Reasons Why Your Jet Ski Won’t Start

why your jet ski won't start

It can be very frustrating when you go out to hop on your Jet Ski and find out that it won’t start. I’ve created a list of the most common reasons why your Jet Ski won’t start and what you can do to fix the issue.

WARNING! Batteries and the starting system of your jet ski carry HIGH ELECTRICAL CURRENTS which can hurt or seriously harm you if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you don’t know what you’re doing please have your local dealer look at it for you.

dead jet ski batteries won't startDead Battery

Having a Dead Battery is usually the biggest reason why your Seadoo, Yamaha, or Kawasaki jet ski won’t start.

8 out 10 times it’s the battery. Even if you charged the battery or it’s a new battery it still can be the battery causing the jet ski to not start. Even if you think the battery is good, check the battery. We talk more below about how to check the battery. 

-If you put the key on and nothing happens then the battery is completely shot and needs to be replaced.

-If you put the key on and the display turns on, but when you press the start button and all you hear is clicking that means the battery is weak. A weak battery will need to be charged.


You may also like this post: REASONS WHY YOUR JET SKI BATTERY DIES


To charge a battery you want to use a smart battery charger that does not exceed 2 amps. Also, you need to let the battery charge for hours, or overnight to get it to be fully charged. To keep the battery from dying all the time I highly suggest getting a Solar panel like this one. Just hang the solar panel off to the side when you’re not using the jet ski.

Sometimes you’ll need a new battery. Your local dealer can help you find the correct battery for your machine.

One Solid Click or Thud

If you go to start your watercraft and all you get is ONE solid click or thud then the Starter Relay has gone bad. Also, you know the starter relay is bad is when you press the start button multiple times before the jet ski will finally start.

I have even had customers tell me the procedure to start their watercraft, like waiting for the dash to turn off then you press the start button 11 times while tapping the handlebars 4 times before it will start. There is no special procedure for starting a jet ski and if you have to do something very similar then you need a new starter relay.

The starter relay is the device that sends the power from the battery to the starter motor to turn the engine on. The way you determine if the starter relay is bad or if the battery is bad is by the clicks. A bad battery will cause the the starter relay to make multiple quick clicks while a bad relay will do only one click when you press the start button.

Your local dealer will more than likely have Starter Relays in stock. For some model Jet Ski’s I highly recommend you let the dealer install them as some can be very painful to install. It’s only a couple of wires but the location of the relay can be very difficult to get to and having the dealer do it could be worth it.


Battery and Starter Relay are Fine, now what?

If the battery and starter relay seems fine and has passed all test above then I would check the battery again. There have been plenty of times where the battery charger says the battery is charged and ready to go but when I put a load tester on the battery it was a different story.

I would even take the battery to your local dealer or even an auto parts store to have them load test the battery to make sure its okay.

If the battery passed the load test, the gauges come on, and the starter relay is good or has been replaced then you only have a few more options left. The next thing in line is the Starter and it could have gone bad. It’s not common for the Starter to fail, but the starter relay and battery will fail eventually because of the stress they go through (they’re wear-and-tear items).

If you have gotten to this point then you’ll need to take it to your local dealer. If the problems are beyond the battery and starter relay then something is going on beyond your control. Your local dealer can hook the machine up to the computer to see what is going on and what needs to be fixed.

Sucked Something Up

It’s rare, but one reason why your jet ski won’t start could be due to you sucking something up. A stick, rock or even rope can get in there and wedge itself in keeping the pump and also the engine from spinning over.

I go into more detail about this here. Usually, when you suck something up you notice it, but maybe a friend returns the machine and doesn’t tell you about it and this would lead you to this conclusion.

Sum Up Jet Ski Won’t Start

  • Why your jet ski won’t start can be a bad or weak battery, bad starter relay, bad starter motor, or you sucked something up.
  • 8/10 times a jet ski won’t start is due to a weak battery or bad starter relay.
  • In rare occasions, the key or other electronic parts could be the reason why your jet ski won’t start.
  • If your jet ski clicks once when you hit the start button then it’s more than likely the starter relay.
  • If you have to press the start button multiple times or put the key on and off before the jet ski starts then it’s a bad starter relay.
  • If your jet ski clicks multiple times when you hit the start button then it’s a weak or dead battery.
  • If you’ve put a new battery in your jet ski and it still won’t start then it could be that the new battery is dead and needs to be load tested.
  • Never go off on what a voltmeter says but instead what a load tester says when checking if a battery is good or not. You can get load testers at many stores but most auto parts stores will have a load tester you can use for free.
  • If your new battery load test fine and the watercraft still won’t start then it could be bad grounds or other electrical issues.



