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Listing 22 Won’t Start Reasons For Most Jet Skis

Let’s get right to it, below are the most common reasons a jet ski won’t start. After that, I list what you can do about each issue for in their own sections.

  1. Check The Battery First
  2. The Starter Relay Is Bad = One Click
  3. Replace The Spark Plugs
  4. You Got The Wrong Key; It’s Locked
  5. You’ve Sucked Something Up
  6. A Bad Starter Button
  7. Bad And Old Gas
  8. Blown Fuses And Relays
  9. Clean The Ground Connections
  10. Check The Starter Motor To See If It Still Works
  11. Carburetor Issues – Bad Fuel Lines (2-Strokes Only)
  12. Fuel Injectors Are Clogged / Damaged
  13. You’ve Hydrolocked The Engine
  14. A Fuel Pump Failure
  15. You Got A Broken Safety Lanyard – It’s Not Attached
  16. The Fuel Selector Is Not On / Broken (2-Strokes Only)
  17. Check The T.O.P.S Switch
  18. Could Be A Bad ECU/ECM
  19. Overheating And Cooling Problems
  20. Reset The Throttle Position Sensor
  21. Worst Case = Blown Engine
  22. Sometimes Damaged Gauges Will Keep The Engine From Firing Up

1. Check the Battery First

It may not always seem obvious, but a lot of your issues can be traced back to your battery, especially if your jet ski has been sitting.

Signs of a bad battery include MULTIPLE CLICKS when you press the start button, or the jet ski gauges not coming on when you put the key on.

Even if a battery seems fine, it can still be bad. The only accurate way to test a battery is with a load tester (Amazon Link Ad), as voltage readings alone can be misleading. You can have it tested at an auto parts store.

For guidance on the best battery size and type, check out our post here: https://www.steveninsales.com/best-jet-ski-battery/

It’s common for batteries to go bad if not used for months, so keeping a battery charger connected during the off-season is important.

Another failure to start can be loose battery cable terminals on your jet ski battery. This will cause difficulty starting and charging your jet ski; make sure to clean check, and tighten them.

Multiple videos showing how to replace batteries:

2. The Starter Relay Is Bad = One Click

When you know the battery in your jet ski is fine, and it still doesn’t crank, but you hear one click, then the second most common starting issue for jet skis is a bad starter relay (solenoid, as some call it).

If you hear only one “click/thud” from the engine compartment when pressing the start-button and the gauges come on, it’s a sign of a bad starter relay.

The starter relay (Amazon Link Ad) is a component that controls the high-power wire from the battery, responsible for turning the starter motor to start the jet ski engine.

Starter relays typically need replacement 2-3 times during a jet ski’s lifetime, but you can’t predict when they’ll fail… they usually give a solid thud when you try to start the PWC engine!

Replacing starter relays isn’t difficult for most people and involves two mounting bolts, two terminal nuts, and disconnecting low-power wires. (Though there are a few that are a pain to replace)

3. Replace The Spark Plugs

If the engine turns over but refuses to fire up / sputters a bit, then that is often a sign of bad spark plugs.

The jet ski may even fire up, but won’t stay running; runs very rough. That, to me, is a classic sign of bad spark plugs!

Ideally, you should change the spark plugs every year, at the beginning of the season is the best time. Here is a list of maintenance items you need to do for the jet ski.

4. You Got The Wrong key; it’s Locked

Using the wrong key is more common than you might think! Jet ski keys may look the same, but they are often programmed specifically for each machine. If you have multiple Sea-Doo’s, consider getting the keys programmed a like to avoid starting issues.

If you’re using the correct key, and it still won’t start, it could be due to a faulty jet ski key and maybe a damaged key post. Rarely, Sea-Doo and jet ski keys can go bad, and in such cases, you’ll need to get a new key. To test the key post, use a strong magnet – if the jet ski doesn’t produce the wrong key sound when putting the magnet near the DESS post, then it may be faulty.

For Yamaha waverunners with key fobs / PIN code access, remember to unlock them before attempting to crank the engine, similar to how you unlock a car.

Yamaha Waverunner Key Fob To Lock and Unlock

Kawasaki has keys similar to Sea-Doo that go in the glove box, so make sure they’re inserted.

Kawasaki Keys In Glove Box

5. You’ve Sucked Something Up

It’s essential to inspect your jet ski’s jet pump for any foreign objects such as ropes, rocks, sticks, or large items that shouldn’t be there, as this will for sure keep your it from starting.

Jet skis have a direct drive system, meaning the jet pump is connected directly to the engine without a transmission. When cranking the engine, the jet pump also spins, and any obstruction in the pump can prevent the engine from starting.

When troubleshooting starting issues after removing the jet ski from the water, check the pump from the rear and underneath to ensure nothing is blocking the pump blades.

If you need to remove something from the pump, I have a post here to show you how.

6. A Bad Starter Button

A bad starter button (Amazon Link Ad) can prevent a PWC engine from starting, especially in 2-stroke models.

Rubber start-buttons can wear out faster than plastic ones. If the button is torn, requires excessive pressure, appears faded, consider replacing it. Some have fixed the issue by placing a penny behind the button, but they are cheap to replace and get the modern ones.

Unlike cars, jet ski start-buttons require you to hold them down until the engine is fully started – pressing it once only activates the gauges!

7. Bad And Old Gas

If the jet ski cranks but doesn’t run after changing spark plugs, it’s likely due to bad gas.

Gas deteriorates when left untreated, especially with increased ethanol content. If the jet ski has been sitting for a while, the gas may be the issue. Remove old gas and replace it with fresh premium fuel.

I suggest using “93 octane” for supercharged models, regular gas is fine for non-supercharged ones.

8. Blown Fuses And Relays

If the PWC won’t respond when you put the key on + press the start button, it might be due to faulty fuses in the fuse boxes. Locate the fuse box, often near the battery, and inspect each fuse. Replace any blown fuses. Additionally, check for inline fuses outside the fuse box and near the battery wrapped in rubber sleeves.

Fuses can blow at any time, such as incorrect battery connections and simply due to a faulty fuse. If a fuse keeps blowing, investigate the cause.

In the fuse box area, you’ll find smaller relays resembling black boxes with multiple terminals. These relays power low-power components. Testing them is hard, it’s just easier to replace them!

Sea-Doo Fuse Box – OMRON black box is the small relays I’m talking about.

9. Clean The Ground Connections

I tend to see older jet skis are more likely to have corroded ground connections on the engine block. Bad grounds won’t allow it to start and will cause other phantom issues in your jet ski.

If you have corrosion around the battery terminal cables, then it’s mostly likely the problem. Corroding battery cables also mean the ground wires that connect to the engine block are corroding too!

You will need to clean all the ground connections, including where they connect to the engine block.

10. Check The Starter Motor To See If It still Works

A starter motor going bad is more likely on 2-stroke jet skis than 4-stroke, but it can happen to both.

One way to tell it’s the starter motor that is bad is if all this below is true.

  1. Battery is good.
  2. Starter relay is good.
  3. Nothing is in the pump.
  4. Engine is not hydrolocked.

If the above is true, then it’s most likely a bad starter motor keeping your PWC from starting.

If you have a 12-volt test light probe, you can see if the starter motor is getting power to it. Clamp the negative to the battery / ground and put the probe light on the positive connection of the starter and press the start-button. If the probe lights up when you press the start button, then you’re getting power to the jet ski’s starter, and the next thing you need to do is remove the jet ski’s starter and bench test it.

