Reasons Why Your Jet Ski Won’t Start

It’s time to update this post after answering hundreds of comments from readers and helping them with their jet ski starting problems.

I’ve added more things to try when your jet ski is refusing to start, along with many new tips. It can be frustrating when your jet ski won’t start, but with this new updated guide, it will help you figure out why.

Why Your Jet Ski Won’t Start

A jet ski not starting is most often a dead or weak battery. A bad starter relay can also be another reason for a jet ski not starting.

Usually, when you hear multiple clicks from your jet ski, it’s a bad battery and if it’s one click it’s a bad starter relay.

A bad battery and starter relay are the most common reasons for a jet ski to not start, but here is a list of other things that can cause starting problems that we’ll go over in this post.

  1. Bad or weak battery.
  2. Bad starter relay.
  3. Bad spark plugs.
  4. Bad or wrong key or Locked.
  5. Sucked something up.
  6. Bad starter button.
  7. Bad fuel injectors.
  8. Blown fuses.
  9. Bad ground connections.
  10. Bad gas.
  11. Bad fuel lines if it’s a 2-stroke.
  12. Bad starter motor.
  13. Bad fuel pump.
  14. Hydrolocked.
  15. Broken safety lanyard or not attached.
  16. Fuel selector is not on, 2-strokes only.
  17. TOPS switch is bad.
  18. ECU or ECM is bad.
  19. Overheating/cooling issues.
  20. Throttle position sensor bad.
  21. Blown engine.
  22. Damaged gauge.

1. Bad Or Weak Battery Can Keep A Jet Ski From Starting

The most common reason for a jet ski to not start is a bad or weak battery.

You can tell it’s a bad battery if you press the start button and all you get is multiple clicks coming from the engine compartment. That multiple clicks are the starter relay clicking because the battery doesn’t have enough power to turn the engine over.

If you put the key on and the gauges do not come on, it is another clue that the battery is dead. A completely dead jet ski battery won’t have enough power to turn on the display or make any noises.

Even if the battery seems fine or is brand new, it still can be a bad battery.

The only way to test if a battery is good is to use a load tester. Testing the voltage doesn’t mean anything, you need to test the amps, and only a load tester can do that. You can take the battery to any autoparts store and have them load test it, or buy a load tester (Amazon Link Ad) to keep in your home.

The best jet ski battery and the correct size to get can be found in our “The Best Jet Ski Battery + What Size You Need” post.

A battery being bad at the start of the season is quite common. Batteries go flat if they’re not used for months, so it’s important you keep a battery charger on your jet ski battery in the off-season. The best battery charger and other questions relating to your jet ski batteries is covered in this post.

2. A Bad Starter Relay

The next most common reason why a jet ski won’t start is that the starter relay(solenoid) is bad.

You can tell the starter relay is bad if you only get one click or thud from the engine compartment when you press the start button. The gauges will come on when you try to start, but all you get from the jet ski is one click, that is a sign of a bad starter relay.

The starter relay is a component that takes the lower power coming from the start button and has it control a high-power wire coming from the battery. The high-power side goes directly to the starter motor to turn the engine over.

It’s not uncommon that you need to replace your starter relay for your jet ski at least 2 to 3 times within its lifetime. You can’t predict when your jet ski’s starter solenoid will fail, it’s random, but it will always give a solid thud when it does fail.

Starter relays are not hard to replace for most jet skis, it’s often two mounting bolts, plus two terminal nuts and disconnecting the low power side wires. It can be dangerous replacing the starter relay, so be sure to disconnect the battery fully before doing anything.

3. Bad Spark Plugs

If the jet ski engine turns over but refuses to fire up or 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 or runs very rough.

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

4. Bad key, wrong key or Locked

Customers putting on the wrong key is more common than people realize.

It’s not uncommon for a jet ski owner to get two jet skis and the keys not be programmed alike. The keys look the same, but if you have a Sea-Doo and put the wrong key on the jet ski it won’t start as each key is programmed to each machine. If you own multiple Sea-Doo’s ask your dealership about getting all your keys programmed alike to keep this from happening.