  • Hi mate i got a seadoo gti130 2012
    Iv been riding it for past 4 days about 3 hours a day, yesterday i went to start it and just kepted sounding like it wanted to start but it wouldnt fire up, i tried 3 times then it started, i rode for about 10 mins turned off and then it wouldnt start
    Pushed jetski along beach to trailer
    Any chance you would no what it would be mate? Starter motor, battery, spark plugs? Jetski just hit 30hours

    • If you tried 3 times to start it then it’s a good chance it’s the starter relay. If the starter relay doesn’t fix it then it would need a new battery. It’s very rare that it would be the starter motor. If it was the spark plugs then it would run rough, but it never hurts to replace the spark plugs. I like replacing my spark plugs every year but I doubt that is your problem.

  • Hi Steven
    Our seadoo GTX is not starting through the starting button, but if manual start (we put jumper wire to the starter relay) is done the unit is working. What could be the possible problem

  • Have two identical a 2011 Gtx seado won’t start, display comes on but nothing happens,says it’s reading keys, have about 7 hours on both kinda funny both acting the same

    • Most likely a dead battery. If both of them have very similar hours then they both get used the same and if they still have the original battery in them then its time for new ones. 7 hour is quite low for a watercraft that is 6 years old, riding them more often will help keep the battery charged. Or you can use a Solar panel to keep the battery charged when you’re not riding them. Also, those year models did have issues with reading the key, you need to take it to your local dealer so they can update the software and the DESS post so it can recognize the keys better.

  • Hi Steven,

    I have a 1996 Kawasaki 750 ss. I recently have taken it out 3 times and randomly when i am on the water and want to start the ski back up it would not start or make any noise. This only happens on the water. When Im on the trailer it always starts up. It will start back up on the water eventually when it wants to but I find that strange. Just bought it a month ago and looks clean and rides great! Got any ideas on what could be causing this? Possible starter relay or maybe even the spark plugs? Thanks

    • It could be many things and it would be best to take it to repair shop. If the ski starts on land but not on water it is usually the battery do the extra power needed to start on water. It sounds like your problem is deeper than that. It could be the angle the ski is on when on the trailer compared to the water that allows it to start. It’s so hard to tell and it would best to take it to a repair shop. I would start with the battery and the starter relay first to see if that fixes the issue.

  • It has a brand new battery that I put in so possibly it’s the starter relay. Thanks for the support!

  • hi steven
    i have 2006 seadoo gtx , It turns over but wont fire up, the sparks and coils in good condition, i changed the injectors, fuel pump and TPS sensor and still have the same problem no fuel spray out from the injectors, the voltage coming to the injectors is 10v , what could be cause this issue ?

    • It’s hard to say, the best bet is to take it to your dealer and let them hook it up to the computer to see the fault codes. If I had to guess it sounds like the ECM is not sending the signal correctly to the injectors. This may sound silly but make sure to have fresh gas in the tank. It’s easy to overlook the simple things (like gas) that could be causing the problem. But above all else, something like this needs to be taken to a dealership to see the fault codes.

  • Hi Steven I have a Yamaha gp 1200r I just bought 2000 model I rode it the other day maybe a mile and put it back on the trailer just wanted to make sure it ran before I bought it today I ran it and it did not have near the power as it did the other day and now it won’t crank I got the starter button and it clicks then sounds like a wheel is turning or something but the motor is not turning over battery checks out good with my meter!

  • Would the starter going out cause it to lose power and just completely shut down

    • No, but if you’re hitting the start button and it sounds like something is moving but the engine is not turning over then it’s a good chance it’s the starter motor. It’s impossible to fully diagnose anything over the internet and the best option is to take it to your local repair shop to see what they say.

  • 2013 Gtx 215 won’t start. Replaced battery, hit start button, can hear the solonoid engage but it gets a half a crank.

    • If it’s a new battery and you get one solid click from the starter relay then the starter relay is bad. If you get multiple clicking then the battery is weak. Always be careful when dealing with HIGH CURRENT items like a battery and the starting system. When in doubt visit your local shop.

