What Kind of Battery Does a Jet Ski Use? [Buying Guide]
As the saying goes, the engine is your jet ski’s heart. But you can’t bring it to life without a good battery! That’s why every jet ski needs a reliable, perfectly charged battery!
But as with car and motorcycle batteries, jet ski batteries need to be replaced occasionally. Purchasing a new one seems like a simple task, but finding the best jet ski battery for your jet ski can be tricky. It’s because if you do your research, the large selection can be confusing. Are you wondering which the best jet ski battery is?
The best jet ski battery is a spill-proof, sealed AGM battery, specially designed for use in a watercraft. It also has to fit into its place perfectly, must be powerful enough to start the engine easily, and meet with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you’d like to learn how to pick the best battery for your jet ski, don’t hesitate to read more. We, at JetDrift, have gathered the most important factors you need to pay attention to when shopping around. You can also learn how often you should replace your battery, and how you can take care of it.
What Kind of Battery Does a Jet Ski Use?
What kind of battery does a jet ski use?
In general, jet skis use 12V batteries, which hold around 12-30 amps depending on the model. The exact type of battery varies from jet ski to jet ski, but the newest jet skis use batteries with an 18-30 amp hour rating.
Since many different jet skis have been manufactured since 1972, it would be hard to give the exact battery type for each model. But if you’re considering buying a new battery, for further details, please always check your owner’s manual. As there are many different types of batteries on the market, you may be wondering which is the best jet ski battery you should choose. Let’s see your options one-by-one!
What is the best battery for a jet ski?
The best jet ski batteries are arguably the sealed AGM batteries. They aren’t just more durable and last longer than regular batteries, but require less attention and maintenance. That’s why they’re becoming the standard battery in the boat and jet ski industry.
What is a sealed AGM battery?
The sealed AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) batteries are different from the regular flooded lead-acid models, as in the AGM batteries, the electrolytes can be found in special glass mats. These dense mats are made of thin glass fibers to get a bigger surface area which can hold adequate electrolytes on the cells. Unlike regular batteries, the AGM models are much more powerful and durable, and more resistant to vibrations or other negative effects.
Are AGM batteries maintenance free?
This is a typical question when it comes to different types of batteries. One of the main reasons for their popularity is that AGM batteries are completely maintenance-free. It’s because once the battery is filled up with the acid, the top can be sealed with a cap. This means you don’t have to add more distilled water to it in the future.
But it also has to be mentioned that even if you don’t have to pay attention to the liquid level in these batteries, you still have to charge them regularly when the jet ski isn’t in use.
Another good advantage of AGM batteries is that thanks to its design, they are completely non-spillable, resulting in higher security. Finally, these models are more durable, and more lightweight compared to regular models.
What are the advantages of an AGM battery?
There are many advantages of AGM batteries which makes them a reliable upgrade to any regular (flooded lead) acid batteries. They aren’t just more durable, but they last longer and are more lightweight than the regular batteries. But they’re more powerful, are completely maintenance-free and have no-spill hazard.
Additionally, AGM batteries have a low self-discharge rate, which is a great benefit when it comes to battery storage during the winter. Also, be prepared for the sealed AGM batteries being slightly smaller than the original OEM batteries in the jet skis.
Can you put a car battery in a jet ski?
As both cars and jet skis use 12V batteries, many riders want to know if it’s possible to put a car battery in a jet ski. The answer is simply “NO”! Keeping safety in mind, never put a car battery in a jet ski! Instead, you should use a battery that is specially designed for use in jet skis and meet with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Car batteries are bulkier, heavier and have more amps compared to jet ski batteries.
Can you use a lawnmower battery in a jet ski?
It’s another common question, and the answer is again “no”; it’s highly recommended that you don’t use a lawnmower battery in a jet ski. Garden batteries have much thinner plastic walls compared to jet ski batteries. If your battery breaks during a jump, it can fill your hull with acid!
Additionally, even if the battery doesn’t break, there’s still a risk of spillage, as garden batteries are not spill-proof in many cases. Because of this, a heavy-duty, spill-proof AGM jet ski battery is a much better choice!
The Best Jet Ski Batteries
When it comes to selecting a new jet ski battery, you have to consider your jet ski engine. In general, 2-stroke jet skis have smaller, 500-1000 cc engines which generate less torque at lower RPM. 4-stroke engines are usually bigger (up to 1800 cc), and create more torque Because of this, different engines need different batteries. Let’s see what the best 2-stroke and 4-stroke jet ski jet ski batteries!
The best 2-stroke jet ski batteries
When it comes to 2-stroke engines, the most commonly used and best 2-stroke jet ski batteries are the ETX16L sealed AGM models. They have great capacity but have smaller dimensions and weight compared to the 4-stroke batteries.
