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How to Change Oil in a WaveRunner [A Step-by-Step Guide]

How to Change Oil in a WaveRunner [A Step-by-Step Guide]

Changing the oil in a WaveRunner is not as fun as riding the waves, but it’s required to keep the engine in good condition.

If you want to maintain your WaveRunner properly, it means you have to change the engine oil regularly, just like in your car.

Although Yamaha recommends having an authorized dealership to change the engine oil in every WaveRunner, you can do it yourself. If you’ve decided to change the oil on your own, consult with your dealer upfront as well as reading the owner’s manual carefully, as the exact steps may vary depending on the model. 

To help you get started, we, at JetDrift, have set up a step-by-step guide on how to change oil in your WaveRunner!

How Much Oil Does a WaveRunner Take?

How much oil does a WaveRunner take? An average WaveRunner takes 4-6 quarts of oil, although only part of it can be changed (2.3-3.8 quarts). The oil capacity of each WaveRunner depends on the size of the engine and the year of manufacture.

For your convenience, we’ve gathered the different engine options and the oil capacities into this WaveRunner oil capacity chart below.

We’ve also highlighted how much oil you’ll need for the oil change. (Sources: Official WaveRunner Owner’s manuals.)

WaveRunner Oil Capacity Chart

Engine SizeYearFull Oil Capacity (qrt)Oil Quantity for Oil Change (qrt)
1052ccUntil 20154.52.3
1049ccFrom 20163.93.6
1812ccUntil 20144.63.3
1812ccFrom 20155.63.8
Since you have to change the oil filter whenever you change your engine oil, you can find the required oil quantity for this scenario in the chart.

If you don’t replace the oil filter (which is not recommended), you’ll need near the same amount of new oil, as the difference is around 0.1-0.2 quarts whether you change the filter or not.

If you want to check your WaveRunner’s engine size, you can do it easily with our WaveRunner specs database.

You can also check the sticker in the engine compartment, or refer to the manual. Once you’ve figured out how much oil you need, you probably want to know what kind of oil to buy.

As the required type of oil may differ from one model to the next, don’t forget to check upfront which oil you need in your WaveRunner!

How to Change Oil In a WaveRunner

To change oil in a WaveRunner properly, you should set it in a horizontal position first. Then warm up the engine, shut it down and wait around 4-5 minutes for the oil to drain back. Remove the oil fill cap and the dipstick and pump out as much used oil as you can with an oil extractor. Finally, replace the oil filter and put the required amount of fresh oil into the engine.

1. Preparation

Prepare everything carefully for the oil change. Depending on the model, you’ll need 3 or 4 quarts of WaveRunner oil. Most models usually require 4 gallons.

Don’t forget that you’ll need a new filter as well. It’s recommended to use an OEM Yamaha WaveRunner oil filter.

Beyond these items, you’ll also need some rags, an oil suction pump, funnel, oil reservoir and an oil filter wrench. Hand pumps do a good job here, but you can extract the used oil with an electric pump if you have one.

2. Warming Up the Engine

Once everything is prepared, you have to warm up the engine. Attach the garden hose to the WaveRunner correctly and let the engine run for 5 minutes.

Then shut down the engine and wait for 5 minutes for the oil to return to the sump. It’s wise the check the oil level before the process since it’s best if the oil is at the optimal level.

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

Also avoid changing the oil right after shutting the engine off (especially if you ride the craft), as the oil may be too hot which can cause damage.

3. Leveling the WaveRunner

You have to make sure the hull is in a horizontal position before starting the oil change, otherwise, you may not be able to pump out the necessary amount of oil.

4. How to Get Oil Out of a WaveRunner?

To get the oil out of a WaveRunner, remove the dipstick and the oil filter cap. Then take a suction pump and insert its hose into the oil dipstick’s tube. Operate the pump and extract as much oil as you can.  The quantity indicated in the chart above should be reached.

It’s very important to avoid cranking the engine without removing the pump’s hose from the engine as it can damage the engine! Also, don’t run the engine without oil in it, as it can lead to damage, too!

5. Replacing the WaveRunner Oil Filter

Is it required to replace the oil filter when changing oil on a WaveRunner?Yes, it’s imperative to replace the oil filter on a WaveRunner every oil change. It’s because oil filters slowly clog and get old over time, thus they need to be replaced regularly.