  • 2009 Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO. Battery tested good, replaced the starter relay and still get a single click that seems to be coming from behind the fuse box which is where the starter relay is. Is there anything else that could cause a single click when attempting to start this ski. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    • It could be many things, from the starter, a low voltage relay, too many other factors. It’s best to have your local dealer look at it. You could also check out the green hulk forum here as they deal with jet ski’s and someone might know the exact answer.

  • Hi! I have a rxt x as rs 2011. Old battery got the panels starting but battery was to old so I replaced it with a new. Battery charger shows battery is full but my Sea Doo is completely dead with the new battery. Any ideas please?

    • Never trust a battery charger to tell you if a battery is good. A battery needs to be load tested to see if it’s any good as battery chargers can sometimes lie to you. I’ve seen new batteries dead and not able to take a charge so I would see about getting it load tested or get another one first.

  • Ran a 2005 GTI, fresh off the sales floor last summer (2016 n bought used). Was dumb enough to pull into a shallow water boat ramp n suck up gravel. Changed the ware ring and installed a New stainless impeller. Put New battery in it, conventional gas, etc.

    Now engine only bumps when hitting start button. Battery check at Advance auto, new and good.

    • 2005 GTI would be a 2-stroke and 2-strokes have a thinner drive shaft that can bend easily if you suck something up. Would be best to have a shop look at it.

      • Shafts straight. Checked it all out when I installed the new ware ring and impeller. The engine does a ooh-ahh (for lack of a better sound spelling) when the start buttons hit. Like its getting only a 1\16 of a full rotation then dies until start buttons hit again. No continuous cranking to start

        I’m starting to suspect the batteries my wife bought. Although these batteries cranked all our PWC’s when new last summer, they did go low over the winter due to not trickle charging. They are Wal Mart brand Everstart Premium Powersprots series (or something like that) and I’m thinking that the auto shop, due to not testing under load, recharged them, did the test, and stamped them good. They don’t seem to have a CCA or CA label on them which is suspect also. I’m pretty sure this ski needs 270 CA to crank reliably.

        Whats you input on these batteries wife put in them ?

        • Be careful with drive shafts as they can “look” straight. It’s best to roll them on a flat surface. You never mentioned checking the starter relay which is easy to replace on that model. I would see about replacing that or checking to see if power is leaving it and going to the starter. I wouldn’t trust those cheap batteries either, I’ve had a number of those seem fine and charge fine but really was dead. Always buy a good sealed battery for jet skis, they cost more but hold up way better. If the battery is good and power is going to the starter then it could the starter that is worn out or has broken/jammed Bendix. Or you sucked up something that broke something on the inside of the engine past the drive shaft. I would start with the starter relay, if it’s brown then it definitely needs to be replaced, if its black then might still be bad.

  • I have a 2011 wave runner vxr started fine at first parked it then went to ride again and won’t crank. Will crank with battery charge as soon as charger is removed it idles weird and starts beeping showing engine on display have a new battery I put acid in now waiting for a full charge just wasn’t sure if it’s the battery or not..

    • Sounds like a battery. If I were you I would stick to seal batteries as the ones you fill can’t always take the abuse of the waves that a jet ski goes through. I talk more about batteries here.

  • My 2004 gtx supercharged don’t start but before this happens i need to press multiples time the start/stop button to finally start.Now don’t star when i put the lanyard a long beep coming up and the cluster just said the sea doo word and i check the code is p1682.The code means ems comunication error.I change the ems 2 weeks ago.I think maybe is the battery dead or the starter relay because before this happens i press the button more than 3 time to finally start the jet ski.Any suggestions?

    • Pressing the start/stop button multiple times before it would start is a sign of a bad starter relay. The only way to solve the communication error is to take it to a dealer as it sounds like when you got the ECM replaced you didn’t get it matched to the gauge and as a security measure, it’s not communicating. No way around this take it to the dealer.

  • Hi Steve I have a 1995 Yamaha Wave Raider 700. It runs like new, has a dual carb setup which is in great shape, and has never left anyone stranded on the water until recently. I have trusted the ski enough to ride out miles from the dock. While riding the other day, the ski shut off and after that would crank but would not start.

    We were lucky to have someone nearby tow it back to the dock. Once we had it back at the dock it started up just fine. I took it out on the water and had it at wide open throttle and it ran great. We had no more issues that day. I don’t believe its a problem with the battery because no connections are loose, and the ski does not overheat at all. Runs on 50-1 premix and the plugs were changed a month ago. I don’t think anything was stuck in the pump either. I’m puzzled as to why it would shut off like that and then run perfectly fine a half hour later. Was hoping you might have an idea of what was going on with it. Thank you for the help

    • It’s hard to pinpoint anything since there are so many options. Could be old fuel line, bad gas, on/off fuel switch going bad, carb got clogged for a bit, water in the electrical for a bit, kill switch going bad, etc. Best thing to do is have a shop look at it. It’s going to be normal for a ski as old as yours (22 years-old) to have odd things to happen to it.

