after riding in saltwater, is simpler than you might think. The best approach is to flush and rinse it off after every saltwater ride. This really helps in preventing corrosion.
Did you know that manufacturers include something called a “sacrificial anode” in their designs? It’s a clever little part that’s designed to corrode first, protecting the other metals. But it’s important to keep an eye on this anode. Regularly check to make sure it’s still there and in good shape. If it looks worn out or damaged, it’s time to replace it.
Typically, there are one or two sacrificial anodes, and you’ll find them near the jet pump. You won’t find any in the engine compartment, so a good practice is to spray this area with silicone lubricant for extra protection.
Taking these small steps can really extend the life and performance of your watercraft.
Don’t Forget To Rinse The Trailer
When rinsing your jet ski with the garden hose, also rinse the trailer.
Trailers, even aluminum ones, can corrode on steel parts, especially the hardware like screws and bolts that hold everything together.
Rinse the trailer after saltwater use and even after freshwater rides.