For your convenience, we’ve summarized the key specs of the ETX16L here:
Voltage: 12 Volt
Amp Hour: 19 Ah
Cold Cranking Amperage: 325 CCA
Weight: 17 lbs
Even if you can find this type of battery in the majority of 2-stroke jet ski models, before you make your purchase, always check your owner’s manual to ensure that this type is compatible with your ski.
The best 4-stroke jet ski batteries
4-stroke jet skis need a higher capacity battery due to their bigger engines. One of the most popular and best 4-stroke jet ski battery is the ETX30L. It’s a bigger and heavier battery, but it does a really good job in 4-stroke skis.
Voltage: 12 Volt
Amp Hour: 26 Ah
Cold Cranking Amperage: 400 CCA
Weight: 23 lbs
Although it’s a very popular 4-stroke jet ski battery, some types of jet skis may need a more powerful battery (up to 30 amps). Always refer to your manufacturer’s recommendations!
Now that you know about the most commonly used jet ski batteries, you may be wondering which brand you should choose. If you’re sticking to OEM parts, then you should purchase a YUASA battery, as most of the newest jet ski models use this brand. If the manufacturers trust YUASA, you can’t go wrong with them. Another popular choice of many riders is the DEKA batteries. They are durable, dependable, and offer a great price-quality ratio.
Is a jet ski battery AGM?
Even in the best jet ski batteries, the sealed AGM models, you can still find regular flooded lead-acid OEM batteries in many (even newer) skis. If you still have a regular battery, the best you can do is to choose a sealed AGM battery when the next replacement is needed.
OEM Jet Ski Battery Numbers [chart]
When it comes to the newest PWC models, the most commonly used OEM battery types usually are:
Kawasaki Jet Ski Battery: 12V, 18 Ah (YUASA YTX20L)
Yamaha WaveRunner battery: 12V, 19 Ah (YUASA YB16CL-B)
Sea-Doo Battery: 12V, 30 Ah (YUASA YB30CL)
For your convenience we’ve collected some OEM jet ski battery numbers into one chart:
|Brand||Model||Year||OEM Battery Number|
|Artic Cat||All Tigershark PWCs||1993-1996||YB16CL-B|
|Honda||Aquatrax R & F Series||2002-2009||YTX20L-BS|
|Kawasaki||300 JS, TS, SX||1986-1991||YB16CL-B|
|Kawasaki||550, 650 All||1986-1996||YB16CL-B|
|Kawasaki||750 SS, XI, XIR, ST, STS||1992-2002||YB16CL-B|
|Kawasaki||750 ZXI, ST, STS, STX, SXI Pro||1995-1998||YTX20L-BS|
|Kawasaki||900, 1100, 1200 Series||1995-2005||YTX20L-BS|
|Polaris||All Sea Lion PWCs||1992-2004||YB16CL-B|
|Sea-Doo||All Sea-Doo PWCs||1988-1993||YB16L-B|
|Sea-Doo||All Sea-Doo PWCs||1994-2007||YB16CL-B|
|Sea-Doo||SEA-DOO SPARK 900 ACE||2014-||YTX20L-BS|
|Sea-Doo||SEA-DOO 4-Stroke PWCs||2015||YB30CL-B|
|Sea-Doo||SEA-DOO 4-Stroke PWCs||2016-||YTX20L-BS|
|Yamaha||All WaveRunner PWCs||1987-||YB16CL-B|
Just for informational purposes. Always refer to your jet ski’s owner’s manual.
How Much Are Jet Ski Batteries?
How much does a jet ski battery cost?
Jet ski batteries cost around $50-$200 depending on their make and specifications. Always make sure to choose a good quality battery, even if it’s in the higher price range. A cheap jet ski battery will cost you more in the long run! The regular flooded lead-acid jet ski batteries are usually cheaper compared to the AGM types, but as you’ve learned, they have many drawbacks.
Jet skiing is not a cheap hobby, so it doesn’t make sense to buy a cheap and outdated battery. You should consider your new battery an investment, so don’t hesitate to spend a little more to get better quality!
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Battery
There are several factors you have to consider while selecting the best jet ski battery. Let’s take a closer look at each one!
The first and most important factor when it comes to buying a jet ski battery is the compatibility. Although every jet ski uses a 12V battery, even the special jet ski batteries arrive with different sizes, weights, and amp-hour ratings. So be careful and pay attention to the technical details when shopping around!
If your battery needs replacement, always refer to your owner’s manual to make sure you select the battery which meets with the requirements. Using the wrong battery can lead to malfunctions or even damage.