  • Hey Steve thank you for the info. Those are some good possibilities. It could definitely have been something with the carbs. I know that the ski sat for a couple of years before I got it because of a bad wear ring. After draining the old fuel, replacing the wear ring and firing it up it ran great so surprisingly it didn’t need a carb rebuild. Its been a while since then and it has been running great but who knows the carbs could have definitely gotten clogged for a little because they have not been rebuilt in quite some time.

    There could also be a good chance there was some water in the electrical. My brother did say that the ski hit a wave right before it shut off. Or maybe the harness for the start/stop switch has some corrosion. If the ski shuts off again I will take a look at the wiring and see what kind of shape it is in

  • HI Steve just bought a 2012 rxpx 260 with only 30 hours on it. Machine is like new. When I try to start gauges turn on but that’s about it.. no warning lights or anything would this be week battery or starter relay?

  • Steve, you describe it as a single thud, I hear it as a “chug.” Are we talking about the same thing?

    • Probably talking about the same thing. If you’re hearing one single noise when you press the start button then it’s probably the starter relay. If you hear multiple noises fast then it’s probably a weak battery.

  • First, great site with a lot of great information.

    I have a 2003 Yamaha waverunner xl1200 that I pulled out from winterizing. Put charged battery in, cleaned everything up and tried to fire it up. I get a few sounds from it.

    I get an attempted turning over, kind of like a swooshing sound and then some clicks/grinds.

    Was thinking of replacing the starter relay. I changed the spark plugs just to rule that out.

    • Sounds like a weak battery. If you’re getting some turnover and many clicks that would mean the battery does not have enough power to start it. Even if your battery charger says its charged it could be lying to you. Either that or you have something blocking the engine from moving or a bad starter motor. I would do the battery first.

      • Spot on!

        Bought new battery, charged it up overnight. Just installed it and fired right up.

        This is my first year winterizing. I used the hose adapter and when starting noticed a lot of exhaust smoke (blue). Is that normal and should I be worried?

        Was going to go drop it in the water and run it at the launch to test things before taking family out.

        • Glad it worked out. Looking at your past comments it looks like you have a 2-stroke jet ski. It’s going to be normal to see some blue smoke, more if it’s out of the water and even more if you haven’t fired it up in a long time. Since you said it was winterized and you just started it up I would go ahead and replace the spark plugs since most people fog the engine when they winterize them and that can foul the plugs.

          • Thanks again. Ran like a champ! Since I was having issues starting for the first time I took the time to replace plugs right along with battery.

            Thanks for all the advice and guidance.

  • Hi Steve, 2007 Kawasaki Ultra LX starts fine with new battery. Then last couple times BAT shows up and beeps for few seconds on start up. Took battery home and fully charged after checking it with a voltage meter. Anything else we should check. Thanks

    • Never trust a battery charger or a volt meter to determine if a battery is good or bad. A battery charger or volt meter goes off how much voltage the battery has, but it’s not voltage that starts a motor but amps. To measure amps you’ll need a load tester. But you might not have a battery problem but a rectifier problem. It’s best to have a local shop look at it.

      • Steve, Thanks for the info on battery. Did a load test and it is still good but not as good as it can be. Within the low normal range.

        That being said…can a battery with low amps cause the jet ski to run only at 3000 rpm and then all of a sudden run normal after battery charges up when running?

        When jet ski first starts up we get that low bat warning and flashing light. You can only then throttle to 3000 rpm or so. Basically about 5-7 MPH. Then after about a minute or so the ski then runs normal and then accelerates.

        Could that be bad battery causing the ski to protect itself with the warning light on battery and the self charges in water.

        Thanks for your time. John

        • Could be a bad battery or maybe even a bad or going bad rectifier. The best thing to do is let a shop look at it.

  • Hi!! I have a Polaris JetSki We just replaced the battery.. and when we go to start it it sounds like it wants to start but won’t.. but when we hook it up to a battery charger it starts right up and will run until we shut it down.. then we have to repeat with the battery charger…any ideas?

