What’s that beep coming from your jet ski, and how to fix it.

Older jet skis are fun to ride, but when it comes time to troubleshoot, they can be problematic. If you have a newer 4 stroke, you will have a computer that can be accessed to tell you what fault code is going off. Having a computer on a newer ski is nice, but you will need specialized computer equipment and software in order to access it, so don’t think you can just hook your laptop up and see everything.

On the older skis, they may just have one warning light or just a buzzer. On some models the buzzer has different codes as is 3 beeps mean it is overheating, 2 beeps means its low on oil. On some models, the buzzer just buzzes for everything.

If you don’t own a full shop manual for your specific ski, here are some reasons why your buzzer may be beeping.

Why is your jet ski beeping? Your jet ski is beeping because there is something wrong with it. Sometimes it will be a short or fault, but most of the time it is trying to tell you something is wrong. This could be low oil, overheating, low fuel, bad connection on your key, and other items.

Reasons why your Jet Ski is Beeping

There are many faults that could be going on with your jet ski to cause it to beep. Sometimes, they can beep without having a real fault at all, they just beep because something went bad or there is water in a connector. Below are some of the items to check out if your jet ski is beeping at you.

If your jet ski is beeping at you, do not disconnect the buzzer, there typically is a problem that is worth checking out to preserve the reliability of your wave runner.

Temp Sensor Failure

Temperature sensors are known to go bad on older jet skis. This can be checked by simply disconnecting the sensor when the ski is off and cool. If the ski turns on and there is no beep, then you have a bad sensor. The sensor is typically located on top of the head of the engine and will have one wire leading to it.


If your jet ski runs fine for the first few minutes, but then starts beeping, you may be having an overheating problem. Check to see if there is water coming out of your water outlet, as well as take the seat off to see if anything is smoking.

You will want to run through the water system of the jet ski to determine which part is clogged. Start searching for proper flow by disconnecting any hoses and visually looking or by sticking a smaller wire or flexible object through the hose to make sure it is clear. You can start at the water intake which gets water from the jet system pushing it through and move on through the system.

If you did have an overheat problem, and you have resolved the problem, most older sensors will need to be replaced before the beep will go away as the sensors may not reset due to their age.

Water Inside the Electronics Box

Water inside of the electronics box could have shorted out some electronics causing a beep. Open up your box and check to make sure there is no moisture. If there is, try and dry it out to the best of your ability. Avoid using a hair dryer or heat gun as you can melt components. Let it dry out naturally.

Now that it is dry, start the ski and see if you have a beep still. If so, try disconnecting items one by one and see if it stops. When the beep stops, you will know what item is faulty. See below for more troubleshooting ideas.

Has it been Worked on Recently?

If you have worked on the jet ski recently, or have taken it to a shop to be worked on and the beep is something new, you will want to inspect the wiring to make sure if everything was put back together correctly. Sometimes it is easy to mis wire something, or even plug in a connector to the wrong connector as they tend to look alike and they will fit into each other, don’t ask me how I know.

ECM could have Shorted out

If riding in salt water, water could have gotten in a plug for anything such as your temperature sensor or even your fuel gauge. This could cause a short and cause your buzzer to be going off even though nothing is wrong. Try disconnecting each wire one by one, check for corrosion, blow it out with compressed air, and make sure it fits back snugly. If that doesn’t work, check our troubleshooting guide below to help you solve your problem.

Low Oil

Low oil could be a culprit of making your jet ski buzz. If you have an oil injected ski or a 4 stroke, there may be a sensor that is telling you it’s time to add some oil. Check your oil resivour and add some to the proper level if it is in fact low.

Is there a warning light on?

If there is a warning light on with your buzzer, chances are you do have something wrong. Check your owners manual if the warning light is not labeled to see what may be going on. The buzzer beeping in certain patterns plus the warning light may tell you the exact problem with your ski.


If the ski stays powered and can start without the key, chances are you have a bad DESS port. This is typically the smart key that enables you to unlock your jet ski. You will want to get this fixed asap especially if you leave your jet ski moored in the water so someone doesn’t walk up and take it.

This will also drain your battery quickly, so make sure to unplug the battery from your ski if this happens.

Troubleshooting your Problem

On most skis, your buzzer is fed power all the time. All of your sensors are connected to the buzzer by the ground. To set a buzzer off, the ground connection completes a circuit and buzzzz.

  1. Disconnect all items that have a ground and could be a cause of the fault (example: temperature sensor, fuel gauge, computer, trim sensor, etc.)
  2. Turn on power to your jet ski
  3. Plug in items one by one until the buzzer starts to play its tune and you will find your problem sensor.
  4. Diagnose the sensor, wiring, problem, or replace the bad sensor or circuit
  5. Ejoy your fixed jet ski

Fixing a jet ski is not always fun, but having some of the right tools to diagnose problems can be great. Use the above process of elimination to find your problem and determine if it is a faulty sensor, or a real problem with a component.

Happy Riding!