To bench test a starter motor, you have to remove it from the engine and put it in a bench vice clamp and hook it directly to a battery. Starter motors are very jumpy, so you need to make sure it’s secured tight in the vice clamp before connecting it to a battery.

11. Carburetor Issues – Bad Fuel Lines (2-Strokes Only)

If you own a 2-stroke jet ski with a carburetor, a common starting issue could be a clogged PWC carburetor – old fuel lines. If you have a 4-stroke jet ski, this doesn’t apply, as they are all fuel-injected and have no choke cable, well, they do have fuel lines but hold up better to the ethanol in gas unlike most 2-stroke jet skis.

To determine if it’s 2-stroke or 4-stroke, refer to this post.

Avoid using ethanol fuel to a 2-stroke, as it can harm the carburetor and fuel lines. Ethanol was introduced when 2-strokes were being phased out, and they lack the protections found in 4-strokes. Consider cleaning the carburetors, replacing the fuel lines, and minimizing ethanol use to resolve these issues.

12. Fuel Injectors Are Clogged / damaged

Bad fuel injectors, though not common, can cause all kind of won’t start or running issues for jet skis.

They may also lead to intermittent starting problems or rough running for many PWCs. A leaking fuel injector can flood the engine, causing difficulties in restarting after a pause. Handling fuel injectors is a risky repair, and it’s best to have it done by a dealership.

13. You’ve Hydrolocked The Engine

A hydrolocked jet ski has water in the engine, which is problematic.

Water can enter the engine from sinking, not doing proper drain plug steps, rain flooding, damaged cooling components.

A hydrolocked engine won’t turn over, and attempting to do so can damage piston rods. To check for water in the jet ski engine, inspect the oil for a runny, “milky” appearance; remove the spark plugs and turn the engine to check for water shooting out. Fixing a hydrolocked engine, especially a 4-stroke, is best done at a dealership, involving multiple oil changes and removing the intake to remove all the water.

14. A Fuel Pump Failure

A faulty fuel pump is a rare issue that can prevent the PWC engine from starting. If the engine cranks, has spark, but doesn’t prime / deliver fuel to the injectors, it’s likely a bad fuel pump.

A non-functioning gas gauge can also indicate a failing fuel pump.

Replacing the fuel pump, located in the gas tank, is a hazardous repair and should be performed by a dealership!!! (it’s also very messy and cramped, too)

15. You Got A Broken Safety Lanyard – It’s Not Attached

All jet skis have a safety lanyard kill switch (Sea-Doo has a key) that shuts off the engine if you fall off. If this lanyard is not on right, or the switch is bad, then the engine will not start. The jet ski will not even turn over and in some cases, the gauges will not light up.

Sea-Doo uses a lanyard key, while Yamaha and Kawasaki have wrist-wrap lanyards. Ensure the lanyard is connected to you and the PWC’s switch for it to power the starter!

It’s recommended you let the dealership repair these lanyard switches, as it’s meant to save lives and needs to be done properly!

16. The Fuel Selector Is Not On / Broken (2-Strokes Only)

2-stroke jet skis with carburetors typically have a fuel selector. Setting it to “off” cuts off all gas, preventing the starting of the jet ski’s engine.

Ensure the fuel selector is in the “ON” or “Reserve” position when starting your 2-stroke PWC.

If the watercraft runs well in “Reserve” but not in the “ON” position, it could indicate deteriorating fuel lines. “Reserve” lines are less used and tend to wear out less quickly.

17. Check The T.O.P.S Switch

The T.O.P.S Switch (Tip Over Protection Switch) detects if the jet ski is upside-down and shuts off the engine for safety, protecting both the engine (and you from the impeller blades!) If TOPS thinks you’re upside-down, it won’t allow you to start your PWC engine.

Older T.O.P.S switches used mercury and would be less reliable. Newer versions are more dependable but can still fail. To diagnose a T.O.P.S Switch, use a diagnostic computer to check for fault codes. Failure is not common, but older models with mercury switches are more prone to issues.

To see where the T.O.P.S Switch is located, go here.

18. Could Be A Bad ECU/ECM

A damaged ECU (Engine Control Unit) / ECM (Engine Control Module) can cause all kinds of problems. These components serve as the “brains” of the jet ski. One bad component inside the ECU can keep the spark plugs from firing and overall keep your jet ski from starting.

If all other troubleshooting methods fail, consider checking the ECU / ECM, though diagnosing them without manufacturer testing equipment is challenging.

Dealerships often replace them with a known good unit to identify issues, but this can cost around $1,000 each and requires dealership programming.

19. Overheating And Cooling Problems

When a watercraft overheats, the computer can shut down the engine for protection. An overheated engine may not restart until it cools down, and alarms should activate to warn you of overheating issues.

Avoid running it out of the water for more than 15 seconds.

Sea-Doo employs a closed-loop cooling system, while Yamaha and Kawasaki use an open-loop system that can become clogged with debris, potentially causing overheating, with warning lights and alarms to alert you.

20. Reset The Throttle Position Sensor

A malfunctioning throttle position sensor is not that common but can prevent the starting of a jet ski engine. Fuel-injected jet skis, including all 4-strokes, have sensors to detect throttle positions. If the throttle is fully engaged, it may enter a “drown mode,” primarily in Sea-Doo models, which disables the fuel injectors for diagnostics.

Incorrectly set / confused throttle sensors can lead to cranking issues. Resetting the throttle position sensor requires connecting the machine to a diagnostic computer.

Additionally, avoid touching the throttle while attempting to get the engine going, as it differs from the practice of giving gas to fire up dirt bikes! (You only old down the start button, don’t touch the throttle when starting a fuel injected jet ski!!!)

21. Worst case = Blown Engine

ACE engine

A blown engine can result in starting problems and poor performance of many watercraft. To check for a blown jet ski engine, use a compression gauge, aiming for greater than 100 PSI with each cylinder within 15% of each other.

Hydrolock, improper fuel-air mixtures, overheating, and various other factors can cause engine damage. While a blown engine can lead to starting and running issues, it’s a relatively rare occurrence for jet skis.

22. Sometimes Damaged Gauges Will Keep The Engine From Cranking

A damaged PWC gauges can prevent the engine from cranking, it can make you think the battery is faulty, cause the gauge not to light up or sound alarms. Gauges and buzzers are crucial for communication with the watercraft.

If both fail to function, it can hinder starting and diagnosing issues, although it’s relatively rare for jet ski gauges to directly prevent it from firing up. Moisture in the gauge is a sign it’s failed or failing.

Bonus: Won’t Start While The Jet Ski Is In Water?

If the engine turns over out of the water but won’t start in the water, the likely culprits are the jet ski battery or starter motor.

Jet skis have a direct drive system, and when in the water, the starter motor and battery must overcome the water’s resistance. If either is faulty or weak, you won’t start because the jet ski’s battery can’t overcome the resistance.

Watercraft Not Willing To Take-Off?

A common related issue is a PWC not wanting to take off or if it does the engine cuts off or the craft shakes like crazy!