    • Could have gotten a dud battery. Get the battery load tested at a local battery store or a place like Autozone.

  • Hey steve i just bought a 2010 yamaha wave runner vx110 and i changed the oil and spark plugs and i ran water through it using a hose, while it was running i kept reving it and after 5 min of doing that white smoke came from the back than i cut it off and when i tried to start it, it wouldnt evn turn and i doubt its the battery because i was using a booster box to jump them. Any thoughts of what the problem could be?

    • From you saying you ran it on the hose makes me think you hydro-locked it. There are special procedures to follow when running a jet ski on a hose that you must follow or the engine get’s hydro-locked. It’s best to take it to a dealer or a repair shop to have them look at it.

  • I have a 2008 STX 15f. I replaced the battery so it’s not a battery issue. When I click the green start button, I hear a click but the starter doesn’t turn the engine over. I tried jumping the 2 terminals with large red wires at the rear of the ski – is that the starter relay or something. Anyway doing that didn’t do anything. It didn’t even make the click like you do when you press the green button. Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Yes, those two big terminals with red wires is the high power side of the starter relay, avoid jumping those two points as its dangerous. Even if it’s a new battery I would still check that by taking it to an auto parts store and let them do a load test on it. I’ve seen new batteries go bad out of the box before. If that’s not it then it’s either the starter motor or something keeping the engine from spinning over like it’s hydro-lock, blown, or something is in the pump. It would be best to take it to a repair shop to have them look at it.

  • I have an rxt xrs 2014 Yesterday he first started beeping and it says low voltage it ran 3 or 4times after that and now he wont start the engine Light is on when i hit the start button it jus makes 2 clicks and wont start? I would apricate any help

  • Hi Steve I have a seadoo gtx 4-tec that won’t start properly it turns over and try’s to fire revs to about 350rpm but then cuts off. Reading all your other comments sounds to me like it could be the starter relay just wondering if you had any other thoughts? Many thanks great site

    • If it’s turning over then it’s not the starter relay. The way you tell if it’s a bad starter relay is if it doesn’t turn over at all or just make one click. If it’s turning over then it would either be a bad battery or starter motor. It could be even a bad ECM not telling it to fire off. The best thing to do is take it to a repair shop and let them look at it.

  • I have 2015 GTX is limited 260 and when I push starter button nothing happens. Dash won’t light up. When u attach key… same thing. Battery has been tested and shows it’s ok.

    • I would try a new battery, I’ve had batteries “test fine” but actually was bad. On that model, you should be able to press the start button first and the gauges power up and then put the key on. If that doesn’t happen and you put a new battery in it then the next step is to take it to the shop. I would take it to the shop anyways, the battery in that model is hard to get out.

  • I have a 1996 seadoo gti new motor ,new battery ,new starter relay . Press start buttons gauge lights up the four red lights come on for the battery ,temp,gas and oil then go off no beep .low gas stays on I have 2 gallons in the machine . Plug my dess key in still no beeps seadoo won’t start ?

    • Your ski has a lot going on. To be fair it is over 20 years old and things not working will be common. So many things to try, but maybe it’s the DESS post that is bad? Just hard to tell on a ski this old, it would be best to take it to a shop that still works on 2 strokes.

  • Steve, i have 2004 SeaDoo RXP. These past two days, it starts, runs great for about 90 minutes or so then dies, like you pulled the lanyard. There are no beeps that would indicate the key is in place.. try and try and try no power. I tow it back in, get it back home an hour or two later, put the key on and she will start like nothing happened… This has happened back to back days. Any suggestions.

    • It would be best to take it to a dealership to let them look at it. Sounds like a bad key or DESS post or ECM but it could also be many things.

  • Hello sir, from reading you page and your replies i’m certain all i need is a starter relay, however i figured i’d still ask. Last week ski would try to start over, sounded like starter was hitting, PTO would rock back and forth, charged the battery a bit and she fired right of. This week launched the ski and went to start, nothing, not a sound, not a click, nadda. Brought it home boosted battery, now when i plug the safety switch in, i can hear the fuel pump prime, but when i press start, she gives me one solid hard click from the relay. Then she’ll do it again and again all while depressing the start button. But she will not fire off. Before reading this i was preparing myself for a starter replacement. Thoughts?

    • I would start with the starter relay first and then replace the battery. If that doesn’t fix it then you need to take it to a repair shop to let them look at it.

