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How to Maintain a Sea-Doo [Step-by-Step Guide]
Last Updated on
How do you maintain a Sea-Doo? We get this question all the time.
If you are a beginner, or are planning on maintaining your Sea-Doo after the warranty is over, you probably want to know what the required maintenance steps are and the service intervals needed to keep it in good shape year-round.
Although every Sea-Doo model is different, their maintenance is pretty similar. For your convenience, we at JetDrift have gathered the basics on how to maintain your Sea-Doo into this post!
Before you start, make sure to carefully read the owner’s manual, as the exact maintenance steps, required materials and tools may differ by model.
Without further ado, let’s see how to maintain a Sea-Doo watercraft!
How to Maintain a Sea-Doo
To maintain a Sea-Doo properly, it has to be serviced according to the maintenance schedule. The most important maintenance steps are the pre-ride check, after-ride care, oil and filter changes, replacing the spark plugs and coolant, inspecting and lubricating all moving parts, and winterizing/de-winterizing the Sea-Doo. Additionally, the supercharger has to be rebuilt periodically on many supercharged models.
To make your Sea-Doo’s maintenance more transparent, we’ve gathered the most important maintenance tasks and their schedule into one chart.
Again, as countless Sea-Doo models have been manufactured over the years it would be impossible to gather the maintenance schedules of all models into one article.
Two-stroke Sea-Doo’s maintenance is obviously different from 4-stroke’s, and supercharged models also need special attention, and so on.
That’s why it’s imperative that you always refer to the owner’s manual for the exact maintenance steps!
Sea-Doo Maintenance Schedule Chart
|Pre-ride check||Before every ride|
|After-ride care||After every ride|
|Cleaning||After every ride|
|First service||First 50 hours/6 or 12 months|
|Oil and filter change||100 hours/1 year|
|Spark plug replacement||200 hours/2 years|
|Supercharger rebuild||100 hours/2 years*|
|Coolant replacement||500 hours/3 years|
|Winterizing||Before the off-season|
|Other required maintenances and fixes|
|Battery maintenance||Before the off-season/Regularly|
|Lubrication||Before and after the off-season|
|Full inspection||Before and after the off-season|
|De-winterizing||After the off-season|
* Supercharger maintenance may vary depending on the year of manufacture. You can learn more about Sea-Doo supercharger maintenance here.
These are considered to be the most important maintenance steps on a Sea-Doo. If you want to learn more about each step don’t hesitate to read more!
Step-by-Step Sea-Doo Maintenance Guide
The pre-ride check, also known as pre-launch operation, is probably the most commonly overlooked maintenance on a Sea-Doo. Unfortunately, it can lead to many problems, and even accidents on the water!
That’s why you should carefully inspect your Sea-Doo before you launch it! A thoughtful pre-ride check consists of the following steps:
- Fueling the Sea-Doo properly
- Removing the seat and ventilating the engine compartment to avoid explosions
- Inspecting the hull, engine compartment, and making sure that the features are working properly
- Checking to see if the engine starts
- Securing the drain plugs to avoid sinking
- Unplugging the trailer
- Making sure the required safety gear, registration certificate, and your license is onboard
- And performing any other required maintenance steps described in the manual
Just like the pre-ride inspection, the after-ride care is also an important maintenance task on your Sea-Doo, especially if you ride it in saltwater! Known as post-operating care, the after-ride care on a Sea-Doo includes the following steps:
- Removing the Sea-Doo from the water after every ride
- Making sure it sits on the trailer properly
- Flushing the exhaust system with fresh water for 2 minutes
- Checking the hull, pump, iBR and other the systems for any damage
- Removing the drain plugs to drain the bilge
- Plugging the trailer
- Removing the wet clothes and accessories and putting it in a shady place to dry
Cleaning and Detailing
Cleaning is another important to-do to keep your Sea-Doo in a good shape. Especially if you ride in saltwater, a careful cleaning is a must to remove the corrosive saltwater from the engine, pump, as well as the hull.
While cleaning your Sea-Doo you can easily discover cracks or other damage on the hull. Additionally, beyond the regular cleaning you can consider polishing the hull to make it shiny again.
First Service on a Sea-Doo
As a rule of thumb, the first service on a Sea-Doo is required after the first 50 hours or 6/12 months (depending on the model), whichever comes first.
This usually means a thoughtful inspection, a fuel system leak test, oil and filter change, and some other steps described in the manual.