If it’s the right key, there is a chance the key or post could be bad. While rare, I’ve seen a few number of Sea-Doo keys go bad and the only fix is to get a new key. The post where the key plugs into can go bad too, one way to test that is to put a strong magnet up to it and if the Sea-Doo doesn’t beep the wrong key sound then the post is mostly likely bad.

Yamaha waverunners have some models that have key fobs, and you can lock the jet ski like you do your car. If your Yamaha has the key fob or a PIN code access, make sure it’s unlocked before trying to start it.

Yamaha Waverunner Key Fob To Lock and Unlock Jet Ski

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

Kawasaki Keys In Glove Box

5. Sucked Something Up Into Jet Ski Pump

It’s a good idea to check your jet pump for anything inside it like ropes, rocks, sticks or any large item that’s not supposed to be there.

Jet skis are direct drive, this means the jet pump is connected to the engine, there is no transmission. So when you go to start the jet ski, the jet pump will also spin and if something is stuck in the pump, it will keep the engine from starting.

One of the first things you should check when you get the jet ski out of the water for a non-starting problem is the pump. Look from the rear and also safely crawl under the jet ski to look into the pump to make sure nothing is blocking the pump blades from moving.

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

6. Bad Starter Button

A bad starter button can keep a jet ski from starting and was a common problem for 2-stroke jet skis.

The rubber of the start button can wear out and cause it to not work. The plastic start buttons didn’t give much trouble, but the rubber ones do wear out quicker.

If the button is torn, you have to press really hard with your nail, or the button is super faded, then replacing the start button is a good idea.

Do note, the start button of a jet ski is not the same as your car. You must hold the start button down on your jet ski until it’s fully started. Pressing the start button once on a jet ski will not start it, it needs to be held down until the engine gets going.

7. Bad Gas

If the jet ski turns over but won’t fire up or runs rough, and you replaced the spark plugs, then it’s most likely bad gas.

Gas goes bad when you let it sit without adding fuel stabilizer to it. It’s getting even worse with more ethanol is added to gas.

If your jet ski has been sitting for a while, then it’s a good chance the gas is bad and keeping your jet ski from firing up. Safely remove the old gas and add fresh premium gas to your jet ski.

This is why I like to store my jet ski near empty (1 or 2 bars of gas) in the off-season and when the season starts I fill it up with fresh 93 octane gas. Along with new spark plugs, you’ll be starting the season off right.

8. Blown Fuses And Relays

If you get nothing out of your jet ski when you put the key on or press the start button once, then it could be fuses or relays located in the fuse boxes that have gone bad.

Locate the fuse box, often near the battery, and check every fuse. If a fuse is blown you need to replace it.

Don’t forget to check the fuses that may not be in the fuse box, there are often fuses inline coming out the fuse box or near the battery wrapped in a rubber sleeve.

It’s not uncommon for me to see a jet ski blow a fuse because someone hooked the battery up backwards. Other times fuses blow just because, there is no good reason except the fuse was not good. If a fuse keeps blowing, you need to figure out what is blowing it.

There are also small relays, look like a small black box with multiple terminals, that go into the fuse box area. These smaller relays are used to power on the low-power items and get the jet ski into turning on mode. There is no good way to test these relays unless you have an ohm meter, but if you’ve gotten to the point of testing them, it’s just easier to replace them. These little relays are less likely to fail than the main starter relay, but they can fail.

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

9. Bad Ground Connections

If a jet ski is older, corroded ground connections are quite a common problem for starting issues and many other problems.

If you have corrosion around the battery terminal cables, then it’s mostly likely your 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. Bad Starter Motor

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.

If you have a 12-volt test light probe (Amazon Link Ad), you can see if the starter motor is getting power to it. Clamp the negative to the battery or ground and put the probe light on the positive connection of the starter and press the start button. If the probe light turns on when you press start, then you’re getting power to the starter, and the next thing you need to do is remove the starter and bench test it. If you get no light from the probe, then the problem is before the starter.

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 Or Bad Fuel Lines (2-Strokes Only)

If you have a 2-stroke jet ski that has a carburetor, then a super common starting problem is a clogged carburetor or old fuel lines.