Also, don’t overlook the dimensions of the battery, as different jet ski models need different battery sizes. It’s always a hassle when your new battery doesn’t fit into the battery tray or bracket!
You should check the polarity carefully on the old battery as well, and keep it in mind when buying the new. In many jet skis, the battery cannot be installed by turning them due to the design of the battery bracket or straps, and the cables are also too short in many cases. To avoid surprising situations, a quick check on the polarity never hurts.
Beyond the compatibility, another important consideration is the type of battery. As we discussed earlier, the best jet ski batteries are the AGM models, as they have many advantages compared to the regular flooded lead-acid batteries, like higher durability, longer lifetime and more power. That’s why more and more jet ski riders choose AGM batteries against the regular models!
The maintenance of a jet ski can be challenging as sometimes there are many things you need to pay attention to. The most important maintenance checks are:
- Pre-ride check
- After-ride care
- Yearly maintenance
Beyond these tasks, you have to pay attention to your battery especially if it’s out of use. If you go with a sealed AGM jet ski battery, you have to be prepared for easier maintenance, and lower self-discharging rates.
It’s not only the type, but the quality, too, is an important factor that you will need to consider when selecting a jet ski battery. You may want a good-quality, reliable battery that won’t leave you stranded!
Starting out on the open water is always dangerous, so buying a cheap jet ski battery may cause more harm than good. What’s more, low-quality models have higher self-discharging rates and shorter lifetime so you have to replace them more frequently.
Because of this, always make sure that you purchase a good-quality jet ski battery, from a reputable manufacturer! In the long term, it will help you to save money.
Warranty of jet ski batteries
When it comes to quality, don’t forget to check the warranty that the battery has. The different manufacturers offer PWC batteries with different warranties.
Speaking of warranties, the rule of thumb is the longer the better. In general, jet ski battery warranty coverages range from one to two years, but it’s not uncommon to find some batteries with 3 or even 4 years of warranty.
A longer warranty always means peace of mind so don’t forget to check this factor before you select your battery! That’s because you should be able to return your battery to the manufacturer if there is any issue with it.
The amount and variety of PWC batteries can be confusing. If you can’t choose, you should read some online reviews from owners. The real experiences of other buyers can help you to make the right decisions.
Last, but not least, the price of the batteries is always one of the main factors. Many buyers are price sensitive and looking for the best deals every time they shop around. Due to its importance, let’s go deeper into this factor!
Consider an Auxiliary Jet Ski Battery
Does your jet ski feature a fish finder, GPS, VHF, sound system, phone charger – or even all of them?
As jet skis don’t have alternators, these devices can drain your battery in a really short amount of time. To avoid this, you may want to install a second jet ski battery. (Known as an auxiliary jet ski battery.)
Installing an extra battery in your jet ski means that you can use a bunch of electronic devices without the risk of a dead battery. Moreover, having two batteries in your jet ski is like having extra insurance!
When it comes to installation, it’s recommended to use a battery combiner relay (smart relay) which is common in bigger boats. With this device installed, the jet ski will charge both of the batteries when you ride it, but recognize the auxiliary battery when you stop the engine.
Make sure to choose a relay with override function for emergency situations. This feature can force the extra auxiliary jet ski battery to support the main battery if it needs a boost for starting the engine. If you do the installation by yourself, always refer to the owner’s manual, but if you don’t have any experience with electrical systems, it’s best if you leave it for professionals.
The best jet ski batteries are the sealed AGM batteries, and with good reason. These models are durable, spill-proof and maintenance-free. Moreover, AGM batteries are made lightweight and last longer compared to regular units.
When it comes to replacing your battery, always make sure that you choose one which is specially designed for jet skis.
Car, motorbike, lawnmower and other batteries are not recommended to use in jet skis. Every jet ski needs a durable, heavy-duty spill-proof battery as they always get a lot of abuse when riders jump or even flip over their skis.
Also please note that not all batteries will fit in your jet ski. As they don’t have universal compatibility, you have to check your jet ski’s owner’s manual for exact specifications. If you are confused, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dealership.
Once you know the type of the battery, there are still some factors to pay attention to before you make your purchase. You may want to choose a high-quality, sealed AGM battery with the longest warranty available. Never purchase a cheap, low-quality battery as it will lead to several problems. Buying the best jet ski battery available is an investment, which will save money for you in the long run.
Best brands? The OEM jet ski batteries are manufactured by YUASA for ages, so you’ll probably be happy with their products. When it comes to aftermarket jet ski batteries, the most popular brand is DEKA.
This was our short review of the best jet ski batteries; we hope you like it!
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