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What Type of Oil Does a Jet Ski Use? [2 Stroke and 4 Stroke]

What Type of Oil Does a Jet Ski Use? [2 Stroke and 4 Stroke]

If you want to change the oil on your jet ski, you want to know for sure what type of oil you should use.

For your convenience we’ve gathered the best Kawasaki Jet Ski oils (2 stoke and 4 stroke) into this post.

If you have another brand of personal watercraft, you may want to check the required oil types for Sea-Doos as well as Yamaha WaveRunners in these posts.

Beyond the different oil brands, you can learn how to properly premix the fuel for a jet ski, and what the recommended oil mixture ratios are for jet skis.

What Type of Oil Does a Jet Ski Use?

Four-stroke Jet Skis use 10W-40 4-stroke marine engine oils. Kawasaki recommends using the Kawasaki Performance 4-Stroke 10W-40 Jet Ski oil. But if this oil is not available you can also use other types of marine 4-stroke 10W-40 oils that meet the NMMA FC-W requirements. (API: SE, SF, SG, SH or SJ with JASO MA). Two-stroke jet skis require NMMA certified TC-W3 2-stroke oils.

It’s highly recommended to use only marine oils in your jet ski, as these types of oils contain corrosion inhibitor additives. As jet ski engines work in a wet environment, these additives protect your engine.

This is especially important because during the season water gets into the jet ski’s oil!

Are you wondering how this could be possible, as water and oil don’t mix, right?

Although this is completely true, there is a chemical process known as absorption. Simply put, the oil and moisture become a unique type of mixture during the season.

This results in microscopic water drops seeping into your engine oil, which start corroding the engine while the jet ski sits during the winter months.

That’s why it is so important for you to change the oil on your jet ski at the end of the season, and to store it with fresh engine oil when the new season starts!

What Type of Oil Does a 2-Stroke Jet Ski Take?

Keep in mind that unlike 4-stroke power sources, 2-stroke jet ski engines are lubricated with a mixture made of 2-stroke oil and gas. This means that the oil is mixed with the gas before it enters the engine.

How does oil get into the gas?

If your jet ski features an oil injection system, you have to add the oil into the oil tank. While you ride the jet ski, the system ads the right amount of oil to the gas to mix the proper fuel for the jet ski.

If your jet ski doesn’t feature an oil injection system, you have to mix the fuel and the gas manually before you pour it into the tank.

What Type of Oil Does a 2-Stroke Jet Ski Take?

Two-stoke jet skis use TC-W3 2-stroke marine oils. The manufacturer recommends the Kawasaki OEM Performance 2-Stroke Jet Ski Oil. But if this is not available, you can use other types of 2-stroke marine oils that meet the NMMA certified TC-W3 requirements. Make sure to check the certification on the oil container before you use the oil!

Once you’ve purchased the right oil, you probably want to know how the oil to gas ratio for a 2-stroke jet ski, and how to make the premix properly.

Let’s drill into the details of 2-stroke jet ski engine oils!

What is The Oil to Gas Ratio for a 2-Stroke Jet Ski?

The factory recommended oil to gas ratios for 2-stroke Jet Skis are 40:1, 50:1 or even 60:1, depending on the model. But the majority of the owners use a 50:1, or 40:1 ratio for better lubrication. As a rule of thumb, you can’t go wrong with a 40:1 ratio, as it will not just lubricate the engine better but as you will see it’s easier to mix as well.

It’s recommended that you check your jet ski’s owner’s manual for further information, but we’ve also compiled some popular jet skis oil mix ratios for your convenience:Two-Stroke Jet Ski Oil Mixture Ratios by Models

ModelOil Mixture Ratio
SXi Pro60:1
Jet Mate50:1
JS300Oil Injection
SX750Oil Injection
JS650Oil Injection
1100 STXOil Injection
1200 STX-ROil Injection
How much oil do you need for a 50:1 jet ski fuel mixture?