  • Have a 2011 gti. When you turn off engine something keeps running. Sometimes when you attach the key and start then turn off it quits. Other times need to disconnect the battery. Sometimes it won’t start at all and you have to disconnect and reconnect the battery then it will start.

    • That is odd, never heard of this one. It would be best to take it to the dealership and let them look at it. I can only guess that maybe it’s the fuel pump still running which is not good at all.

  • Thanks for the help. Appreciate it.

  • Thanks for all the time you put into helping others. This thread is great. Bought a pair of 2013 Kawasaki STX-15Fs last summer. Love them, BUT, one keeps losing charge. Replaced the mis-sized small battery with correct size and it made it 3 weekends, but now, when I go to start, I get one click, then several smaller ‘clicks, but nothing else. Display does not show the battery low, as in previous instances. 3rd time with this happening, and on the first two, I towed back to trailer with 2nd ski and got water in motor(question/topic for a different day). Any ideas? Starter Relay? Rectifier? Other? Thanks again!!!

    • This is a tough one, I recommend letting a dealership look at it. But if I had to guess I would say the rectifier is bad and draining the battery when it runs?

  • I have a 1996 Tiger Shark 900 Monte Carlo that hasn’t been started in several years. With a hot battery it will not crank over at all. Only makes one single click. Changed starter solenoid and got the same results. The engine rolls over when I turn the drive shaft so it is not seized. Could it be the starter relay and if so where is it located? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • It’s not often that someone talks about a Tiger Shark. I think it might be your starter motor that is bad if the engine moves freely, the clicking could be the starter motor just giving up. Make sure the wiring going to the starter motor is good and tight and not corroded, the jet ski is 21 years old so there could be other issues too.

  • Any idea where the rectifier is located and the best test method in checking it? There are any marine shops near me or I would take it in for diagnosis. Thank you again!

    • The easiest way to test if the rectifier is bad is with a volt meter. I don’t recommend doing this unless you have some experience with a volt meter and working on engines before. With the jet ski out of the water turn it on and measure the voltage of the battery while it runs. After firing up the battery should be charging around 14 volts. If the battery is at 12 volts or lower then this tells us something is wrong the charging system, it could be rectifier or stator or wiring or electronics. Remember you can only run the jet ski out of the water for about 30 seconds.

  • Hello Steve. My daughter and her boyfriend were riding my 2016 Yamaha V1 sport this past weekend. The ski was running great when all the sudden it beeped 4 times, the warning light came on, then it went completely dead. I had to tow them in with my pontoon. I took the ski out of the water and it will not do anything. The gauges do not light up and it doesn’t click when you turn it over. I charged the battery but it still doesn’t do a thing. Got any idea what would make a jet ski completely shut down. It’s a 4 stroke with 12 hours on it. Any help would be appreciated.

    • That is very odd. Since it so new I would take to the dealership and see what is going before messing with it just in case it’s a warranty item. The only thing I would maybe check is to see if the battery connections are tight. I’ve seen loose battery terminals stop a jet ski and throw odd codes before.

  • Hi Steve. I have 2003 sea doo 4 Tec. Got it used. The guy I bought it from said the starter relay was going bad, so I changed it. It ran great all morning, then after sitting on the beach for a couple of hours, I turned the battery on to go home and it tried to start itself. After wiggling the wires around, it started normally. Then when i started going and bouncing, it would cut out again. After about 10 min of idling, I had to get back to the dock, it ran perfectly again. I cannot find any loose wires. Have you ever seen this?

    • You said you turn the battery on, this must mean you have a battery switch. Jet skis don’t come with battery switches and it’s not the best to have them because they create an unneeded load between the battery and the starter. This could be your issue as you have too much going on between the battery – starter relay – start motor because of a battery switch. But if someone put a battery switch on a jet ski then it must mean it was draining the battery and you could have an ECM problem. Don’t forget to check the obvious stuff like the battery’s condition and if the connections are tight. If anything it would be best to let a dealership look at it.

  • I have a 1998 seadoo gts jet ski. It will not start. I replaced the battery due to it being junk. Then replaced spark plugs. Still would not start but would crank. If you put starting fluid or gas in carb it will run. So I blew threw all glass lines and vacuum hoses. And checked all hoses for leaks. I Found no file going to carb due to lack of vacuum. So I rebuilt the carb. And it ran for about 30 seconds then stopped. So I tried to start it again with starting fluid and it started up but died any ideas?