If the machine is not wanting to get going, sluggish to get going, or simple cuts out, then it’s most likely you sucked something up. Giving the engine gas, and it shakes and doesn’t want to “catch” is a classic sign that you sucked something up. (That’s called “cavitation”)

You may not realize you suck something up, it usually happens quickly. (It’s important you don’t run your jet ski in too shallow of water!)

You will need to get the machine out of the water and look inside the jet pump for any debris and damage. Something stuck in the jet pump will keep the engine from spinning over, as watercraft use a direct drive system. It can also cause slow starts, especially when the jet ski is in the water.

Avoid Problems In The Future

If you seem to be having all kinds of problems with your watercraft, then it’s a good idea to keep up with the maintenance on it.

I have a guide that breaks down when you should do what at what intervals here.

I know this can be a bit annoying, but you have a high-performance machine, even if it’s a low-end model. Things wear out, nature destroys it, and your friends that ride it for free are not gentle.

If you want a long life out of the craft, you need to take care of it, and you’ll avoid a lot of the issues you run into in this post!

Author

Steven

I started working at a power sports dealership in 2007, I worked in parts, service counter, and as a technician before moving to sales in 2013. I created StevenInSales.com in 2014 to answer common watercraft questions I would get from people. Now managing the site full-time, I continue to provide advice and web tools for my readers about watercraft. I've owned several watercraft, with a Sea-Doo Spark as my current main PWC.

Comments

  1. Have a 2002 gtx 4 stroke sucked a rope a round shaft got it out ran ski seemed ok next time out it would not completely turn over. Mechanic replace starter same problem. Mentioned could be the starter reducer ,not sure what that is and can’t find any info on it he is not interested in repairing. Any ideas.

    Reply
    • I’ve never heard of it put as a “starter reducer”? If I had to guess, he’s probably talking about the gears that are used to crank the engine that the start motor connects to. When you press the start button, does it make a whirling sound?

      Reply
  2. I have a 2007 SeaDoo 215 SRX that won’t crank. Battery is good and starter solenoid is good, Fuses are all good and relay where the 30 amp fuses are located is new. When the lanyard is attached the dash, instrumentation powers up and beeps and the fuel pump runs. When the start button is pushed the fuel pump cycles but nothing else happens, no click from the starter solenoid. There is 12.4 volts on the small wire to the starter solenoid and the engine will crank if the large posts on the solenoid are jumpered. Does the start button complete a ground circuit to energize the solenoid? What are your suggestions to do next? Thanks.

    Reply
    • If the engine cranks if you jump the main contacts, I would replace the starter relay. It could be so bad that the contacts have welded itself open and that is why you hear no clicks. I would also check to see if you get power to the starter motor when the start button is pressed, this will confirm the starter relay or wires to the starter are good or bad. I’ve also seen bad ground wires on the engine block, usually three little black wires get corroded and cause odd starting issues.

      Reply
      • hi steven,, starter selenoid is new, i already cleanned the ground contacts on the block. i will check to see if starter is getting power when i push start, if its is, andni still get the same winding noise… where/what is my next diagnostic?

        Reply
        • I would double check the battery, Sea-Doo’s can be picky about the battery. Then I would check the key and DESS post as they can wear out. Try it with another key or replace the DESS post. If you have a strong magnet, you can put it near the DESS post and it should scream wrong key. It’s not uncommon for the keys to fail over time, you may need a new key if the DESS post screams wrong key when a magnet is near it. If that doesn’t work, then it could be an ECM problem.

          Reply
  3. Hi, I have a 2005/2006 rxp, i had to get new dess keys made, ecu updated, and rebuilt supercharger. the dash broke long ago and it has always worked fine without it hooked up. i was fishing the other day and while trolling the motor just died. when i try and start it the shaft to the jet spins and i just get a strange semi high pitch humming noise….. oil smells like gas a little bit… no idea what could be wromg

    Reply
  4. Hello. I have a 2006 gtx limited seadoo. It gave me a sensor code one day, I constantly had to adjust the lanyard to get it in the proper spot to start but today it wouldn’t turn over. When I put the key in the screen loads fine but it makes a clicking noise and starts to buzz around the battery. It’s been beeping 3 times and not starting but runs great and haven’t had any issues. This seems like a battery issue because I’ve been riding it top speed past week. Can someone help I want to fix myself girl power!

    Reply
    • The sensor warning on the screen was it telling you the depth finder can’t read the depth, it’s normal. Multiple buzzing would be a bad battery, replacing it should resolve the issue. You’ll need an ETX30L battery.

      Replacing your battery is similar to this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRk7FDFd1Hw
      The biggest difference is that you don’t have the full plastic cage, but it’s the same sockets needed to remove.

      Reply
  5. Hi Steven, I have a 2007 SeaDoo gti se 4-Tec, last year it was almost sank (water comes in when running), so I changed oil and ran it, then all of a sudden I got a check engine light on and it stopped running. When I got it back I was checking spark plugs and it just stopped doing anything. No more beeps plugging in the key, won’t try and start. I’ve checked fuses, I can jump the starter relay and it turns over. The dash turns on when you plug in the key and shows the “SeaDoo” and that’s it on the screen. Any suggestions? I have a second one that runs, could I swap ECM’s and keys as a check to see if the ECM got fried?

    Reply
    • It could be many things, especially since it took on water. I would get it hooked up to BUDs software at the nearest Sea-Doo repair shop and go from there. Messing with the ECM and gauge will require BUDs to update them. I wouldn’t swap the ECM around until you know what fired the last one, or you’ll end up with two dead ECMs, and they’re not cheap.

      Reply
  6. I have a 2008 gtx 215 that will not start. I have gone through all the “KISS” steps and have 12 vlts all the way to the starter but it doesn’t do anything nor make a sound. I tried to jump across the starter relay but it also was a no go to try get the starter to do anything! I’m at the conclusion that the starter locked up and I hope to replace it. Does my conclusion on what is the problem go along with what you believe is the problem? Your advice is greatly appreciated!!! Thanks for any advice you ❤️ have for me!!

    Reply
    • If you got 12v at the starter, then most likely it’s a bad starter motor. It could be hydrolocked if it’s been sunk or water got in the engine, that would keep it from turning over. Also, something stuck in the pump would keep it from moving. But those would give a slight clunk of some kind, dead silence would be a bad stater motor.

      Reply
    • It’s unlikely a super charger will keep a jet ski from starting, but it is possible. The super charger would have to blow and damage the engine to keep a jet ski from starting. That would be a pretty serious situation, I would check the battery first before doing anything else, as the battery going bad is the most common reason for a jet ski to not fire up.

      Reply
  7. Have 2004 Polaris Virage. Daughter was riding, everything was working great then, ski cut out all of a sudden on her. She immediately thought it ran out of gas, since it shut off so abruptly. Got gas, went to start it & the battery was drained, wouldnt even try to turn over. Got a jump, started up & rode it maybe 200 yard’s & shut off on her again. Have pulled battery, to charge & might get a new battery but, did clean terminal’s & check connection’s, all were tight & cleaned. Going to check fuse’s too, anything else I should check while in there?

    Reply
  8. Hello Steve.
    I have a 2001 Yamaha GP 1200r I purchased last summer. Running hours are around 140. It runs like a bat out of hell. It sat all winter covered. When it sits for about 3 days it’s hard starting. So I went to it ready for this summer. Put a new battery in it turns over but won’t fire. I checked plugs, fule filter and all things necessary. Bleave me I have read all of the threads on this modle. After checking out everything. I frickin light came on in my brain. One of the simplest things. I un screwed the gas cap. It fired right up. So this is one thing that I think has never been mentioned on other threads of this hard starting problem. It vaper lock. This simple trick saved me a lot of money and should be passed down to everyone having this same problem with hard starting. It still runs like a charm. Thanks.

