Waking up and knowing you are going to go out on the water riding is one the best feelings of owning a personal watercraft or jetski! However, one of the biggest disappointments is having to beach your PWC due to engine or starting difficulties. If you catch yourself in the latter situation, it is good to know you are not the only one, every PWC owner goes through maintenance issues from time to time.

Below are some of the most common damage/problems that happen in the watercraft world and what you can do to prevent or remedy them.

Battery Problems

The battery is one of the most overlooked parts in watercraft. Similar to a car, batteries can lose their charge over time and prevent the engine from turning over and starting. However, different from cars, most people do not usually use their ski during the winter months, which puts the battery into a state of hibernation.

When a personal watercraft has prolonged exposure to cold weather, this can cause the battery to lose charge. As a result, the ski won’t be able to start when you want to use it. The only way you’ll be able to get on the water is if you replace your pwc or jet ski battery.

If you have no choice but to store a ski in a cold area for the winter, you can purchase a battery tender that can attach to the battery to keep it charged for times when a ski needs to be stored during the winter months.

Otherwise, we recommend removing the battery and keeping it in a safe place with a controlled temperature. This will help prevent it from losing it's charge. Then once you're ready to get back on the water, you can put the battery in and ride!

Fuel Lines

Fuel lines are also a commonly overlooked reason a watercraft may not be starting. They may seem like a small part, but they can create big problems if they are not checked regularly.

Deterioration of the fuel lines over time can leave debris that will clog up the carburetor and can cause the performance of the engine to decline. The longer you wait to take care of any fuel line issues, the more damage that can be caused to your ski. You will have to do your homework if you want to replace fuel lines yourself, but we do recommend having a professional replace them to ensure it’s done correctly and is, in fact, the only issue with the watercraft.


This part is a little harder to diagnose so it should only be looked at by a professional. Crankshaft issues are tricky because there are various reasons it could not be turning the engine.

PWC & Jet Ski Crankshafts can become rusty and cause engine problems if there is water in the engine for a prolonged period of time, if bad oil is used, or if there is not enough lubrication on them. Without a properly working crankshaft, the ski will not turn on.

If you do need to buy and install a new crankshaft, make sure you do it with a certified jet ski mechanic . This is the heart of your pwc, and you want to make sure it is healthy all throughout the season.

Starter Relay

Nobody likes the sound of a starter relay not working, and you know which sound we are talking about. If you hear one solid “thud” or click when you try to turn your engine on, then the starter relay may have gone bad. This is another part we highly suggest getting looked at by a professional since it is surrounded by a lot of moving parts and can be more difficult to do it yourself.

However, this is a fairly common problem and can be diagnosed easily. Most local dealers will have these on hand and can get them replaced for you quickly.

PWC and jet ski repairs are bound to happen, but the quicker they can get fixed, the faster you can get on the water! If you have any questions about parts or where and how to get your jet ski repaired, call our service location, RIVA Motorsports at (877) 501-RIVA (7482). If you are in South Florida area and need to take your watercraft in, visit us in Pompano Beach!