If you have a 4-stroke jet ski, then this section is not for you, as all 4-stroke jet skis are fuel injected. You’ll know you’ll have a carbureted jet ski engine if you have a choke cable.

With the rise of ethanol in gas, it’s been doing a number on 2-strokes carburetors and fuel lines.

The solution is to clean the carburetors and replace the fuel lines, and then avoid ethanol gas as much as you can.

12. Bad Fuel Injectors

Not super common, but bad fuel injectors can keep a jet ski from starting.

Bad fuel injectors can also cause “ghost” problems when it comes to starting. If the jet ski will start but not start again after sitting or is rough to get going, it could be the fuel injectors.

I’ve had a jet ski that would start but if you let it sit for a bit it would refuse to start back up. One of the fuel injectors was leaking and dumping gas in, causing the engine to be flooded and refuse to get running.

Messing with fuel injectors is a dangerous repair and should only be done at the dealership.

13. Hydrolocked Jet Ski Engine

A jet ski that is hydrolocked means there is water in the engine, which is not a good thing.

You can get water in the jet ski engine from it sinking, drain plugs left in and flooded by rain water, broken cooling components and more.

A hydrolocked jet ski engine will refuse to start, and trying to start a hydrolocked jet ski can bend piston rods and do further damage. If you flipped your jet ski, follow these steps.

An easy way to test if there is water in your engine is to take the dipstick out and see the color and consistency of the oil. If the oil is runny and looks like chocolate milk, then that is bad. You want the oil to look amber or black and should not be runny.

Another way to see if water is in the engine is to remove the spark plugs and turn the engine over. If you get a geyser of water shooting out the spark plug holes, then there is water in the engine.

Hydrolocked engine is best fixed at the dealership or repair shop, especially if it’s a 4-stroke jet ski. You’re going to need several oil changes and the intake taken off to get all the water out.

14. Bad Fuel Pump

A fuel pump that is bad can keep a jet ski from starting, but fuel pumps going bad are not common and more of a fluke failure.

If the jet ski turns over, you’re getting spark, but the jet ski does not prime or no gas is coming out the fuel injectors it’s mostly a bad fuel pump.

Another way to tell it’s a bad fuel pump is if the gas gauge is not working, as that is a part of the fuel pump.

The fuel pump is located in the gas tank and is a dangerous repair and should only be done at the dealership.

15. Broken Safety Lanyard Or Not Attached

All jet skis have a kill switch called a safety lanyard that attaches to you and the jet ski. So if you fall off the jet ski, the engine will shut off.

Sea-Doo’s safety lanyard is the key, while Yamaha and Kawasaki have dedicated lanyards on the handlebars that wrap around your wrist.

You need to make sure the lanyard is attached to you and connected to the switch on your jet ski, or else it won’t start.

The switches for the safety lanyard can fail, especially if water gets near the contacts.

It’s recommended you let the dealership repair these lanyard switches, as it’s meant to save lives and needs to be done properly. Make sure your waverunner doesn’t have a recall on the kill switches either.

Tip: If your safety lanyard cable is stretched, damage, or broke, you have to replace it. They do not sell the cable/string separately, so you must replace the whole thing, which means for Sea-Doo you need to get a new key.

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

If you have a 2-stroke with a carburetor, you’ll most likely have a fuel selector.

The fuel selector can be moved to off, which shuts off all gas to the engine and can keep it from starting.

Make sure the fuel selector is in the “ON” or “Reserve” position when trying to start your jet ski.

An interesting way to know if your fuel lines are going bad is if the jet ski runs fine in reserve but not while in the “ON” position. People don’t use the reserve much, so the lines don’t wear out as quickly.

17. T.O.P.S Switch Triggered

The T.O.P.S Switch (Tip Over Protection Switch) is a switch that is used to determine if your jet ski is upside down. If the switch thinks you’re upside down it shuts the engine off.

The T.O.P.S Switch is used to protect your engine if you flip it and to protect you from the spinning impeller blades.

The old T.O.P.S Switches were simple mercury switches, and they could get confused about what’s up and wants down. The newer T.O.P.S Switches are more reliable, but can still fail.