    Reply
  9. Hi Steven,
    What I thought would be an easy fix is turning into not so easy at all. I’ve got a 15 seadoo spark. It turns over but doesn’t run. I replaced the spark plugs, battery, fuel and a small list of other things. I’m getting spark, pulled the injectors and they are working fine. I got candoo pro and it said the tps was bad. Replaced the tps and cleared the code. Still nothing. I’m getting 11.9v while cranking and 12v under no load. I pulled the injectors and plugs tonight to let them air out in case I flooded it trying to start. It cranks strong but just won’t run, or even sputter. I’m at a loss, the dealer is a month out after I drop it off. I was hoping to run it this summer.

    Reply
    • This is a tough one. I would check compression before going forward, then check all the fuses and relays. Take the fuse box out and make sure nothing the fuses plug in to is loose. Make sure the oil is good and not milky, either. The fuel filter located on the fuel pump can get clogged, but if you’re getting fuel at the injectors, then it should be fine. Make sure you’re NOT touching the throttle when starting as doing so puts the Sea-Doo in drown mode which is exactly what you’re experiencing. The throttle lever could be bad, maybe it’s thinking you’re holding it in and that is why it’s not firing up. Worse case, it could be a bad ECU, but check the wires going to it to make sure they’re not loose or broken.

      Reply
  10. Hey Steven – Jut came across your site, and hoping you can give direction. I have a 2018 Seadoo GTX 300, about 50 hours on it. After launching it successfully this year, I tried to star it and got no lights, beeps or or clicks. I replaced the battery (even though the original was still testing as ok) checked all the fuses, and Jumped starter solenoid with a screwdriver – it sparked but nothing happened. All other connections look solid. When I remove the lanyard, and hit the start/stop switch, nothing happens on the display. Appreciate any guidance you can provide!

    Reply
    • With the key off, tap the start button once. If the gauges don’t come alive then the Sea-Doo is not getting any power. I would start by looking at fuses to make sure none are burned out along with the 30 amp relay (should look like this… https://www.ebay.com/p/1851237250) Make sure to disconnect the battery before doing this. If the gauges do come alive it could be a bad key or DESS post.

      Reply
      • Hey Steven.
        I have a 2005 seadoo gtx 155. We have been having issues with it starting. We have to push the start button several times before it will finally crank over. We checked the solenoid and it seems ok. We changed the spark plugs too. Rode it this weekend and it did the usual, where we have to push it several times for it to start. Went to pull it out of the water today and it wouldn’t start. It sounded like it wanted to, but it wouldn’t fully crank over. Anyways, took the key off the post and this blowing noise started from the engine. We went to disconnect the battery to make the blowing noise stop, and the connections sparked and the jet ski tried to start on its own, Without the key on the post and without us pushing the start button! Anytime we touched the connections on the battery, the jet ski would make noises like it was trying to fire up and start. Again, the key was disconnected and we werent pushing the start button. So we disconnected the battery and left it at the dock. Any idea? Thanks!

        Reply
        • The first part sounds like a bad starter relay, but that second part is a really crazy one. The Sea-Doo won’t start unless the key is on unless the starter relay was jumped, the engine will turn over but not fire. I would start with getting a new starter relay first and then a new battery, even if they look fine, replace them. It almost sounds like the starter relay failed in the closed position or something is jumping the connection or the computer has fried.

          Reply
  11. I have sea doo wake 155. I replace the battery last year and this year when I put it in, the motor would turn over but not enough to start. I took out battery to charge and once I put battery back in, it cranked right up but after a short drive I turned it off and it didn’t have enough power to start it back. Jump box worked to crank it up but after taking battery out and testing it, it’s showing 13.3 on voltage meter but motor will turn over but not strong enough to crank it. Anyone have any idea?

    Reply
    • It sounds like the battery is bad. Never go off the voltage as it can lie, you need to know amps and the only way to do that is with a load tester. You can take the battery to any autoparts store and many of them will load test a battery for free.

      Reply
  12. Coming out of winterizartion, my Sea Doo 2007 GTX 155 will turn over, but will not run. Battery is fully charged. What do look at first?

    Reply
        • That’s a fuel pump shorted to ground fault code. What’s interesting to me is that I would get that code when opening new Sea-Doo GTI SE 155’s out of the crate back in 2007, and the only solution was replacing the fuel pump. Something about that batch of fuel pumps went bad when you put the key on when there was no gas in them. Swapping out with a new fuel pump always fixed it. I would check for any blown fuses first just to confirm, and if none are blown, you may need a new fuel pump.

          Reply
      • Hi Steven, could you please help?
        I have tried to start my yamaha waverunner 700 after winter first time and after one click it wont turn over,and red cable to starter gets really hot. Wot can it be? I have new battery and spark plugs too
        Thank you

        Reply
  13. I have a 2007 Sea Doo Wake 215 that was just on the water for the first couple of times after storage (garage). I got it to the ramp and rode for about 10 minutes to my home. It ran amazing. Once i started it back up, i got codes P0351, P0352, P0353 & check engine light. I stopped the engine and tried to start it again, but now it wont start. It cranks over for about 1 second then dies and throws the codes. It was just serviced at the end of last season with plugs, filters, oil.

    Any Ideas?

    Reply
    • It sounds like the Ignition coils are not tight or all 3 have gone out. Since it was serviced recently, I’m thinking the guy who did it did not fully seat the coils in place.

      Reply
      • As an update, I changed the ignition coils, spark plugs, new battery, cleaned off wires and any corrosion with wire brush, replaced some fuses, replaced rectifier… all with no avail. Still kept getting the same codes. The ski only has 27 hours on it… it will start up great when cold and run awesome. U til you turn it off and try to start back up.. it will start throwing the codes once you do. Ended up taking it to a local shop and they did the water test, got it to throw the codes, took it back and replaced the ski ECU with a known good ECU, and the codes supposedly went away. Now I’m waiting on my new ECU to come in. Hoping this is the final fix. I’m >$2K in on this thing. Extremely frustrating! Hope this helps others out! Start with the simple things first. Corrosion, battery voltage, fuses, spark plugs, rectifier, coils. Probably in that order. If that’s not it, check your wiring harness… it may be that or a bad ECU. Apparently these things tend to go out quite frequently. :/

        Reply
  14. Hi Steven
    I have a 2015 Seadoo GTX 260
    Ran it out of fuel now when i try to start it, it turns over a couple of times then comes up with “Limp home mode” and wont start.
    Any ideas? Cheers

    Reply
  15. Hi have a 2009 rxt 255. Was running fine, topped oil up then nex day was running ok, for about an hour. Turned off to get kids on and would not start. All lights and noises normal.

    Checked dipstick and oil levels are overfilled. Advice please on what to do.

    Reply
    • It seems you may have put too much oil in it. There is no need to top up the oil on a 4-stroke, you change it when you do a service. It was the old 2-strokes that needed the oil top up and added from time to time. If your 4-stroke is low on oil then something is leaking the oil or it’s burning the oil which is not good.