Are you wondering how much oil you need to get a 50:1 mixture? To put it simply, you have to add 1 gallon of oil to 50 gallons of gas. As you probably want to mix a smaller amount of gas, you have to add 2.6 ounces of oil to one gallon of gas and 12.8 ounces of oil to 5 gallons of gas.

How much oil do you need for a 40:1 jet ski fuel mixture?

To get a 40:1 mixture, you have to add 1 gallon of oil to 40 gallons of gas. Speaking of smaller quantities, you have to add 3.2 ounces of oil to one gallon of gas, or 16 ounces of oil to 5 gallons of gas. Because 16 ounces equal ½ quart, many owners prefer to use the 40:1 ratio, as they can use 1 quart of oil for two five-gallon cans of gas.

If you want to mix other quantities or just go with another mix ratio, you may find our jet ski fuel premix chart useful:

2-Stroke Jet Ski Oil Premix Chart

Ounces of Oil Per Gallon of Gas:
Mix Ratio To 11 Gal.2 Gal.2.5 Gal.5 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Mixture for Jet Skis in The Break-in Period

It also has to be mentioned that you should use a richer mixture (1:32) for the break-in period if your jet ski requires premixed fuel.

If it features an oil injection system, it’s recommended that you use a 50:1 mixture throughout the break-in period.

How Do You Mix Oil and Gas for a Jet Ski?

If your jet ski doesn’t feature an oil injection system and requires a mixture, you may want to know how to properly mix the oil with the gas. Let’s explain the right steps one-by-one!

To properly mix the oil and gas for a jet ski, first you need to calculate the required quantity of oil. Get an empty gas can and add the oil first, then fill up the can with fresh gasoline. Secure the cap of the gas can and gently swish to completely mix the oil with the gas. Avoid shaking the can too hard!

For example: If you have a 5-gallon can and need a 40:1 mixture, add ½ quart (16 ounces) of oil to the 5-gallon can before fill it up.

Keep in mind that too rich a mixture is much less damaging to the jet ski’s engine than using too little oil.

If you add too much oil, you may notice more smoke from the exhaust, a less powerful engine or maybe fouled spark plugs. If you notice these issues, you can still replace it with the right mixture of oil and gas using the appropriate ratio.

It’s also important that you never adjust an imbalanced mixture by adding oil or gas directly into the jet ski’s fuel tank! The best practice is always to remove it and create the right mixture.

But what happens if you don’t add enough oil to the gas?

Why is the Proper Fuel Mixture Ratio So Important?

Riding a 2-stroke jet ski without the right amount of oil can destroy the engine in a really short time. This is because without the proper lubrication the engine’s internal parts (cylinders and pistons) become too hot and may eventually melt. If that happens, these parts become deformed, which means the end of the engine.

That’s why it’s so important to use the right amount of oil in a 2-stroke jet ski at all times! Always double-check the mixture ratio before you premix the fuel, and the best practice is to use 40:1.

How Much Oil Does a 2-Stroke Jet Ski use?

Two-stroke jet skis use 1 gallon of oil while they burn 40 or 50 gallons of gas on the water. This means that the oil consumption of a 2-stroke jet ski depends on two factors, the mixture ratio and the jet ski’s fuel consumption. As stock 2-stroke jet skis feature ca. 5-gallon gas tanks, it means they require around ½ quart (16 ounces) of oil at each refueling.(If you use a 40:1 mixture ratio)

As one quart of 2-stroke jet ski oil costs around $10, this means the oil will cost you an extra $5 each time you refuel.

Please note that 2-stroke skis are very thirsty so you can totally dry their tanks in just half an hour!

Oil-Injection vs. Premix

Many vintage 2-stroke jet skis come with a fuel injection system (oil pump), which means you can add the oil into a separate oil thank, and the jet ski premixes the fuel itself. However, if this system goes wrong, the lack of lubrication can destroy the engine in a second.

