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How to Change Oil In a Jet Ski [Step-by-Step Guide]

How to Change Oil In a Jet Ski [Step-by-Step Guide]

If you have a four-stroke Kawasaki Jet Ski, you have to change the engine oil regularly as part of the annual maintenance. For your convenience, we at JetDrift have set up a step-by-step guide on how to change the oil in a Jet Ski. You can also learn how much oil a jet ski takes and how often you should replace it.

Please note, this post only includes Kawasaki jet ski oil change and maintenance instructions. If you have other brands of personal watercraft, you may be interested in our Sea-Doo oil change guide or Yamaha WaveRunner oil change guide here.

Please note that although Jet Ski oil changes can be done yourself, it needs some skills and special tools. If you’ve decided to do it on your own, always refer to the owner’s manual or ask your dealer for professional advice!

How Much Oil Does a Jet Ski Take?

To change the oil in your Jet Ski, you have to know approximately how much oil you’ll need.

How much oil does a Jet Ski take?

Jet Skis take an average of 5-6 quarts of oil, while you can expect to change 4-5 quarts, depending on the model. The oil capacity of the supercharged Kawasaki Ultra 310 jet ski is 5.8 quarts, but just around 4.8 quarts are changeable. The other Jet Ski models (LX, SX-R, STX series) hold 5.3 quarts and you can expect to change 4.2-4.4 quarts depending on the model.

Jet Ski Oil Capacity Chart

ModelFull Oil Capacity (qrt)Oil Quantity for Oil Change (qrt)
Ultra 310 Series5.84.8
Ultra LX, SX-R 15005.34.4
STX-15F, STX-160 Series5.34.2
Keep in mind that it’s highly recommended you change the oil filter every oil change.

But if you change just the oil without the filter for some reason (which is not recommended), you can extract around the same amount of oil from the engine.

What kind of oil will you need? You can discover the recommended Kawasaki jet ski oils here!

How to Change the Oil In a Jet Ski

To change the oil in a Jet Ski, you have to warm up the engine first, then wait for 5 minutes.  Move the hull until it’s level and remove the seat, oil fill cap and the dipstick. Extract the oil from the dipstick tube with a suction pump. Finally, replace the filter and pour the required amount of fresh oil into the engine in the oil fill hole.

That’s how to change jet ski oil in a nutshell, but if you’re interested in the details, don’t hesitate to read more.

You can change the oil in your Jet Ski easily using this step-by-step guide:

1. Initial Steps

It’s recommended you gather everything before you start the work. You’ll need 5 quarts of the recommended oil, a new filter, a suction pump, rags, a jug or oil reservoir for the drained oil and an oil filter wrench.

2. Warming up the Engine

As a second step, you have to warm up the engine.

Attach a garden hose to the flush port properly, and run the engine for 2-3 minutes. Make sure to start the engine before turning on the water!

After 2-3 minutes, stop the engine. To do this properly, you should stop the water first, then shut off the jet ski engine. Be careful, as confusing the order can force water into the engine through the exhaust system, which can lead to damage!

After the warm-up, you have to wait for 5 minutes before you start to change the oil in your Jet Ski. It’s necessary as it takes time while the oils drain back to the engine’s bottom (known as “sump”).

Warning: Never run the engine for more than 15 seconds without supplying water!

3. Put the Jet Ski in Level

You have to level the jet ski perfectly before the oil change.

You may want to remove the seat, the dipstick and the oil filter cap.  As your engine is “open” now, work carefully to avoid getting dirt or other materials into the engine.

4. How to Get Oil Out of a Jet Ski

The best practice to get the oil out of a jet ski is to extract it with a vacuum suction (or electric) pump. Remove the dipstick and the filter cap, and insert the pump’s hose to the tube of the dipstick. Try to extract as much oil with the pump as you can. Be prepared to extract 4-5 quarts depending on what kind of jet ski you have.

5. Replacing a Jet Ski Oil Filter

Don’t forget that it’s highly recommended to replace the oil filter in a jet ski every oil change (even if the manufacturer recommends changing it every 100 hours)! It’s because the filter can be clogged, and what’s more, it can break down, adding more contaminants to the oil. The best practice is to replace the filter every year!

An oil filter isn’t an expensive part, so it’s always wise to replace it.

How do you replace a jet ski’s oil filter?

To replace a jet ski’s oil filter, it’s recommended to place a cloth or rag under the filter first. Then remove the filter with the oil filter wrench, or even by hand, if you can. Apply a little fresh oil to the new filter’s gasket before you install it. Replace and tighten the new oil filter with the wrench by 13 ft per lb.

Tip: Place a plastic sheet under the oil filter before starting the replacement. It not just to catch the drippings, but it’s really to good use it if you drop the filter accidentally!

6. Filling Up the Jet Ski Engine with Oil

Once you’ve replaced the filter, you can add the fresh oil into the engine.

If the oil was at the proper level before the replacement, then you have to add exactly as much oil as you’ve drained from the engine.

If your oil reservoir isn’t transparent, you can pour the oil into a scaled jug.