      Reply
  16. Hi Steven

    I have 2021 FX HO. The first 45 hours the ski has started fine. It has been serviced at 10, 38 and 53 hours.

    Since 45 hours I have had this intermittent start issue, now 6 times. The issue is a single click. I have now noticed a pattern on when this occurs.

    For the most part it occurs after sustained period of hard riding. But it may start between 5-10 and 15-20 times without issue before the single click on the rsix times it has now happened.

    Each time I have taken to the Yamaha dealer, to look at and they never find anything. They put it on the diagnostic system and check everything. I replaced the battery, even bought a new relay Solenoid, but they said the old one was fine. Every time they load test the battery check terminals etc, etc. Battery is not the issue or connections are not the issue.

    In 3 of the times I have had the issue, after being towed back to the boat ramp, it starts on the trailer or when I get home and can luckily flush out as most riding is in salt water, although the issue has happened twice at the lake.
    I am about to take into the dealership for the 6th time. I have read multiple threads. The only thing I can now think of is that the issue is some deep embedded fault in the ECU or other electronics. The ski is still under warranty and only 9 months old.
    The problem I have is very frustrating as I can’t go on rides with confidence given the ski might not start.
    I have a 2018 FX SVHO which has never had a starting issue. I look after my skis and service more than regularly.

    I am inclined to say to Yamaha to take it back and replace as it’s a dud.

    Any thoughts?
    Thanks Bryan

    Any further thoughts on wh

    The issue

    Reply
    • This is a tough one. The only thing I would add is to try is a different dealer just to get a new set of fresh eyes on it. I would also consider looking at the safety lanyard too as I know some 2021 Yamaha’s had some kind of issue with water getting in them and corroding connections.

      Reply
  17. hey – so i have a 2017 GTI SE. it often won’t start. no clicks. nothing. if i remove the battery and put it back in, this typically fixes the problem and it starts right up. usually can start and stop it fine after that until it sits again for a week or two.

    battery is for sure fine. i swapped it with one in our other GTI, which always starts fine and the problem stuck with the jet ski.

    also replaced the starter relay fuse – big black fuse inside the fusebox. no change. and i checked all the other fuses and cleaned them. all seem fine…..

    seems like it must be a short in the wiring perhaps? do i just start checking continuity and replacing wiring…?

    thx in advance for any thoughts….

    geoff

    Reply
    • If you’re chasing something like this you need to see what fault codes the Sea-Doo is throwing before going forward as this is quite strange. Only a dealership or repair shop can read these codes. I’m wondering if it’s an ECM problem as that is super odd.

      Reply
  18. Excellent guides and comment. Have a Yamaha FXSHO 2008, with very few hours, but suddenly one click and starter did not turn over. Multiple (up to 10), start button presses and the pwc started. Battery new, so not problem. I have the 700p service manual, so did the test on incomming current (from Battery) to the solenoid 12,6V ( grey taped) = OK. Then tested the old solenoid according to the servicemanual, by taking it out (Found a very good guide how to take out the solenoid (see below’)). NOTE test indicted the solenoid was OK! But I read this article and felt convinced so went and swapped to a new one in spite of the old one apparently working… Now All working perfect with new solenoid!! Lesson learned not allways trust manual… disasembly video below.

    Reply
  19. I have a 2006 Sea Doo RTX 4-tec super charged. it has been a great machine. recently we have had a problem with starting. after 1 use in the water we will tie it to a buoy and it may sit for an hour, we will try starting it to ride again. we place the fob on the starter and it chirps as normal. it cranks over just fine but will not fire. we have replaced the battery twice and this did not help.

    we will take it out of the water and let it sit overnight. the next day it will start just fine. we will ride it once for any length of time but when we turn it off and don’t ride for an hour and go try it again, it will crank over just fine but will not start.

    Reply
    • I had a similar Sea-Doo give me the exact same problem before and it turned out to be a bad fuel injector. The fuel injector would leak slowly and flood the engine and keep it from cracking.

      Reply
      • Hi Steven I just obtained an 02 seadoo gtile. Got brand new battery but it just turns over one time really weak then clicks repeatedly will turn over again really weak then foloweed by the clicking again and so forth I have jumped relay same exact thing happens any thoughts? Thanks again for any help

        Reply
        • Either the battery is weak or something is keeping the engine from spinning. Something in the pump or a jet ski that old some parts could be corroded shut. A start motor being bad is not out of the question either.

          Reply
  20. I have a 2010 Sea Doo GTI 130 it will start but it revs extremely high and it won’t go forward or back was thinking something could be stuck in it but not sure. Any ideas?

    Reply
  21. I have a 2016 Sea-Doo GTX and when I put the key on the port I’m not getting any display and the ski doesn’t start. This happened when out on the water after running just fine. I’ve load tested the battery and it’s good, changed any fuses that seemed blown and still nothing. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • Make sure you press the start button once to wake the gauges up before putting the key on the Sea-Doo. If you still have the issue then you’ll more than likely need a new key.

      Reply
  22. Hey Steven…I just stumbled on your site looking to find an answer and super glad I did. There is a ton of information here.

    I have a 2007 Honda Aquatrax that I can’t get running. I took it out to “unwinterize” it and it ran great for 10-15 min. I stopped for a minute to rest and it wouldn’t start back up. I put the kill switch on and it beeps twice and the screen flashes and goes off. It will continue to beep twice every couple seconds and the screen flashes on and off, but nothing happens after. The start button does nothing when this happens. The battery is virtually brand new and I checked the charge and it shows fully charged. Any ideas???

    Reply
  23. Hi i have a wave runner and when i push the start button it clicks and then when i let go of the button it clicks. The lights and the gauges on the dash screen doesn’t come on. I got the battery tested twice and both times they said the battery is good. What do you think the problem could be?

    Reply
    • One-click would mean the starter relay is bad. As for the gauges, it could be many things. If the jet ski is old enough it could be a bad gauge or as simple as the battery connections are dirty and have corrosion. It could also be a blown fuse.

      Reply
    • Had the same thing happen to my seadoo, changed the solenoid, battery and still the same thing. Turned out it was a bad connection in the fuze box. Try pulling them one a a time and see if any rust or dirt is causing the bad connection. Oh and also use wd40 to help waterproof the fuze box.

      Reply
  24. I have a 2010 Yamaha fx ho which I fish off of.
    I always charge the battery when not in use and it fires up first go all the time.
    My issue is when I’m out fishing, stop at one spot then move to a new spot, shut the ski off, fish for a bit, then when I go to start it, the ski just won’t fire up- it sometimes takes 4-5 goes before it will actually kick over.
    I’ve been told that this could moisture in the exhaust from stopping and starting.
    Is this a thing ?
    Does anyone know how to stop this from happening ?

    Reply
    • If you’re pressing the start button multiple times before it starts then it might be a bad starter relay. I would start with the starter relay before doing anything else.

      Reply
  25. I have two 2012 gtx 155, one of them coming out of weatherization started fine, but when we went to the lake it wouldn’t start. The display doesn’t come on, and all I hear is one click. The fuses are good, and I believe the battery is ok. Any ideas on what it might be. Any help would be appreciated.
    Bryan

    Reply
      • So I replaced the starter solenoid, and used the battery out of the other ski that starts fine. Still nothing. And when I bypass the solenoid with a screw driver it cranks over. I even used the key on the good ski, no problems. Just not sure. Any other idea’s?