Because of this, the oil injection vs. premix is a never-ending debate among 2-stroke jet ski owners.

Let’s briefly look at what you should consider before you remove your jet ski’s oil injection system!

Why Not Remove a Jet Ski’s Oil Injection System?

The main advantage of having an oil injection system is that you don’t have to mix the fuel manually before your rides. If you’ve ever mixed oil and gas manually, you probably know it can be a hassle.


–             You need to always have gas cans on you.

–             You have to carry the oil bottles with you as well.

–             Oil can make a huge mess it spills.

–             Empty oil bottles should be properly disposed of.

–             Lifting larger (3-5 gallons) cans requires physical effort.

–             Fueling a jet ski with a can increase risks for drippings, spills, etc.

But if your jet ski has a fuel injection system, you can add the oil to an oil tank at home, which is much more convenient compared to mixing the fuel.

As jet skis feature a 1-1.5-gallon oil tank they have plenty of oil capacity for a full day’s ride. No gas cans, no mixing, no empty and dirty oil bottles! You can fill up your jet ski’s tank easily at a gas station.

That’s why oil injection systems are so popular, they are so convenient.

Why Remove a Jet Ski’s Oil Injection System?

As we know, anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and oil injectors are no exception.

And if they go wrong, the engine remains without lubrication, which can destroy the entire engine in a minute.

Because of this concern, many 2-stroke jet ski owners remove or block the oil injection system and mix the fuel manually instead. This way, they can make sure that their engine has the proper lubrication all the time.

If you’re considering modifying your ski in the same way, here are some other factors to consider:Beyond the big hassle of pre-mixing, it can be a problem if you loan your jet ski to one of your friends. If he forgets to add oil to the gas it may easily result in an engine rebuild!

The Solution

If you don’t want to remove the gas injection system, but still want to prevent these issues, there is a good solution for you.

The best practice is to add a thin premix (100:1 or slightly thinner) to the tank, and don’t block the jet ski’s oil injector.

Using the thin premix is like having insurance on your jet ski. If the oil pump goes wrong, your jet ski’s engine is still lubricated, which means this trick can save your engine!

In general, this small amount of extra oil in the gas doesn’t cause any trouble for the spark plugs either.

Can You Use Motorcycle Oil in a Jet Ski?

No, it’s not recommended to use motorcycle oil in a jet ski. The best practice is to always use special jet ski oils as these vehicles have different transmission systems, thus they need different lubricants. Moreover, jet ski oils usually contain anti-corrosion additives to protect the engine, which is a key point as a jet ski’s engine runs in a wet environment.

Conclusion – What Kind of Oil Does a Kawasaki Jet Ski Take?

Four-stroke Kawasaki Jet Skis use 10W-40 4-stroke marine oils (API: SE, SF, SG, SH or SJ with JASO MA), while 2-stroke jet skis use TC-W3 2-stroke marine oils. Kawasaki recommends the OEM Jet Ski oils, but if they are not available, you can use any other type of oil if it meets the requirements.

If you have a 4-stroke jet ski, don’t forget that you have to change the engine oil every year or after every 50 hours, whichever comes first.

If your jet ski is powered with a 2-stroke engine, it means you don’t have to change the engine oil of course. But don’t forget that two-stroke jet skis also need to be winterized!

Also, don’t forget the most commonly used mixture ratio for 2-stroke jet skis is 40:1, while the manufacturer recommends 60:1-40:1 ratio, depending on the model.

Be careful when you mix the 2-stroke jet ski fuel, as doing it wrong can destroy the engine!

—————– Related Articles: How to Change Oil In a Jet Ski [Step-by-Step Guide] What Type of Oil Does a Sea-Doo Use? What Type of Oil Does a WaveRunner Use? [Chart] How to Winterize a Jet Ski: PWC Winterizing in 7 Simple Steps