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Can You Jump Start a Jet Ski With a Car? [Full Guide]

Can You Jump Start a Jet Ski With a Car? [Full Guide]

Can you jump start a jet ski?  This is a typical question on the boat ramps, week after week.

If you skip the pre-ride check, it can lead to your jet ski not starting which could be very frustrating!

In this situation, it may seem like a good idea, at first glance, to jump start a jet ski with a car.

Are you wondering if you can jump start a jet ski? If so, what are the risks and considerations? Can you use a jump pack to start a jet ski?

Get all the answers!

Can You Jump Start a Jet Ski With a Car?

Can You Jump Start a Jet Ski With a Car? Although it’s possible to jump start a jet ski with a car, it’s highly recommended you don’t do this!   This is because there’s a huge risk of damaging the jet ski’s electronics, as a car’s charging systems and batteries are more powerful. What’s more, a jump start can even damage your car!

These are the main reasons why you shouldn’t jump start a jet ski, but you also have to take into consideration some other factors before you jump start your jet ski.

Let’s take a closer look at these one by one.

The Risks of Jump Starting a Jet Ski

Jump Starting May Damage the Jet Ski’s Electronics

As in the case of cars and motorcycles, newer jet skis arrive with more and more electronic parts. If you jump start your jet ski, you risk damaging these parts, as boosting the battery can overload the system.

Even though both jet skis and cars feature 12 V batteries, car batteries always have a much higher amperage that can damage the jet ski’s battery or electronics.

It may happen even if you follow the proper jump starting procedure and don’t mix the cables!You can make the issue worse if you run the car’s engine while you jump start your jet ski.Hunting for new parts or taking your jet ski to your dealer in the middle of the season is always a hassle, and don’t even mention the costs!

Your Ski Needs Inspection

If your engine won’t start, you shouldn’t jump start your jet ski, but it should be checked instead.There could be many reasons why you can’t start your jet ski, and you can’t be sure what’s wrong until you take a closer look.  It’s recommended you check the battery first.  Maybe you just need to charge it, but if it’s old, it may need a replacement.

Problems With Restarts

The other reason that you shouldn’t jump start a jet ski is the risk of using the wrong battery can leave you stranded on the water. If you expect the jet ski to charge the battery while riding, keep in mind that jet skis usually feature only stators.

Unlike alternators, stators can’t fully charge your battery but give it a “maintenance charge” instead.   This means if you jump start a jet ski battery that is dead, it may not start again if you stop your engine in the water.

Because safety is always the most important factor on the open water, it’s simply not worth the risk!  But if your jet ski stops on the water for any reason, our guide on how to tow a jet ski properly with another vessel may come in handy.

Listen to Your Manufacturer

Most of the jet ski manufacturers highly recommended not jump starting a jet ski with a car.  Moreover, they recommend removing the battery from the jet ski every time it has to be charged.

This is because flammable fumes may accumulate in the hull during charging, which can, in turn, lead to an explosion.

Jump Starting Can Damage Your Car

It’s important to know that jump starting can damage the car which provides the boost! Unlike vintage vehicles, modern cars and trucks feature tons of electronics that are really sensitive.

This means it’s not just the battery and the alternator, but that other main electronics parts can be damaged in the car if it boosts a jet ski or other vehicle.

Risks of Explosion and Injuries

Most jet ski batteries contain sulfuric acid which can become flammable vapors. Additionally, gas vapors can also accumulate in the jet ski’s hull due to a leaking hose or connection.

Jumper cables can cause sparks that can ignite the accumulated vapors which may end in a fire or even an explosion. Even if it rarely happens, there is always a risk of causing serious damage and injuries, even to others!

You can also see owners who jump start their jet skis while it’s sitting in the water. Again, this involves a lot of risk because water is known to be a good conductor of electricity.

If something goes wrong, it can result in serious injuries or even worse.

Can You Jump Start a Jet Ski With a Jump Pack?

Because jump starting a jet ski with a car is very dangerous, many owners look for alternatives. Instead of boosting it with a car, starting a jet ski with a jump pack seems a reasonable alternative at first glance.

A jump pack (known as a booster pack, jump starter or jump box) is a special device that is designed to jump start vehicles.  You may be wondering; can I jump start my jet ski with a jump pack?

The answer is again, it’s not recommended! Even if jump packs are designed for starting vehicles, it’s not recommended to boost your jet skis with any external power source. 

You may be surprised why it’s not recommended to use a jump pack. Here are some considerations:

  • It’s because if you accidentally confuse the cables, it may damage the jet ski’s electronics.
  • It the jump pack has a malfunction (which can happen), you can expectthe same issue.
  • Jump starting can cause a spark that can result in injuries or even an explosion.
  • If you jump start your jet ski you may not be able to start it on the water again if you stop your engine.
Because of these risks, it’s not recommended to jump start a jet ski with a jump pack, or anything else!

How Many Volts Do You Need to Start a Jet Ski?

You may also want to know how many volts you need to start a jet ski.

It may vary depending on the model, but in general, you’ll need at least around 12.5 volts to start a jet ski. Due to the risks of a weak battery leaving you stranded on the water, many manufacturers recommend delaying your ride and charging your battery if it drops below 12.5 V.

Don’t forget that your jet ski needs amperage in addition to voltage. That’s why you have to check both to make sure your battery is in good condition.

Please find a chart below with the states of charge for a jet ski battery:100% 12.7-13.0 volts

75% 12.5 volts

50% 12.2 volts

25% 12.0 volts

0% 11.9 or fewer volts


When it comes to jump starting a jet ski, there are many rumors and misunderstandings out there.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s definitely not recommended you jump start a jet ski! It can damage your jet ski’s battery or electronics, or in the worst case, it may end in an explosion.

Moreover, modern trucks and cars are full of complicated electronics which can also malfunction while you’re boosting a jet ski with them.

And be aware that this can happen even if you don’t confuse the jumper cables!

Speaking of jump starters (jump boxes), these units are also not recommended for boosting a jet ski for many reasons.

If your jet ski needs a jump start, it’s a clue that something is wrong with your battery or the other parts of the ski.

Always inspect the battery first; it may just need a charge or some attention. If yes, make sure to do it properly and use the best jet ski battery charger available.

If your battery needs to be replaced, it’s recommended to choose a good-quality sealed jet ski battery.

Never start your ride with a weak battery, as it may leave you stranded on the open water, which can be dangerous and can lead to many problems.

As a final word, damaging your jet ski’s electronics with a jump start could be an expensive mistake.

The best you can do is to take care of your battery properly, and never miss the pre-ride check.

In this way you can be sure that your ski will start any time you hit the water!

—————–Related Articles:How To Store and Maintain a Jet Ski Battery Over the Winter How Do You Charge a Jet Ski Battery? [Video Guide] The Best Jet Ski Battery [Buying Guide] How To Locate and Remove a Jet Ski Battery [Video Guide]