  • 1999 yamaha 3 cylinder charged for couple hours and go to start I get the word start on dash and it makes a weird buzzing noise when I hit start. Battery bad? Please help thanks

    • Buzzing could be a messed up relay, either starter or a smaller one in the electronics box. It’s best to let a repair shop look at it.

  • hey i have a 1997 kawasaki 750 zxi i know the battery is bad but i got this jet ski from a family member that could not get it to run and i dont want to sink a lot of money in it so what im asking will it get enough power thru jumping it off with my truck to make it start it cranks great but no fire to plugs no lights on the panel btu the fuel gauge works and it has plenty of oil i just want to hear it start before i replace the battery

    • Never jump a jet ski battery with a car or truck, you’ll fry the electronics. The only options you have is let the battery try to charge or buy a new battery. It’s best to let a repair shop look at it since you may have electrical issues if no lights come on.

  • Hey Steve just a quick question , I have a 1994 Polaris Sl 900, It has been sitting for about 3yrs and has not been started since then. It worked just fine before but I recently tried to start it ,but will not turn over , I tried turning the shaft by hand but it seems like the motor is locked, could this happen? or maybe battery ?

    • Yea, if the engine sits for years and was not fogged then rust can form and lock the engine. It’s best to do storage procedure before storing a jet ski for a long time. To get it fix might require a teardown, but I would drop it off at a local repair shop to see what they say.

  • Hi. I have a 2007 kawaski stx15f. New battery from Walmart. This is the 2nd one in 1 month. No lights on panel. No clicking. I even tried to jump the starter solenoid with nothing. What is my next move.

    • It could be a bad kill switch or blown fuse, it’s best to take it to a repair shop let them see what is going on with it. Too many possibilities and a repair shop might be the best way to go with electrical issues.

  • Hey Steven I have a seadoo spark that was not starting or gauges turning on at all so I replaced the battery because the other one tested bad and now that it has the new battery in, still nothing turns on as though there is no battery at all

    • It’s best to take it to a dealer, some models sparks had a wiring issue where it would rub. It could also be a bad kill switch or even a blown fuse. Also, don’t forget to make sure the battery is connected the right direction – I’ve done this before and can blow a fuse.

  • I got a tiger shark tsl 900 I have 2 problems 1 st is hard starting turns over good but takes a bit to start 2 no is when you do finally get it running you have to hold the gas down and it hesitates then just goes full bore only you basically get idle or super fast any help would be great

  • Hey man. I have 2 95 seadoo Xp’s I’m having trouble with. Yesterday they were running fine when my buddies took them a little shallow and sucked rocks into both of them. I took apart the jet and had to replace the wear rings. Easy enough. But now both won’t start. They have new batteries that are holding charge and I suspect the solenoid so I ordered new ones. I tried jumping the solenoid with a screwdriver. It turns over that way but won’t start. Both don’t respond at all when I put in the key and push the start button. No click or anything. Any ideas??

  • Hey Steven, we have a 2005 Seedoo GTX that is giving us starting fits this summer. It starts intermittently and has a new battery. One time it will start, the next time it won’t. We’ve had it into the shop twice and they can’t replicate the problem. Starts right up for them every time. It almost seems like it could be a loose wire somewhere. Are there wires in the steering assembly at the start/stop switch that could be loose? Called the shop again today and they think it might be the starting post. What’s your opinion. I’m not a mechanic and can’t find any you tube videos on any starter problems with the key post or start/stop switch. Ideas?

    • I would have them clean all the grounds to perfection and the connectors that go to the battery. I’ve seen dirty grounds cause odd problems. They really need to clean them, there is like 3 on the front of the engine that should be cleaned well. I’ve also seen fuel rail or injectors go bad and cause a jet ski that will start sometimes but not the other time. It was like a leaking fuel injector that flooded the engine but it would still spin over but never start. There are many options to go from and the dealership should be able to figure it out or use their chat with Sea-Doo to figure it out.

  • I have a 95 Sea-Doo GTX. I’m sure the starter relay is going because I have trouble starting it but also I think there’s some sort of fuel issue because when I try to start it, if I try to start it, it will chug and then I will pull the throttle open all the way and then it will start. Today it actually died spontaneously in the water twice. I have a guess that it has to do with the fuel issue or a carburetor issue. Any thoughts?

    • Sounds like carburetor to me, but it could be many things and it’s best to let a repair shop look at it hands on to see what the problem is.