Warning: NEVER run the engine without oil, as it can lead to a lot of damage!

Add the right amount of new oil to the jet ski’s engine; the best practice is to use a funnel to avoid leakage.

Pour the fresh engine oil slowly through the oil filter hole and check the dipstick regularly to be sure you add the right amount of oil.

Be careful not to overfill the engine as it can lead to malfunctions or even damage! If the oil level is optimal, it’s exactly between the high (H) and low (L) marks on the dipstick. Never fill it with more oil to reach the H marks!

Be careful, as different jet ski models feature different dipsticks. On some models, there are different level marks on the dipstick for the hot and the cold oil.

Be sure to avoid confusing these marks. While you fill the engine up, check the “cold” marks while the oil is still cold.

As the final step, replace and tighten the dipstick and the oil filter cap.

7. Final Check

Once the oil change on your jet ski is done, it’s always wise to make a final check with warm oil.

Hook the jet ski to the garden hose and warm the engine for 2-3 minutes. Stop the engine, wait 5 minutes and check the oil level again using the “hot” marks; it should be at the correct level. If not, refill or remove the oil as needed.

You may also want to check the engine compartment, so make sure there are no oil leaks. Also, inspect the hoses and connections carefully, and finally, replace the seat.

8. Disposing

Don’t forget to dispose of the used oil and the filter properly, as these items are dangerous for the environment.

How Often Should I Change Oil in a Jet Ski?

According to the manufacturer, you should change the oil in your Jet Ski every year or 50 engine hours, whichever comes first. Although the owner’s manual recommends replacing the filter after just 100 engine hours, it’s recommended to change the filter every oil change!

When Should You Change Your Jet Ski Oil?

The best time to replace the oil in a jet ski is the end of the season. The best practice is to do it as part of the winterization, before you store your jet ski for the winter months. This is because used oil contains contaminants and moisture which can damage your engine internally during the winter.

How Much Does a Jet Ski Oil Change Cost?

A Jet Ski oil change costs around $40-$50 if you do it by yourself and if you already have the necessary tools (suction pump, oil filter wrench). If you get it done at a repair shop or a dealership, be prepared to pay around $150-$300 for the oil change in your Jet Ski.

The price always depends on many factors, like the repair shop’s location and the model of your jet ski.

Also, please note that the oil change in a jet ski is usually done as part of the yearly service, which includes many other maintenance steps and the winterization.

FAQs About a Jet Ski’s Oil Change

Do jet skis have oil? 

Yes, newer jet skis have oil as they’re powered with 4-stroke engines. In the past, Kawasaki manufactured two-stroke jet skis as well, but the company switched to the four-stroke technology because of environmental considerations.

How much oil does a jet ski hold? 

A PWC’s oil capacities range from 4-6 quarts depending on the make and the model. Jet skis hold 5.3-5.8 quarts of oil (changeable: 4.2-4.8 quarts), Sea-Doos hold 3.6-5.3 quarts (changeable: 2.1-3.2 quarts), and Yamaha WaveRunners hold 3.9-5.6 quarts of oil (changeable: 2.3-3.8).

How do you check the oil in a jet ski? 

You can check the oil in a jet ski with the dipstick, which is a tall steel rod, located on the side of the engine. Remove the dipstick and clean it with a paper towel. Plug the dipstick into its place completely, then remove it again. The oil level should be exactly between the MAX and the MIN marks.  If you can see “hot” and “cool” marks on the dipstick as well, it means you have to use different marks depending on if the engine oil is hot or cold.

How do you drain oil from a jet ski? 

The best way to drain the oil from a jet ski is to use a manual vacuum suction pump or an electric pump. You can drain the used oil through the dipstick’s hole into an oil reservoir or an empty jug.

Conclusion

Changing oil in a jet ski is not too difficult, but you’ll need some mechanical skills and tools.

If you don’t have them, the best practice is to get your jet ski’s oil changed by your dealer or a service shop. If you want to change the oil on your own, always refer to the manual or ask your dealer for professional advice.

Additionally, here are some key factors to pay attention to:

  • It’s recommended to change the oil at the end of the season.
  • Use the recommended jet ski oil.
  • Extract the oil with an electric or manual vacuum pump.
  • Replace the filter every oil change.
  • Avoid cranking the engine while the pump’s hose is in it.
  • NEVER run the jet ski’s engine without oil! It may result in damage.
  • Avoid overfilling the engine oil (the correct oil level is exactly between the two marks).
  • Some jet ski’s dipsticks have four marks; two for the hot and two for the cold oil. Don’t confuse them!
  • Run the engine after the oil change.
Disclaimer: This article is just for informational purposes. Always refer to the owner’s manual or consult an authorized Karasaki dealership before changing the oil by yourself! ————- Related articles: How to Winterize a Jet Ski: PWC Winterizing in 7 Simple Steps Jet Ski Maintenance Checklist: How To Maintain Your PWC How Do You Change Oil In a Sea-Doo? [A Step-by-Step Guide] How to Change Oil in a WaveRunner [A Step-by-Step Guide]