        Reply
        • Sounds like the low voltage side of the starter relay is bad. I would check the fuses and if that doesn’t work you have something else going on and will need to take it to a repair shop to read the fault codes.

          Reply
  26. Steve Thanks for the website it’s a great resource. I have a 2003 Seadoo Bombardier GTI, starts up and runs great for about a 45 minutes, then begins to stall. Typically gives a hard time restarting, but will restart and run for a few minutes before stalling again. Allows me to get it back to the dock and hoist it out of the water to flush it out and runs fine while flushing. Usually drop it back in the next day and same process happens again. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Start with spark plugs and then look into replacing the fuel lines and fuel selector. If it’s been sitting for a while the carb might need to be cleaned too.

      Reply
  27. Hello Steven, I sure do appreciate all of your shared knowledge. I have a 2002 SEADOO GTI LE (2 stroke of course) started up and worked great for a few hours, then on one trip the driver told me he hit a big wave and the unit just shut off, almost like the key was pulled off, now the seadoo won’t start… We get two beeps on plugging in the key, the starter turns over the engine, like its trying to start, but never does. Checked the plugs and there is spark, lots of gas and oil in the unit… It seems so strange that it just quit, almost sounds electrical in nature but i’m baffled by it. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • Try a new battery or maybe something is stuck in the pump keeping the engine from spinning. It’s also 18 years old so I would not be shocked if the starter motor has gone out. Those are the only thing that sticks out to me for that model.

      Reply
  28. Howdy!
    I’m vacationing in the Florida Keys with our twin 2020 GTX Limited. We have been using them without issue but left them in the water well secured this week. No bouncing around or hitting anything, but did have heavy wind. We went to use them today and both are not starting. Key registers, dash comes on, but continuously turns over. Any ideas how we can troubleshoot? We already had the batteries replaced about 6 months ago, and both are well charged.

    Reply
    • This doesn’t sound like a battery or starter relay issue as it turns over. It sounds like a spark plug or ignition problem. It could also be a bad gas problem too.

      Reply
  29. HI Steven, our 2001 Sea Doo GTI stopped running last week. First time we had it out this year. My son thought it was a Low Oil Pressure Shutoff to protect the engine. Cannot find anything listed saying this is a feature. I did fill the oil & the engine turns over great, but will not fire. If the Starter relay was bad, would the engine turn over? Any other helpful hints to check?

    Reply
    • If the engine turns over the starter relay is fine. Since it’s a 2-stroke I would start by replacing the spark plugs first.

      Reply
  30. I have a 2007 and 2008 Seadoo GTI 155. Both have similar hours right around 70. So after storing them for winter this year we were going to take them out a few weeks ago. We had the batteries stored in our basement on a shelf. Put them in and went to fire them up. The 2008 fired right up and was ready to go. But the 2007 when putting the key on the DESS post the screen came on for a short period, but there were no beeps at all. Then I tried starting it thinking maybe the beeper wasn’t working. Nothing at all. So I switched the battery out of the one that was working thinking maybe it was just the battery. Again the same exact thing. So it wasn’t the battery. Did some research and wasn’t really a whole lot about the topic on that model year. I found some stuff that suggested that it was possibly the DESS post was bad and I would need a new one. So I wired up the new DESS post. Same exact thing. When the key is put on you can here like a pump is turned on or something and the screen comes on for like 5 seconds and then goes off. Nothing else comes of it. I put my key from the 2008 on it to see what it would do and it has the same result as what happens with the correct key.

    Any ideas would be much appreciated thanks!!

    Reply
      • So would the best bet be taking it to a dealership and seeing what computer system has gone bad? Because the computer systems are very expensive? or is there a way to diagnose it by my self.

        Reply
        • The best thing you can do is take it to the repair shop and let them hook it up to BUDs to see what is wrong. It could be something simple like a terminal is loose or as bad as the ECM is bad.

          Reply
  31. I have a 2001 xlt 1200 yamaha waverunner. When i hit the start button it makes a lound horn like sound and i can feel vibration under the black yamaha cover. Any idea what it could be, sounds like starter isn’t engaging but not sure. have a video of it on my phone

    Reply
    • That’s a new one, I never heard a jet ski make a horn-like sound. The thing that comes to mind is the starter motor jammed or something in the pump is jammed.

      Reply
  32. Hello Steve

    I have a 2008 Kawasaki 15F and my frustration is that when the ski is cold it starts right up, runs a little ruff until it warms up then runs great. When i come back in and try to restart the ski it will not start until it cools down? I have changed the battery, I also change the plugs every year. Last year i even change both coils because i thought maybe they went back. I would appreciate any advise.

    Reply
    • I would check the fuel injectors. I had a jet ski that did something very similar to this and it was because of the fuel injectors and bad gas.

      Reply
  33. Hi Steve, I’ve got a Yamaha vxr 2012. Battery had plenty of charge but when we tried to start it there was a faint electrical buzz but did not try to kick over at all. Tried pressing the start button multiple times but same thing happened. It eventually kicked and started. I switched it off after about 5 minutes out on the water for about 2min then tried starting it again and it wouldn’t start. Took the seat off and wiggles the cords and it eventually started again. It ran fine for another 2hrs then after we got it out of the water to clean it out with fresh water it wouldn’t start again. Checked the battery and it was still fine… is that likely the start relay or another electrical issue?

    Reply
  34. Hi Steven, we bought a 2005 seadoo Gtx 155 last summer. Had a blast at the lake all year. We got it winterized end of the season, and it’s been stored in the garage. We are taking it back to the lake next week. What do u recommend for maintenance each year? Should I go ahead and get the oil changed and new spark plugs each season before I take it out? And is winterizing at my dealer all I need to do at the end of each summer? Thanks!

    Reply
    • What I do is get my jet ski winterized with oil change every year, I only do this because things are cheaper in the winter and I don’t need it then. Then when the season starts I put some fresh gas in the tank and change the spark plugs. If you didn’t have the battery on charge during the winter I charge the battery or get a new one. If you didn’t change the oil in the winter I would go ahead and do it before you ride. An oil change once a year and new spark plugs every year is a must and if it gets below freezing where you live you need to winterize it every year too.

      Reply
      • Thank you. They winterized it, but did not change the oil, so I will do that now. Also we are going to get the solar charger you recommended because we did not put it on charge all winter. Hopefully it will not be dead for good. It was a new battery last year. The solar charger u recommend comes with a cigarette lighter plug… I assume u don’t use that? And just hook it up to the battery and hang the solar panel off? Also, heard conflicting things about getting it winterized. We filed the gas tank with new gas BEFORE winterizing it. When I too it to the dealer, he said I SHOULDNT have filled the tank, and instead left it pretty low.. your suggestion? Is my full tank going to need to be siphoned out now? 🙁

        Reply
        • You connect the 5-watt solar charger directly to the battery. These solar chargers often come with clips that you connect to the terminals of the battery. Leave the solar panel somewhere that the sun can get to it. If the battery is already dead the solar charger might not charge it up enough, it’s more to maintain the battery. You’ll need to get a 12-volt smart charger rated below 2 amps if the jet ski won’t start or the battery is weak. If the smart charger doesn’t charge the battery then you’ll need a new battery. I leave all my jet skis with 1/4 of gas for the winter, never fill it up and let it sit. Gas goes bad over time. Then when the season starts I fill the tank with fresh gas. If you stored the gas without STA-BIL in the tank the gas might not be good. The high-HP jet skis can get picky about their gas, if it’s slightly bad check engine lights go off. I would have the dealer check the gas and if it need be taken it out.

