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Troubleshooting Sea-Doo Start-Up Issues

Troubleshooting Sea-Doo Start-Up Issues

Riding season has begun, and you uncover your Sea-Doo from storage to get it ready for the summer. It looks just like it did when you stored it away, yet something is amiss. You turn the ignition but only hear clicking sounds. You’ve got enough gas in the tank, so what gives? If your Sea-Doo won’t start, there are a variety of potential things that could be wrong with it. We’ll go through the most common ignition issues and discuss what you should do to get your Sea-Doo running again. You’ll need a digital multimeter to help troubleshoot electrical problems.

  1. Check Battery Before All Else: Before you panic, check the battery first. If you didn’t have your jet ski on a trickle charge and it was dormant for a few months, it may only need to be jumped. If worst comes to worst, the battery will be dead, and you’ll have to replace. This is actually a good thing—it makes the troubleshooting process much simpler. If the battery is in good shape, you’ll continue on with us.

    Use a quality digital multimeter to test the black wiring of your battery. If corrosion is present on the exposed metal ends of the wires, that may be attributing to the lack of spark. If you find they’re heavily corroded, replace the wires.

  2. Other Wiring: Ensure all fuses are in working order and not corroded. This can greatly affect the connections and prevent the entire system from operating. Soak corroded bolts in solvent and try to remove corrosion from wire ends with wire brushes. Some people have used Dremel Tools to power the corrosion off the wires. Sometimes, the fix is that easy! Be sure to also check your spark plugs’ wiring and test their resistance. Finding faulty spark plugs could also be an easy and quick fix.

  3. Trigger Coil: The trigger coil may be the root of your problem. You’ll need to check the ohms for the coil, so get your digital multimeter. You also need to have your owner’s manual on hand to check the right range for your specific model. These can usually be found online if you don’t have a physical copy. Once you know the number range you’re looking for, place the test leads of the multimeter into the two prongs that come out of the trigger coil. The number shown on your multimeter should match up with the one given in the manual. If it’s very far off, the trigger coil is corrupted. If it’s on the mark or close to it, check the starter wiring on the trigger coil. These wires should be at 0 ohms.

    Be sure to clean the trigger coil area so you aren’t re-installing dirty parts into your Sea-Doo.

  4. Rotor: Take a look at your rotor. Is it cracked? Caked with rust or grime? If cracked, it will need to be repaired if possible or replaced altogether. Clean it off and try the ignition again.

  5. MPEM: The MPEM is essentially the computer of the Sea-Doo. If you hear the two clicks or the engine turning over, the MPEM is fine. If the jet ski isn’t lighting up, check your owner’s manual for the MPEM Testing Chart. This will help you diagnose what’s wrong with your MPEM.

  6. Holder Relay: The holder relay receives the signal to spark from the CDI module. Your owner’s manual will offer specific instructions on how to remove the holder relay from the ski and the number range the ohms should fall in. Once removed, take the male end of the wiring and test its ohms. If it doesn’t fall closely to the required range, you’ve found your problem.

  7. Ignition Coil: Your ignition coil may not be getting power, which is crucial to the spark when turning on the Sea-Doo. Your owner’s manual will recommend a test to diagnose the ignition coil, where you take the test leads and connect them to the primary terminals of the coil. The manual’s recommended ohms should match up.

By this point, you should have discovered where the problem area is after going through and testing these ignition parts of your Sea-Doo. The owner’s manual is an essential resource for troubleshooting problems like these, offering the precise ohm ranges and tests to perform to properly assess issues. If you can’t easily find your model’s manual online, look through forums where people are actively talking. Ask if they have a good resource for old model manuals that you may not know about.