As Sea-Doos are covered with a warranty in the first year, it’s recommended that you get this first service done by your dealership.
It’s always wise to avoid riding your Sea-Doo at maximum speed in the first 10 hours, as this time is considered to be the “brake-in period.” This means you should use a maximum of ½-¾ throttle, but speed variations and quick accelerations are desirable.
Every Sea-Doo needs to be prepared for long-term storage, even if you live in a warm climate!
In cold climate areas, this preparation (known as winterization) is more critical, as expanding ice can cause serious damage in the engine and the exhaust system!
You can learn how to winterize your Sea-Doo here.
Oil and Filter Change
Beyond winterization, you also have to change the oil and the filter in your Sea-Doo after 100 engine hours or 1 year, whichever comes first.
Best practice is to change the oil and the filter as part of the winterization process, at the end of the season. As the used oil contains many contaminants and water due to absorption, it’s important that it be removed and the engine filled up with fresh Sea-Doo oil to avoid malfunctions and rust on the engine’s internals.
Replacing Spark Plugs
Spark plugs also have to be replaced after 200 hours or 2 years. Make sure you install the plugs properly and never drop them into the holes! Instead, use a socket extension to replace and secure the new plugs, and do it slowly and carefully.
There is no need to adjust the gaps of the plugs, just use a little lubricant on the threads before you install the new plugs, that’s all:
Sea-Doos feature a closed-loop cooling system that uses a special antifreeze liquid (coolant) to cool the engine instead of external water.
This coolant has to be checked every year and needs to be replaced every 3 years or 500 engine hours.
Speaking of engines, contrary to popular belief the supercharger on many Sea-Doos needs to be rebuilt after 100 engine hours or 2 years.
This is because when the supercharger fails on a Sea-Doo, it can spray metal debris into the engine, which can result in the need for a complete engine rebuild.
As it may cost you thousands of dollars and a ton of hassle, it’s not worth the risk of gambling with the supercharger.
Although since 2017 Sea-Doo has released their PWCs with ‘maintenance-free’ superchargers, it’s highly recommended that you check the supercharger on these models every year or 50 hours, whichever comes first.
As they say, prevention is better than the cure!
Taking care of the battery is also part of Sea-Doo maintenance. Don’t forget to charge your battery if you haven’t ridden your Sea-Doo in a couple of weeks.
Also, you should remove it, store properly and attach it to a battery tender for the winter months.
If you have a regular flooded-acid battery, you also have to check the water level and refill if needed. But the best practice is to get a maintenance-free AGM battery, as these are considered to be the best Sea-Doo batteries on the market.
Other Yearly Maintenances and Inspections
Beyond the above, there are many important inspections and maintenance steps that are clearly described in the owner’s manual.
These are typically inspecting and maintain the following parts as required:
- Engine (spark plugs, valves, etc.)
- Engine mounts
- Impeller and wear ring
- Pump housing
- iBR (brake system)
- Air intake
- Fuel line
- Electric cables and connections
- Driveshaft and carbon ring
- Cooling system
- Dashboard – Check for fault codes
(And many other parts described in the manual.)
Additionally, the moving and metal parts also have to be lubricated at least once or even twice a year.
As the required maintenance may vary from one model to the next, always refer to the manual when you do the maintenance on your Sea-Doo yourself!
De-Winterizing Your Sea-Doo
Last but not least, the de-winterizing procedure is another frequently overlooked maintenance.
If you want to make sure that your Sea-Doo is ready-to-go after the winter, don’t skip this process before your first ride at the start of every new season.
How Often Should You Service a Sea-Doo?
You have to service a Sea-Doo at least once a year at the end of the season or after 100 engine hours, whichever comes first. Beyond the yearly periodical services, don’t forget about the other important maintenance steps like the pre-ride inspection, after-ride care, winterization and de-winterization.
To properly maintain a Sea-Doo you need to pay attention to several things.
The yearly oil and filter change is barely the minimum, as you have to do many other important maintenance steps to avoid damages and malfunctions.
The main Sea-Doo maintenance steps are the:
- Pre-ride check
- After-ride care
- First service
- Oil and filter change
- Spark plug replacement
- Supercharger rebuild
- Coolant replacement
- Battery maintenance
And any other required maintenance described in the owner’s manual.
As the exact steps of the required maintenance may vary from one Sea-Doo to the next, if you’ve decided to maintain your Sea-Doo yourself, always read the manual first or ask a dealership for professional advice!
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