How Many Hours can you put on a Jet Ski Before it Dies?

In the heat of the summer, you won’t want to get out of the water. The sun is shining, and the water is glassy, just waiting to be cut up. You could spend all day, every day out on the water on your jet ski. But, just how long will the fun last before the jet ski dies? In this article, we will explain how to estimate the number of hours you have before your jet ski dies. We will also cover what the differences between jet ski types are, and how to take care of your jet ski better so that it may last longer. 

How many hours can you put on a jet ski before it dies? Jet skis typically come with either a 4-stroke or 2-stroke engine. The 4-stroke engine can last around 350 hours, while the 2-stroke engine will last about 150 hours before a major rebuild. Of course, if you take better care of your jet ski, and do recommended maintenance it may last longer. If you do not take care of your jet ski, it may not last as long as this average number of hours. 

Engine Differences For Jet Skis

The type of engine determines the model of your jet ski that it carries. There are 4-stroke and 2-stroke engines. If you don’t know much about engines, the basics are that a 4-stroke engine is usually more substantial and can deliver higher torque at lower RPM’s. A 2-stroke engine is lighter. However, the 4-stroke engine will last, on average, upwards of 300 hours, whereas a 2-stroke engine lasts only 150-200 hours. 2-stroke engines are not standard nowadays unless you have a Yamaha Superjet as that is the only new ski in production with a 2 stroke, so you probably don’t need to worry about that unless you have an older model. Just know that the average 4-stroke lasts, on average, 350 hours. But, can you make your 4-stroke last longer? 

How To Make Your Jet Ski Last Longer?

Taking good care of the engine for your jetski can significantly help to extend its hours of use. Also, the use of supercharged engines is usually not necessary for the average jet ski user. Supercharged engines go much faster than most people want on a jet ski (65-70 mph), and supercharged engines do not last as long as other smaller engines. 

Some care techniques for your engine will keep it going for more prolonged periods than the average hours. Care techniques can leave you enjoying the sun and water on your jet ski longer than those who don’t care for their jet ski engines. Below is a list of the most common techniques to maintain your jet ski and keep it running in peak form.

#1: Engine Fluids

Just like your car, maintaining engine fluids for your jet ski is very important. The 4-stroke engine does not require a mixed solution of oil and fuel, but some 2-strokes do unless it is oil injected. IF you store your jet ski with fuel in it but no fuel stabilizer, make sure to use fuel cleaner and stabilizer before you start it up for the season. 

Make sure to always use quality fluids when changing oil or adding oil to mix fuel. Cheap oil can cause havoc.

#2: Check For Damage

Maybe you had a rough season last year. You should look your watercraft over and see if there is any significant damage that is easily visible. Damage to watch out for includes hanging wires, throttle cables, and the waterproofing trim. Never start the engine of your jet ski if you smell fuel. Instead, open it up and investigate to see if there is a leak. 

#3: Use A Jet Ski Lift

Since jet skis are not meant to be stored in water for the long term, it may be more convenient to use a jet ski lift. A floating jet ski lift keeps your jet ski out of the water for easier storing and works on your PWC. It also limits long term exposure to water, which can cause intake fouling. For more lift information, click here.

#4: Once A Year Maintenance Things

There are many things that you should do every time you put your Jet Ski in the water. These things include checking for loose parts, checking the fuel, and testing the engine. However, several things only need to be completed for the maintenance of your jet ski once a year.

These once a year, tasks include things such as changing the oil and oil filter. Also, you may want to drain out the pump oil, which tends to foul over the season. Finally, adding grease to all the seals and bearings maintains a waterproof seal that will protect your engine. You may even want to lubricate essential parts that move on the jet ski to minimize wear and tear. 

#5: Prepare Your Jet Ski For The Winter Months

At the end of a long and fun summer in the sun and water, your jet ski is ready to be retired for the colder months of winter. There are several things that you must do to ensure that the jet ski is taken care of while in storage in the cold weather.

Draining water from the engine is essential to keep corrosion and freeze damage from taking hold of the engine parts. Also, you will want to clean the jet ski very thoroughly to maintain the sheen and color of the hull and limit corrosion on any essential elements. Here is our step by step guide to winterizing your jet ski.

There are even anti-corrosive products for the engine. Lubricate anything metal like hinges and handles so that rust cannot form. Finally, you will want to keep some fuel in the tank and to add fuel stabilizer to the fuel so that it does not become fouled during the winter. Cover your PWC and store it in a place that is dry for the winter so that it will be ready to rock and roll when the summer months and sun come again!

#6: Perform Recommended Maintenance

Take out the owners manual and look over your maintenance schedule. Make sure to perform this maintenance per the book to ensure your wave runner lasts as long as possible.


Jet skis are are built to last as long as you maintain them. They they sure are fun but will require this maintenance. Keep your PWC going longer with these tips for taking care of the engine.

Engine care can go a long way with your jet ski, and proper storage techniques also make sure you are getting the best from the engine of your jet ski. 

Floating Jet Ski Lifts, Proper engine fluid use, and the ability to identify problems or loose parts before you get on the water can help you to stay safe and limit injuries. Jet skis can be one of the best parts of being at the water. Take care of your PWC and make sure that it will last for seasons to come!