          Reply
          • Thanks for the quick replies! Ok, last questions.. if we store the seadoo in a garage all winter, it wouldn’t get any sun, so how often should we hook it up to the smart charger in the winter, and how long to leave it on each time? When they winterized it, they did put stabil in the gas, so perhaps it will be ok? Would stink to lose a whole tank of gas. And finally, is the starter relay an expensive fix? Ours may be going bad bc we have to push it a few times sometimes for the engine to fully turn over. We have noticed the DEES key has to be put on the post just right also.

          • In your case, I would take the batteries out of the jet ski and put them somewhere off the ground in your garage. Then a few days before you get you jet skis ready for the season charge the batteries with a smart charger. If you got STA-BIL in the gas when it was winterized you should be fine. Replacing the starter relay can easy on some models and hard on others. From what you describe it sounds like you need a new starter relay. Just make sure the battery is disconnected and out of the jet ski before you replace it. This is for safety and often it’s so much easier to replace the starter relay with the battery out of the way.

  35. Hi Steven, great article! So…. here’s my situation… 1997 Seadoo GTI. Bought it a few weeks ago, all service performed by local mechanic. Local mechanic gave advice to crank it up out of water and warm it up prior to placing it in the water after I called him and advised him it wouldn’t crank in the water. I took his advice and it ran for a while; however, it just completely shut off on me a few times while riding as if I detached the cap key from the Seadoo. I checked the key but it was still attached. I held the start/stop button down for a moment several times without it doing anything and it finally cranked back up and made it back to the dock. Later, I checked to see if the Seadoo would crank while on the trailer and now there is no beep when I place the key on, the gas gauge turns on and the red light turns on quickly and both go off. During that quick moment I am pressing the start/ stop button but there is no clicking or anything in the engine. I checked ALL fuses, I checked the battery voltage and am good on that. I placed a screwdriver across the starter relay solenoid bolts without the key on the Seadoo and it sparked and sounded like it was going to crank. Starter Solenoid relay ? If it is the Starter Solenoid Relay would that also have an affect on the beeper? Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    • I’ve seen the start buttons on those models go bad or the key or DESS post. It sounds more like the DESS or Key is bad but a 23-year-old jet ski is bound to have a handful of problems so fixing the start button would be worth it too.

      Reply
  36. Hi Steven, 
    I read your article it’s great. Thank you for all of your advice here. 
    I made a post yesterday here; however, I’m not able to see it. That is why I am writing this post for the second time. 
    I bought the Seadoo Spark 2014 last year around August with a bit broken(cracked) hull that I fixed without any problems. 
    When I bought the jet ski I tried to turn on the engine; however, I was not able to start the engine and I thought that probably the battery is weak or I need to replace the spark plugs. ( I heard the sound that engine is trying to start)
    Now when I have a bit more time I try to turn on the engine; however, I’m not able to and I don’t hear anything except one click. 
    I replaced the starter relay. 
    I replaced the starter solenoid 
    I’ve checked the battery and it is good( I’ve checked the battery for load in Auto Zone)
    I’ve checked the starter (It’s working great)
    I’ve also checked all of the cables from battery to starter solenoid and from the starter solenoid to the starter. 
    All of the fuses are good. 
    When I replaced the spark plugs I noticed that they are rusty, and that rust is on the top of the pistons. I wonder if it is possible that pistons got stuck?
    What is your opinion on what can cause that engine this problem?

    I didn’t winterize the engine because I have no idea that I should do this. I don’t know if this is important, but I live in a place where winter is warm and I parked Jet Ski in the garage all the time. 

    Could you please give me any suggestions on what I can check before I will go to the dealer?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • A hole in the bottom of the jet ski and rust in the cylinders is not a good thing. It sounds like the Spark sunk and the engine took on water and made it hydrolocked. This is not a good sign, I suggest taking it to the nearest repair shop.

      Reply
      • The hull was broken outside the water. The engine is completely clean and looks like new and the hull inside looks like new is very clean. I don’t see any signs of water inside the hull, so I do believe that the damage was done outside the water. 

        Reply
        • Something is not right as spark plugs should not rust. The person who sold you it could have cleaned it up. Something is not right and will need a repair shop to tear apart the engine to see what is going on.

          Reply
  37. Hey – 2006 STX 15F owner – bought it used and it ran great for 3 hours
    3rd trip out it will crank hard but not start
    Smart trickle charged the battery and it was at 13v
    Check that fuel was geting to the rail
    Engine cranks hard but never fires

    ideas?

    Reply
  38. Ok, so my 91 Kawasaki TS has a very similar issue! When you go to start it and all it does it click, keep holding the start button. I did this for roughly 10 seconds and when i hit the starter button again, it actually turned the motor over. I know, weird….but try that and let me know how that goes.

    Reply
    • Sounds like you need either a new battery or a starter relay. If it’s multiple clicks you need a new battery, one single click then you need a new starter relay.

      Reply
  39. Hello Dear,

    I have Yamaha Ex model Jetski. It unable to start, so after charging it got dry start. But in water it unable to start again. It happens twice the same. So I changed battery to 12v 18 amh (as 19 amh not available in market). Now engine not starting, only there’s tick sounds. Voltage showing greater than 12. What could be the reason please. Is there anything serious.

    Reply
    • Sounds like you need a new battery, the one you have has gone bad. Even if the battery charger says it charges fine it still sounds like you need a new battery.

      Reply
  40. Hi Steven!

    I have a 2004 Seadoo GTX 155 4tec 160hour.
    When the engine is cold starts fine (on the trailer and also in the water).
    After riding when the engine is warm it takes a lot of cranking to get it started.
    Does my starter stop cranking (slow) after a few seconds (like it’s a feature to save the battery), then I have to press start again and go through this 3-4 times before it fires up. Once it starts it runs fine, and always starts right up when cold. Thank’s! Leslie

    Reply
    • This is a super odd one. It’s either fuel or a compression problem. This is one of the times I’ll say you need to take it in so someone can get their hands on it and figure it out. I’ve never run into this problem before.

      Reply
  41. Have a 2011 yamaha vxr. Started up once (no problem), let it ran for 15 seconds, started up twice (no problem), ran 15 seconds, then 3rd time it clicked and the green security light came on, it didn’t start. I let it rest for 30 minutes and it just the green security light came on.

    Reply
  42. Hi Steve, i have a 1991 Kawasaki 650TS and am having starting issues. I replaced the battery, starter solenoid and starter with no change!?!?!! When i hit the starter button it cranks super slow for a few seconds then all i hear is the solenoid clicking. I can start it with a battery charger on 10 amps and after its warm it will start back up almost every time!! Also getting over 12.4v when it runs, can you suggest anything else to try?

    Reply
    • If you can start it with the extra help of the battery charger then that tells me the battery is not good even if it’s new. The battery charger is supplying enough power to make up for the weak battery and that is why it’s starting. Also, if it’s only at 12.4 volts when running it tells me the rectifier or something in your charging system is not working. It should be hovering higher between 13.5 to 14.5 volts. Also, don’t forget to clean the connecting battery wires as they often develop corrosion over time. When you do get another battery make sure to charge it completely with a smart battery charger.

