Servicing your JetSki
As JetSki owners ourselves, we use Ski M.D - one of NZ's leading independent PWC service specialists operating an advanced mobile workshop specifically designed to service and repair jetskis. They have a full range of diagnostic equipment and one of the most experienced technicians in the watercraft industry.
Service areas include Auckland, north-east Waikato and the Coromandel. See here for more information www.SkiMD.co.nz
Jetski Shopping 101
One of our most common enquiries at Ski MD comes from new customers wanting buy their first jetski. Because we don't sell them but do work on the top 3 brands, people often turn to us for an unbiased opinion. Here are the top 5 do's and don'ts to get you started;
- Go to the SMART STUFF page and read Buying Your First Jetski - this covers the basic FAQ.
- WINTER is the best time to BUY as demand is not high and people wanting to sell may be more negotiable.
- Go to http://www.jetskijunk.co.nz and establish what you will need to spend on accessories to get you started. This is a good place to get a line up of prices on everything from life jackets to flushing fluid and because it is 100% Kiwi - it's also a good place to buy and have goods shipped to your door!
- Go to our TOP 10 favourite models to buy (further down this page). Noting these a very YEAR specific. Not all models of the same name were created equally!
- Lastly, get a pre-purchase inspection done before you buy preferably from a dealer familiar with the brand - it's no guarantee but a 99% chance of getting something that won't be dubbed "the lemon".
- Don't assume that because the ski has done low hours it will be a better buy. It is rare but not unheard of for hours to be incorrect on imported ski's. Also, a well serviced/used ski can be better than one which has done 30 hours in 4 years and never been serviced correctly. Visual inspection in person will normally tell a well kept ski, ie: very clean, polished, service history in a folder, etc.
- We know first hand someone's idea of well serviced can be drastically different from what the factory recommends. Find out what the service intervals are of the model you are buying and ask to see the history, or have the dealer/agent confirm regular service records. *Note, there may be a fee to request service documents and the owners permission will need to be obtained first.
- Surprisingly, the most common error from buyers is not knowing what year the ski is they have just brought! This is critical to check for problem models which fall into engine years etc. Often we find customers are several years out! Check the last 2 digits of the external serial tag, and at very least run the model and year through Google to check if re-occuring issues are commonly documented.
- "I have a model that no one will service". Check with your local boat/jetski service centre to see what models they can work on. For example, Seadoo have specific expensive diagnostics and not many places around NZ actually work on them if there is an issue.
- "A marine shop down the road is selling it so it must be okay". We disagree! If a ski has been traded in but it is not a brand they normally work on, they may be honestly unaware if it is a lemon on not. Consumers guarantee will be on your side, but it may still be a stressful situation if it turns ugly, for both parties.
Top 3 Winter Tips From The Jetski Doctor
#1 BATTERY CARE - Get your battery charging system hooked up NOW. Our favourite system is the CTEK and you can plug it in and walk away. Kevin can install the quick connection system for you if you need help. There is a lot more at stake than just your battery - some electrical components fail or reset if the battery is left to die.
#2 LET YOUR SKI BREATHE - Take the seats OFF! Let the engine bay completely dry out to reduce condensation revolving around the engine and causing significant corrosion damage. If you are storing inside, you can cover the ski once it has dried out. If you are storing the ski outside, you will need to remove the cover and dry out on sunny days throughout winter.
#3 TURN IT OVER - Another huge factor of winter damage is actually lack of use. When the ski isn't running, nothing is getting lubricated, including delicate rubber o-rings. These parts become dry and brittle and fail during first use after long storage periods. To help combat this issue, run your ski briefly every few weeks - just long enough to get some temporature in the engine.
The basic science of batteries
Without a doubt, the battery on your ski can cause the biggest amount of grief during your time as a jet ski owner. Every year we answer the same questions from owners who are not familiar with the basic science of batteries. So lets cover a few important things:
- Your battery takes the hardest hit over winter. If you don't use your ski for more than 3 months it can cause serious damage to the healthiest of batteries and may require replacement.
- If you look after your battery seriously well, you should get 3+ years of good service.
- If you are not using your ski once a fortnight, you will need to invest in a battery charger. We use the CTEK system at $99 - it can be left on the battery full time and has a permanant connection so you don't have to fiddle with your battery terminals when you want to plug it in.
- Basic rule of thumb; charge the battery for the weekend once a month to bring it right up to full charge (or if you have an auto charger as above, you can just leave it on). Some ski's will drain the battery faster and require charging every 2 weeks - this can also apply to some dual battery set ups.
- A dying battery will take on a charge and seem ok, then be flat the next day. We generally refer to this as the capacity. Once it has suffered damage in a discharged (flat) state or starts to get old, it will be enough to effect this capacity/ability to hold its charge.
- Battery brands; new ski's have a genuine Yuasa battery which are the best lead acid battery. When it comes to replacement, the best way to go is a maintenance free Motobatt which are constantly improving their technology and ability to stay healthy if not in use or on charge.
- Handy tip; if your ski starts on a cold engine at the beginning of the day (and it hasn't just come of the charger), then you should have no problems with it for the rest of the day. If is sounds sluggish, have it checked before you go out.