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What To Do if Your Jet Ski Flips Over

Riding your jet ski is a great way to enjoy a summer day. While most are easy to handle, accidents happen, including flipping it over. When this happens it’s important to know what steps to take so you don’t permanently damage your jet ski or its engine. Here’s what to do if you flip your jet ski.

1305442870There’s a sticker on the back of most jet skis that shows you how to right it. Read the directions and follow them. If you don’t, you could force water in the crank case and the jet ski won’t restart. When water gets in the crank case it can damage the engine. If you’ve flipped your jet ski and the engine is still running, turn the engine off first to minimize the chances of water getting sucked in through the air intake. For most jet ski models you’ll want to flip them back over in a counter-clockwise direction or the direction that allows the exhaust to hit the water last.

If water is in the crank case, get your jet ski back to shore. Next, remove the plugs. With the plugs out and wires grounded, crank the engine. Grounding the wires avoids igniting fumes. In most cases jet skis have a ground lug for the plug wires. You’ll want to clean and dry the plugs. Then put a small amount of fuel in the cylinder holes before reinserting the plugs.

Now you’re ready to crank it. If your jet ski starts and stalls, clean and dry the plugs again. Sometimes starting fluid cleans the plugs quicker. You can keep applying starting fluid to the plugs and starting the engine until it starts. Once the engine starts, let it run for 30 seconds and then put it on the water. Let it run on the water for a while, 5 minutes or so and everything should be okay.
Letting your jet ski sit with water in the crank case for any amount of time will ruin its engine. The longer it sits with water in the crank case the more damage that will occur. It won’t take long for the engine to seize up, for the crank and crank bearings to rust and for the rings to seize to the cylinder walls.

When Steven Haig of Imperial, Missouri sunk his Yamaha Wave Runner he had to have it towed back to shore. Unfortunately, when it flipped and sunk it hit a submerged rock. It took two hours to bring it back up to the surface. The hull was so damaged the crushed fiberglass couldn’t support the jet ski’s weight on the trailer. Haig knew the importance of removing all the water from the engine. He refused to let it sit over night with water in the engine.

The day it sank he worked an hour and a half to get the engine running. A week after he got the engine running he repaired the hull. Sometime later he rebuilt the carburetor from the water in the engine and didn’t experience any additional problems after that. Two years later, his Yamaha jet ski is back in use. It still runs great.