      Reply
  43. Hey steve,
    I’m 16 years old and my grandfather owns a 1999 Seadoo gtx he’s no longer physically able to A) ride and B) work on it. Me just getting my boating license have now decided to turn this into my little project to fix it up, so here’s my problem, I put the key on and only 50% of the time the dash board comes on, and when it does it and I go to start it, it gives a kick and dies out, we tried charging the battery and that didn’t seem help. When we do get it to start it dies when you don’t touch the throttle and you have to take the key out and try again. Do you think I need a new battery? Or could this be something else. Thx in advance

    Reply
  44. Hi Steve
    I njhave a 2005 GTX DI and it was running great. then my son took it out 15 minutes after I had just gone for a ride and it suddenly quit on him. We can start it but now it dies within 5 seconds in idle and quits immediately when moving the throttle. I replaced the spark plugs and checked all electrical connections but no luck. could it be a fuel pump or filter? looks like a monster job to get t out if it is

    Reply
    • Honestly, it could be many things with those DI’s. The DI’s from my experiences always get some type of phantom issue that makes it act odd. The fuel delivery system sounds like your issue and it could be the fuel pump or fuel rails. It’s hard to tell on DI’s but fuel seems to be your issue. It would be best to take it to a repair shop especially one that deals with 2-strokes. Those DI’s are cursed if you ask me.

      Reply
  45. Thanks. Based upon my experience with solenoids and the few PWC local technicians comments, I did not bypass the solenoid during the initial troubleshooting. No traditional clicking sounds, just the whirring noise noted in the earlier post. The whirring noise happens at the initial safety key is inserted on the dash for three or four seconds and then stops and then happens again when the start button is pushed. Just to be sure I decided nothing hurt through bypassing the solenoid and did so and the jet ski turned over fine – starter appears to be okay with that. Is the solenoid the most likely problem or is it possible that there is an issue with the MPEM? Can the MPEM cause the solenoid not to engage? I’m not getting a clicking sound when depressing the starter, only the whirring sound like a small electric or hydraulic motor spinning. It will do so as long as the starter button is depressed. I’m glad to replace the solenoid, cost is low, but I’m stumped by the whirring sound and wonder if there is a problem ahead of the solenoid. I have been unable to find this specific issue in talking with three technicians and looking at on-line postings. Many refer to the clicking of a solenoid as an indicator (which I don’t have happening) but no one has heard of a whirring sound happening under any condition. Any additional thoughts?

    Thanks again for the first response.

    Reply
    • That sound was common in some DI models and early 4-tec engines. It’s the fuel pump and other compoents “priming”. Every time you put the key on or press the start button you’ll hear this humming like sound. I would replace the starter solenoid and then go from there. Make sure the battery is not connected when you replace it.

      Reply
  46. Hi Steven,

    Thanks for your very useful comments on jetski starting. I hop you are able to provide possible direction or confirmation on the issue below.

    2000 Seadoo RXDI

    1. Won’t start. Battery depleted.
    2. New battery installed.
    3. With safety key inserted two short beeps occur. Electrical panel displays with status information.
    4. The first time inserting the safety key with the new battery the double beeps occurred and then there immediately follow a long beep. This happened twice. I couldn’t find a reason for the long beep of which several are listed (wrong lanyard, defective lanyard, safety lanyard in too long without starting or bad MPEM.
    5. An attempt was made a few minutes later and there was no long beep following the initial two short beeps.
    6. With the two beeps and no following long beep, the red start button was pushed and there was a humming sound similar to what a spinning electric motor or the sound a small hydraulic motor might make. Nothing else happened. No clicks or other sounds like I am familiar with on automotive units when a solenoid or battery is weak or bad.
    7. At the next attempt the humming sounded as soon as the double beep was heard with the insertion of the safety key, but without depressing the start button.
    8. The humming sound continued on its own for a few seconds and then stopped.
    9. The red start button was pushed and the humming sound initiated again until the red button was released. The start button checked to verify it was not stuck/sticking in a depressed position. It was not.
    10. Time was taken again to verify battery electrical connections were tight, which they were.
    11. The electrical box opened. What to me seemed a significant amount of water found inside. Water removed and the unit dried out, connections of all location checked and the attempt to start the unit again made with the same result as noted above, i.e. motor hum sounded as soon as the safety key was inserted, then stopped on its own and when the start button pushed the only sound was again the same hum as long as the red button is depressed.

    Despite being a 2000 model it has only 107 hours on it.

    Bad starter motor? Bendix not engaging? Other things I can check? I am told replacement of the starter motor is difficult and expensive due to time.

    Thanks for any thoughts or direction. We don’t have a local dealer or repair so I would appreciate as much direction as possible before traveling to a dealer.

    Jack H.

    Reply
    • I would start with the starter relay and then the starter motor. The starter motor won’t be easy but nothing is easy on any DI models. The honest truth is that any DI Sea-Doo I’ve run into always had some type of phantom electrical problem. You’ll fix one thing but another electrical problem will show up soon. Hopefully its something simple like the starter relay.

      Reply
  47. Hi Steven
    Have 1997 STX1100. When I hit the start button, I can here the starter turning but the engine does not turn over. Replaced battery with new one and a new solenoid. What could be the issue. Thanks Pat

    Reply
  48. Hi Steven amazing articles by the way… I have a pair of 2018 season spark trixx. I was wondering if you can give me some tips on how to clean them after riding. As well as tips you think I should know as well.

    Reply
  49. Hi steve running a 2008 seadoo – ran like dream today for 2hrs then went to restart on the water – nothing no click no thud – new battery 12 months ago and new genuine stater solinnoid- tried other learner key no good – dash instruments come up – but no start click or thud – biggest concern – no likely to get into mech for 2 weeks – so was unable to flush with water on return – salt was very concentrated today – btw disconnected and connected batt – still no good- tony

    Reply
  50. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  51. 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

    Reply
  52. 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?

    Reply
  53. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  54. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  55. 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:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMaB47kS49s
    Thx.

    Reply
  56. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  57. 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

    Reply
  58. 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.

    Reply
  59. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  60. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  61. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  62. 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??

    Reply
  63. 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

    Reply
  64. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  65. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  66. 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 ?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  67. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  68. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  69. 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?

    Reply
  70. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  71. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  72. 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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  73. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  74. 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!!!

    Reply
    • 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?

      Reply
  75. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  76. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  77. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  78. 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 ?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  79. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  80. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  81. 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

    Reply
  82. 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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  83. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  84. 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?

    Reply
  85. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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

        Reply
  86. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
          • 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.

    • 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.

      Reply
  87. 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?

    Reply
  88. 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

    Reply
  89. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  90. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  91. 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..

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  92. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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 ?

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
  93. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  94. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • Do you even get a click? My 2009 VX Cruiser alarm computer is not responding to the fobs. The alarm beep does not sound and if I hit the start I get action on the display but nothing else. Took it in to be reprogrammed, computer can’t connect to the reprogramming key. T.B.C.

      Reply
  95. 2013 Gtx 215 won’t start. Replaced battery, hit start button, can hear the solonoid engage but it gets a half a crank.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  96. 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!

    Reply
  97. 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 ?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  98. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  99. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  100. 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

    Reply
  101. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply

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