  • ive had my 2004 seadoo sit all winter in the shed and getting ready for the warm weather battery was disconnected the whole time I’ve connected it but it was flat so I charged it over night while the terminals where off as you should hooked the terminals on after being charged and started up had it running for approx 5mins on the Trailor with water then turned it off since then it won’t start again just making a clicking noise can a starter relay fail that quick also the button on the handle bars doesn’t Spring out the best can that cause a issue

    • Yes, the starter relay can fail out of nowhere especially if it’s the old brown style one. The black Sea-Doo starter relay will be the better one to get. But you said you had it running on the hose and if you didn’t follow the correct procedure of turning the water off before turning the engine off you could have hydro-locked the engine and that would make it click. If that is the case avoid starting as you could do damage. You can buy a new starter button just about anywhere, they just pop out.

  • Hi, Seadoo gsx starting problem.When i press start button the engine makes half a turn and stops. It does it several times in a row. Starter solenoid is new, battery is good, cleaned grounds. I put a test light on the yellow/red wire from the ecu to starter solenoid and if i press start button the light comes on, but when engine makes half a turn only the light only makes a flash as long as the time engine makes half a turn. Is it possible to have a problem in ecu or what can it be? If i get the engine running it will start better, almost every time i press start, but still makes half a turn starts occasionally. It is like starter solenoid will loose signal from ecu and then stops.

  • I have seafood 2015 jet ski. Yesterday I started after 4 months it did start and I went in water it stopped I try to start it is clicking but not starting on display it says BR. Please help me out

  • Riding my 04 season yestadAy it just stopped and now won’t start it clicks once but wont start and key comes up on the dash

    • Sounds like you sucked something up. Usually when you’re moving along and the jet ski shuts off something got sucked into the intake. You might not have heard or felt it but it does happen. The click would be because whatever is in there is keeping the engine from spinning over because jet skis use a direct drive anything that blocks the impeller also blocks the engine from spinning.

  • I have a Yamaha FXSHO and was out this morning cruising at about 60kph and suddenly no power (electrical). Motor stopped immediately and no power to anything. Completely dead. Brand new battery and showing good voltage. Any ideas?

  • I’ve just solved my mystery. Blown fuse.

  • Hello Steven, kind of you to answer all of these questions.
    2006 Kawasaki STX-12F
    I went for a ride yesterday and everything was fine. After the ride tried to install a battery tender adapter to the battery that would click-in as opposed to attaching with two clamps. I was having an issue getting the right angle with the screw driver I was using and gave up.

    Today I try and start it won’t. maybe I need to ensure the termindal block tightly screwed in?
    I took a video with sound to show my attempt to start it.
    Heres the YouTube link:

  • Maureen McAdams-Croushorn

    Hi, I’m female and new to jetskiing. I have a 1997 seadoo gti, ran good the first 2 times out, then on the 3rd time, it started to bog down at full throttle . Limped it back to the dock . It shut down so I tried to start it again, and now it just makes a loud click (clunk) sound and won’t turn over . Battery is charged, but it only clunks once and does nothing. I’m not sure what happened.

    • Usually, when you hear one clunk it’s a bad starter relay. As for the bogging down, it will be a different story and a lot of things could be it.

  • I have a 2007 GTX Seadoo and it ran fine last year. When I put the battery back into this year, I had trouble getting the gauges to come up, so I could start it. When you put the safety lanyard on sometimes the gauges came up and it beeped and sometimes they didn’t. When it did start everything seemed to work fine. I was riding it the other day and all the sudden it shut off with no alarms or codes and now it won’t initialize or start at all. Could this be a battery problem?

    • It could be a bad battery, weak or poor connection, bad electrical component, and many other things. But I would start with the battery first and make sure the connections are properly connecting the battery.

  • 2004 SeaDoo GTI has hard time recognizing the key, Sometimes it beeps right away and other times it takes a long time for it to beep so you can start it. Could this be caused by a bad Dess post?

  • German Lazo Reyes

    Hello I have a seadoo gtx I was running and then stop for a couple of hours after that I try to turn on and just make a click click noise please can you help youwith an advice. Thank you

  • I have a 2000 GTX that got water in engine compartment and wouldn’t start only clicked so I replaced starter relay and now only partially turns over want stay turning over I have to keep pushing starter over and over and I noticed circuit box and wires get hot and I hear some noise coming from circuit box . Also don’t make beeping noise when you stick key on anymore. Thanks

    • Sounds like it’s hydro-locked. Avoid trying to start it and get it to a repair shop so they can remove the water from the engine.

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