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i'm new to PWC and boats in general, i'm familiar with snowmobile and auto maintenance but not PWC. How often do they need maintenance? Weekly? monthly? is it beginning of summer and then winterizing? Just don't want any unnecessary breakdowns..... all answers will be appreciated!
 

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After you get past the initial break in it is pretty easy in fresh water for a 4 stroke. For me it is once per year for the maintenance and I do it as part of the winterization process. I ride all summer, then do the maintenance when I'm ready to put the ski away for the winter: Oil/filter change, check spark plugs, fog the engine, fill the tank and add Marine Sta-bil to the fuel, lube cables and other parts, pull the battery and put on charger, tighten bolts, wash and wax the ski. If you put lots of hours on the ski you may need to do a mid-season oil change (most manuals say every 100 hours, but I and many others recommend every 50 hours). I also occasionally wash the ski, and apply vinyl and rubber/plastic protectant during the season.

Getting the ski ready for summer is pretty easy. I run it on the hose to clear the fogging oil and make sure everything is OK. If you are going to put in new spark plugs this is when to do it, since the first run of the season will often foul a plug.

In addition for salt water you have to do a fresh water flush after every ride, and its not a bad idea to do a salt-away flush once or twice during the season. Some guys recommend spraying anti-corrosive sprays inside and on all metal parts after every ride or every other ride in salt water.

On a 2 stroke ski you have to add cleaning or rebuilding the carbs. occasionally.

Overall very easy to do yourself.
 
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