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Why Does My Jet Ski Battery Keep Dying?

Power - by Joe Weber - updated on 7/5/2022

2 jet skis on a beach

As summer is approaching quickly, and temperatures are rising higher and higher, getting out onto the water to enjoy a day of water sports is a great way to enjoy the weather and cool off in the water. Use these tips to help you keep your jet ski battery healthy to avoid having to make an extra stop on the way to the lake for a new battery.

What Drains a Jet Ski Battery?

There are several reasons why a jet ski battery will drain and ruin a day full of water sports. Take a look below for the top 5 reasons why your jet ski battery keeps dying.

  1. Not Using Your Jet Ski Enough
    Just like car batteries, if your jet ski sits for a long period of inactivity the battery will begin to sulfate and cause problems with charging and reduce the life of the battery. This can occur much sooner with jet ski batteries due to their small size.
  2. Overcharging Your Jet Ski battery
    Overcharging the battery in your jet ski, as weird as it sounds, can actually drain your battery. Overcharging your jet ski battery will cause the battery to get hot and damage components causing the battery to not completely charge. Overcharging could even cause explosions in extreme cases and could be very dangerous.
  3. Charging Your Jet Ski Battery Incorrectly
    Just like overcharging, if you are not charging your battery correctly it will reduce the life of the battery. We'll get into the proper way to charge your battery a little later on.
  4. Not Storing Your Jet Ski Battery Properly During the Off-Season
    When the season is over, storing your jet ski battery properly in the winter is just as important as any other battery maintenance tip. Batteries should be removed from the jet ski and stored in a dry, 60-degree Fahrenheit location, and kept on a low voltage trickle charger or automatic charger to be ready to go for the next season.
  5. Your Jet Ski Battery Needs to Be Replaced
    The battery in your jet ski could simply need to be replaced. It could be age, a faulty battery, or any one of the reasons mentioned above. Shop online with Batteries Plus to see our extensive selection of jet ski batteries.

How Long Should a Jet Ski Battery Last?

A jet ski battery should last between 3 - 5 years if properly maintained and cared for. However, this time range is for a healthy battery. If you're not using your jet ski enough and leave the battery in, not properly maintaining your battery in the off-season or not charging it correctly, you may see yourself needing a new battery in as little as one year.

Do Jet Skis Have Charging Systems?

Your jet ski does have a charging system, of sorts. You won't see power steering, windows, locks or remote star. on a jet ski so the electrical demands are much lower. While they do not have an alternator as cars do, they have a stator. A stator will generate enough electricity to maintain the battery charge while you are out enjoying the day on the water but it will not produce enough energy to charge the battery if it is depleted.

A stator is a static component on a jet ski that generates electricity by using electromagnetic coils divided into two groups. One group called an exciter, sends power to the spark plugs to start the engine. The other group, the charging coils, is sent to the battery to provide a small amount of charge to maintain the battery while in use. There is one additional key component powered by the engine that sends energy to the stator to convert it into electricity. That's the flywheel. The flywheel is s spinning metal disc with a heavy metal rim covered in magnets to store rotational energy as the flywheel spins. As the magnets rotate around the stator the mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy.

How Often Should You Charge Your Jet Ski Battery?

As a general rule of thumb, if you are not using your jet ski regularly, you should charge your battery once a month to ensure your battery has a long life. Using a smart, automatic charger from X2Power is great for this and for when storing your battery in the off-season to prevent overcharging.

Every jet ski is different but these steps should be followed for all models to avoid damaging the battery.

  1. Locate the battery in your jet ski.
  2. Even though it may seem like the battery is in a good position to charge, remove the battery from the jet ski.
  3. Once removed, give the battery a quick visual inspection. Is the battery in good condition? No cracks or leaks? Any corrosion on the terminals?
  4. Place the battery on a solid, level surface away from anything that could catch fire.
  5. It's always recommended to clean the battery terminals if there is any corrosion present with a mixture of 1 Tablespoon of baking soda and 1 Cup of water and scrub with an old toothbrush.
  6. Connect your battery charger to the battery. Red (+) from the charger to Red (+) on the battery, Black (-) from the charger to Black (-) on the battery.
  7. Turn on the charger. An automatic charger will detect the charging mode to use and shut off when the battery is fully charged.
  8. Remove the cables from the battery in the reverse order. Black (-) first, then Red (+).
  9. Reinstall the battery in your jet ski connecting the Red (+) cable first, then the Black (-).

In the event you have a completely dead battery do NOT attempt to jump-start the battery with your car battery or even a jump pack. This can cause extensive damage to your jet ski's electrical system and is not recommended. If you have a completely dead battery, remove the battery and charge it with an automatic charger as detailed above.

Batteries Plus is Your Jet Ski Battery Headquarters

Is your jet ski battery not holding a charge? Bring it into your nearest Batteries Plus and have them tested for free. If they need to be replaced, we have plenty of personal watercraft batteries from Duracell Ultra, X2Power, Xtreme and Odyssey to fit your needs.

Make sure you're safe on the water this summer and check out our online blog post "Boating Safety Tips for a Fun 4th of July on the Water".

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