To replace a WaveRunner’s oil filter, place a rag or a plastic sheet under it first to avoid the mess in the bilge, and remove the old filter.

Then you have to lubricate the O-ring of the new filter with a little fresh oil, and check if it’s positioned correctly in the housing.

Finally, install the new filter and tighten it with the oil filter wrench. It should be tightened by 13.3 ft per lb.

6. Filling Up the WaveRunner with New Oil

To fill up a WaveRunner with fresh oil, insert a funnel into the oil filter hole. If your oil level was correct before the oil change, the best practice is to put exactly the same amount of fresh oil into the engine. Pour the oil into the engine slowly and check the dipstick regularly.

The appropriate oil level in a WaveRunner is when you can see the oil exactly between the MIN and the MAX lines on the dipstick. Keep in mind that the difference between the dipstick’s MAX and MIN lines is approximately 1 quart!

Never overfill the engine oil as the oil can spray out, which can lead to less power, or in the worst case, your engine can be damaged!  Once you’ve filled up the engine with the required amount of oil, install the dipstick and the oil filter cap securely.

7. Check the Engine

After you’ve changed the oil on your WaveRunner, you need to make sure the engine runs properly.

Attach the garden hose again and let the engine run 2-3 minutes. If your engine won’t start, it probably means you’ve overfilled the oil.

After you’ve stopped the engine, wait 5 minutes and check the oil level again. It should still be at the correct level. If not, add/remove oil to reach the optimal level.

As a final step, don’t forget to clean up the oil spills in the engine compartment before installing the seats.

You may also want to check the connections and hoses in the compartment, as loose parts can lead to serious problems!

8. Disposing

Finally, dispose of the used oil, the filter, and the rags as per the applicable environmental regulations.

How Often Should You Change Oil on a WaveRunner?

You may be wondering how often you should change the oil in your WaveRunner. Let’s see the official manufacturer’s recommendations.

How Often Should You Change Oil on a WaveRunner?

According to the manufacturer, the oil should be changed on a new WaveRunner after the first 10 engine hours. After that, WaveRunners requires oil changes once a year or after 100 (or 50) engine hours, whichever comes first. While WaveRunners with non-supercharged engines require the oil be changed after 100 engine hours or once a year, the supercharged models need more frequent maintenance, as you have to change the oil every 50 hours on their engines.

What Is The Best Time to Change the Oil in a WaveRunner?

The best time to change the oil in a WaveRunner is the end of the season. It’s because contaminants and moisture may accumulate in the oil throughout the season, which can damage your engine during the winter months. The best practice is to do the oil change as part of winterization.

WaveRunner Oil Refill

Don’t forget that beyond the yearly oil change, you should check the oil level in your WaveRunner regularly and refill as required.

Never operate the engine without the proper amount of oil, as it can lead to damage, or even worse consequences.

To refill a WaveRunner with oil properly, always warm up the engine on the hose, wait 5 minutes and check the oil level with the dipstick. After refilling the oil, repeat the process to make sure you’ve reached the right oil level.


An oil change on a WaveRunner is not too difficult, thus you can consider doing it at home.

But if you don’t have the right skills or tools, it’s recommended that you have it done by an official dealership or service shop. If you decide to change the oil in your WaveRunner on your own, always refer to the owner’s manual or ask for advice from your dealer.

When you change the oil, there are some key points during the process which require special attention:

  • Change the oil every year at the end of the season
  • Use the recommended type of filter and oil
  • Extract the used oil with an electric or manual oil pump
  • Don’t forget to replace the filter
  • Don’t run or even crank the engine when the pump hose is in the engine
  • Don’t run the engine if there is no oil in it
  • Avoid overfilling the oil
  • It’s recommended to check and refill the oil level regularly
  • Always refer to the owner’s manual if you service a WaveRunner on your own!
Disclaimer: This article is just for informational purposes. Always refer to the owner’s manual or consult an authorized WaveRunner dealer before you change the oil on your own!Related articles:What Type of Oil Does a WaveRunner Use? [Chart]How Do You Maintain a WaveRunner? [Step-by-Step Guide]How To Winterize a WaveRunner [A Step-by-Step Guide]