If you feel like you’ve tried everything else, this is a good one to try. The only good way to tell if a T.O.P.S Switch is bad is to hook it up to the diagnostic computer, as it will throw a fault code.

A bad T.O.P.S Switch will keep a jet ski from starting, and it’s one of those things you’ll try last because it’s not common for it to fail, especially for newer jet skis.

18. ECU or ECM Is Bad

A bad or damaged ECU or ECM can keep a jet ski from starting.

The ECU (Engine Control Unit) and ECM (Engine Control Module) are the “brains” of your jet ski.

If you tried everything else and the jet ski won’t start or won’t run right, then the last thing to check is the ECU or ECM.

Unless you got the proper testing equipment from the manufacturer, it’s hard to know if the ECU or ECM are bad. Most dealerships don’t even get the testers out and just replace it with a known good computer to see if they’re bad or not.

ECU and ECM’s each cost about $1,000 to replace and will require a dealership to program them to your jet ski.

19. Overheating And Cooling Problems

If a jet ski overheats for too long, the computer will kill the engine to protect itself.

An overheated engine can refuse to start until it’s cooled back down.

If the jet ski is refusing to start back up after riding, you may have overheating problems. If you do have overheating problems, alarms should be going off to warn you.

Make sure you don’t run your jet ski out of the water for no more than 15 seconds.

20. Throttle Position Sensor Is Bad

Not super common, but a bad throttle position sensor can keep your jet ski from starting.

Fuel injected jet skis, which all 4-stroke are, will have a sensor to determine the throttle positions. If the jet ski throttle is in too much, the jet ski will refuse to start as it’s in drown mode.

Sea-Doo mostly, if you hold the throttle all the way in it goes in a drown mode which kills the fuel injectors. This mode is for testing things like compression and to make sure the engine spins without firing it up.

If the throttle sensor is not set right or confused, this could be why your jet ski won’t start. To reset this, you’ll need to hook the jet ski up to the diagnostics computer to reset the TPS.

Also, make sure you’re not touching the throttle when trying to start your jet ski. I know a few dirt bike and motorcycle guys that are in the habit to give a little gas to start them, but this is not something you do for a jet ski.

21. Blown Engine

A blown jet ski engine can refuse to start or not run well.

You can tell if a jet ski engine is blown by checking its compression with a compression gauge. You want the PSI to be over 100PSI and each cylinder to be within 15% of each other.

An engine that was hydrolocked and not taken care of properly can also blow the engine.

Running improper fuel and air mixture can lead the engine to blow too.

Running the engine to where it overheats and damages it can also blow the engine.

There are many things that cause a jet ski engine to blow, but it’s usually something major that happened to lead to such events. While a jet ski engine blowing can cause it to not start or run right, it’s not always the case and is one of the more rare reasons.

22. Damaged Gauges

A damage gauge could keep the jet ski from starting or confuse you into thinking the battery is bad. A damage gauge could keep from lighting up and ringing the buzzers too.

The main communications you have with your jet ski is the gauge and the buzzer, so if both don’t come on, it could keep you from getting your jet ski started or knowing what’s wrong.

Jet Ski Won’t Start In Water

If your jet ski will start when out of the water but won’t start when in the water, then the most likely problem is the battery or starter motor.

Jet skis are a direct drive system, so if the engine is spinning, so is the impeller. When the jet ski is put in the water, the starter motor and battery need to now work against the water, so if either one is bad or weak the jet ski won’t start.

228 thoughts on “Reasons Why Your Jet Ski Won’t Start”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    • 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.

  3. 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!

    • 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… Make sure to disconnect the battery before doing this. If the gauges do come alive it could be a bad key or DESS post.

      • 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!

        • 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.

  4. 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?

    • 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.

  5. 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?

        • 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.

      • 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

  6. 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?

    • 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.

      • 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. :/

  7. 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

  8. 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.

    • 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.

  9. 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

    • 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.

  10. 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….


    • 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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

        • 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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?

    • 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.

  15. 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???

  16. 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?

    • 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.

    • 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.

  17. 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 ?

    • 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.

  18. 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.

      • 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?

        • 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.

  19. 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?

    • 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.

  20. 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?

    • 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.


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