It finally happened: Your favorite personal watercraft isn’t running anymore, and you suspect engine damage. Maintenance and repairs are one thing, but what if the engine needs to be rebuilt? How much does it cost to rebuild a jet ski engine?
A professional jet ski engine rebuild will cost around $65 per hour times 8-16 hours of labor, plus parts. Costs will vary based on mechanic’s service charges and the size of your machine. Standard parts often needing replacement on an engine include gaskets, rods, bearings, and fuel lines.
In this article, I discuss how much it can cost to rebuild a jet ski engine according to the various options available. I’ve included information on types of engines, and common repairs for engines. I’ll also compare a rebuilt engine with a remanufactured engine on price, convenience, and warranties.
Common Jet Ski Parts Requiring Replacement in a Rebuild
A jet ski is like a motorcycle on a lake. It’s considered a personal watercraft and is an enjoyable piece of equipment for the summer. Even professionals like lifeguards use them because they’re quick and maneuver well in the water. They’re less expensive than boats and fascinating to speed around on the lake.
Unfortunately, the jet ski engine isn’t just one part; many functional components may need repairs or replacements.
Older jet skis use two-stroke engines, and though the parts are less expensive, they’re harder to find. Most jet skis today use four-stroke engines. These engines are larger; but, the pieces are easier to find. Whether your engine is a two or four-stroke, they do have similar parts to maintain and replace.
Some of the most common parts you’ll return on your jet ski engine are:
- Fuel lines: Clogged fuel lines can block the carburetor, causing performance issues. These lines deteriorate over time. Fuel lines come in various sizes for jet skis, and many lines may need replacing.
- Rods and bearings: These parts connect the crankshaft to the pistons and come with washers and piston pins. These parts range from around $85 to $130.
- You can find piston kits for $100 to $140 and more for kits for supercharged engines. Piston kits come with rings, clips, and pins.
- Gaskets: Gaskets create the seal connecting two parts, preventing leaking. There are gaskets of all sizes, so prices vary. Newer jet ski gasket kits will cost more than the older smaller gasket kits for two-stroke engines.
- Motor mounts: Motor mounts stabilize the engine as you bounce on the water, and these parts can break. A loose and vibrating machine will deteriorate other pieces around it.
- Crankshaft: Rusting and deterioration will destabilize the crankshaft. Using a weld-based crankshaft is a way to reduce movement and keep it from twisting.
Jet Ski Engine Rebuilds Vs Remanufactured Engines
When your jet ski’s engine has taken a turn for the worse, you have two main options: you can take your jet ski to the shop and get the engine repaired, or you can buy a manufactured engine from a dealer and replace your old engine. Which is the better option is determined by what your basic goals are for this task.
An engine repair for your jet ski will get the engine back to working condition. Mechanics will only replace the parts needed to bring the machine back to life. Mechanics charge by the labor hour, so figure in $65 per labor hour. But keep in mind, while this option may be less expensive, other problems in the engine may still arise.
For this reason, buying a remanufactured engine may be a better investment, as the machines are rebuilt to factory specifications. Remanufactured engines have had all parts replaced to create an almost new engine. These engines are produced in mass quantities and to specific standards in factories with high-quality control and industrial mechanical equipment. You’ll get what you paid for: a new engine.
Remanufactured engines come with the option to buy warranties to continue as added insurance for future repairs, saving you more money in the long run.
It should be noted, even if you can handle most repairs to your jet ski at home, a professional should handle the engine repairs. Though it’s a small engine, it can be complex and requires professional knowledge of engine repair. And of course, any jet ski still within warranty will need to be serviced by professionals to maintain security.
Prolonging the Life of Your Jet Ski Engine
Whether you choose to get your jet ski engine rebuilt or remanufactured, your jet ski should be getting regular maintenance. Of course, you want it to last as long as it possibly can, and by scheduling regular repairs and maintenance, such as oil and filter changes, you’ll significantly prolong the engine’s life.
You can also winterize your jet ski during the colder months to keep the engine from being damaged during storage.Simply add a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel from freezing in cold temperatures.
Additionally, for the 2-stroke jet ski owners, spark plugs need to be replaced every year; 4 stroke jet ski engines don’t foul up the spark plugs quite as often.
With the improvement of the 2-stroke engine in mind, most jet skis today are made with four-stroke engines. This newer design is built to work more efficiently than two-stroke motors. Not to mention, they’re better for the environment.
As you discover it’s time to get your jet ski’s engine rebuilt, you may see some DIY options, but it’s best to take it to a repair shop. On average, engine repair will take 8 to 16 hours and cost approximately $65 per labor hour. Prices may also vary according to your engine and from shop to shop.
Remember, a 2 stroke engine is smaller, and parts may be less expensive but harder to find. Newer jet skis come standard with more significant four-stroke engines. Plus, with more moving parts, they may be slightly more costly but easier to find.