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How Do You Maintain a WaveRunner? [Step-by-Step Guide]

How Do You Maintain a WaveRunner? [Step-by-Step Guide]

We get this question frequently: How do you maintain a WaveRunner?If you are considering maintaining your WaveRunner on your own, this post is for you. We, at JetDrift have gathered the basics of WaveRunner maintenance, all under one roof.

Also, please note that the required steps, tools, and materials may vary according to the model. Therefore, always read your owner’s manual carefully or ask your dealership for professional advice before servicing your WaveRunner yourself!

How to Maintain a WaveRunner

To maintain your WaveRunner in the right way, you always have to stick to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedules. These describe every required step like oil and filter changes, pre-ride checks, after-ride care, winterizing and de-winterizing, and many other important steps and inspections.

For your convenience, we’ve summarized the most important maintenance steps and their schedule into once chart.

WaveRunner Maintenance Schedule Chart

Pre-ride checkBefore every ride
After-ride careAfter every ride
CleaningAfter every ride
First service10 hours
Oil and filter change (SC engines)50 hours/1 year
Oil and filter change (NA engines)100 hours/1 year
Spark plug check100 hours/1 year
Check Valve clearance/Engine mounts200 hours/2 years
Check rubber coupling200 hours/2 years
SuperchargerNo maintenance required
WinterizingBefore the off-season
Other required maintenances and fixesBefore the off-season
Battery maintenanceBefore the off-season/Regularly
LubricationBefore and after the off-season
Full InspectionBefore and after the off-season
De-winterizingAfter the off-season
As you can see, this means a lot of work if you want to keep your WaveRunner in good condition. Let’s drill into each step in a little more detail!

Step-by-Step WaveRunner Maintenance Guide

Pre-Operation Check

The pre-operation check, also known as the “pre-ride check” requires you to inspect your WaveRunner thoroughly before every ride. This procedure includes the following steps:

These are just the main and most important steps, as the pre-operation checklist usually takes up ten pages in a WaveRunner’s manual! That’s why you should read it carefully before you hit the water!

Post-Operation Care

Post-operation care on a WaveRunner is another important maintenance task. According to the manual the key steps of this process are:


As part of the after-ride care, Yamaha also recommends cleaning your WaveRunner carefully, especially if you rode it in saltwater.

In this way you can make sure to remove the corrosive saltwater from the metal parts and the hull. Furthermore, you can consider polishing your WaveRunner once a year!

Initial Service on the WaveRunner

Regarding the initial service, Yamaha’s seems even more strict compared to Sea-Doo’s.

This is because the initial service on a WaveRunner is already required after the first 10 hours!

This service should include an oil change, checking the spark plugs, fuel line, steering system, throttle, pump, hoses and connections, bolts and nuts, and many other key points described in the manual.


Winterizing is one of the most important maintenance tasks on a WaveRunner, since overlooked or improper winterization may result in serious damage!

You need to know that even if you live in a warm climate, you also have to prep your WaveRunner for long-term storage.

If you want to learn how to winterize your craft, we invite you to make good use of our step-by-step winterization guide.

Oil Change

Regarding periodical WaveRunner maintenance, the yearly oil change is another key step in keeping the engine in good shape.

As a rule of thumb, every Yamaha WaveRunner requires the oil and filter be changed at least once a year, before being stored for the winter. While WaveRunners with lower-performance engines require the oil be changed after 100 engine hours or once a year, the ones with supercharged engines need more frequent maintenance, as you have to change the oil every 50 hours on these engines.

Best practice is to change the oil filter as well whenever you change the engine oil.

Spark Plugs

Also, don’t forget about the spark plugs, as you have to check them regularly.

Although according to the manual you only need to inspect the plugs periodically (and it doesn’t describe a replacement schedule), it’s recommended that you replace them at least every second year.

WaveRunner Supercharger Schedule

Unlike many Sea-Doo’s supercharger, the superchargers in the performance WaveRunner models are completely maintenance-free, that’s why you can’t find any maintenance schedule for superchargers in the manual.

This means that unless malfunctions occur you don’t have to pay attention to the supercharger!


Don’t forget to take care of the battery, as it not only needs to be charged regularly when you’re not riding your WaveRunner, it also has to be stored properly during the winter months.Additionally, if you have a flooded-acid battery keep in mind that it requires more attention and maintenance since you have to fill it up with water occasionally.

That’s why you should consider a sealed AGM battery next time you replace the battery.

Other Periodical Maintenances and Inspections

Additionally, there are many inspection and maintenance steps that may vary by model. These are typically inspecting the following parts and fixing/maintaining them if required:

  • Hull
  • Engine (spark plugs, valves, etc.)
  • Engine mounts
  • Impeller and wear ring
  • Pump housing
  • RiDE (brake system)
  • Air intake
  • Controls
  • Fuel line
  • Electric cables and connections
  • Driveshaft
  • Cooling system
  • Dashboard – Check for fault codes!
  • Battery
For the exact list don’t forget to check your WaveRunner’s manual.

The manufacturer also recommends that you lubricate all metal and moving parts before the winter storage.


Although it may not be as important as winterizing your WaveRunner, you shouldn’t forget the de-winterization procedure to make sure your ski is ready for the season!

How Often Should You Service a WaveRunner?

Every WaveRunner needs to be serviced at least once a year, or after 100 engine hours. The supercharged models require more attention, as you have to change the engine oil on these models every 50 hours. What’s more, a brand new WaveRunner requires an initial service after the first 10 hours!


To maintain a WaveRunner properly you always have to start by thoroughly reading the manual. As a rule of thumb, the most important maintenance steps on a WaveRunner are:
  • Pre-ride check
  • After-ride care
  • First service
  • Oil and filter change
  • Spark plug replacement
  • Winterizing
  • De-Winterizing
  • Lubrication
  • Yearly inspection
  • Battery maintenance
And any other required repairs or maintenance described in the owner’s manual.

Please note that the required maintenance may vary from one model to the next. Because of this always refer to the owner’s manual or consult with your dealerships before you start to maintain your WaveRunner!