Taking care of your jet ski battery is essential for ensuring a smooth and trouble-free ride on the water. In this article, we will guide you on how to check the charge in your jet ski battery and provide helpful tips to keep it in optimal condition.
Checking the Charge
Before checking the charge in your jet ski battery, it’s important to understand that the best time to do so is after the battery has been sitting for at least an hour, allowing it to rest. Testing the battery immediately after use can result in inaccurate readings. To get an accurate gauge of your battery’s health, leave your jet ski overnight and test it the following morning before usage.
To check the charge, locate your battery, usually located under the seat in the engine bay. If not immediately obvious, consult the owner’s manual for guidance. In many cases, removing the battery may make it easier to access and check. Look for rubber caps on the battery terminals, with a red cap on the positive (+) terminal and a black cap on the negative (-) terminal. Pull back these caps to expose the terminals.
Using a Multi-meter
To accurately measure the charge in your jet ski battery, you will need a multi-meter or a digital voltmeter. Set the multi-meter to measure DC voltage by adjusting the dial to 20, which allows for readings between 0 to 20 volts. If the multi-meter’s reading blinks when it’s not attached to anything, it may be an indication that you need to replace its internal battery.
Take the red probe of the multi-meter and place it on the positive terminal of the battery, marked with a red color and a “+” symbol. Similarly, place the black probe on the negative terminal of the battery, marked with a black color and a “-” symbol. A fully charged battery should read between 12.6 and 12.7 volts. If you see a reading of -12.6 or -12.7 volts, it means you have the probes connected the wrong way.
Interpreting the Readings
Knowing how to interpret the readings is crucial in understanding your battery’s condition. A fully charged battery should read between 12.6 and 12.7 volts, while a reading of 12.4 volts indicates a half-charged battery. A reading of 12.2 volts suggests a flat battery, which can be dangerous if you attempt to start your jet ski. It’s important to avoid starting your ride with a weak battery, as it can lead to potential problems and put you in danger on the water. Any reading below 12 volts is considered discharged, and further voltage drops can lead to deep discharge and sulphation.
To maintain your battery’s charge, it is good practice to regularly check its condition. If the battery requires charging, use an appropriate battery charger and then test the battery after it has rested overnight. If you plan on storing your jet ski, consider either disconnecting the battery or removing it entirely.
It’s worth mentioning that the charging system in a jet ski is different from that of a car. Jet skis use a stator instead of an alternator to charge the battery. Keep in mind that a jet ski’s charging system can only maintain the current charge in your battery, not fully charge it. Therefore, it is crucial to keep an eye on your battery’s condition and state of charge.
Checking the charge in your jet ski battery is a simple yet crucial task to ensure your safety and avoid potential problems while out on the water. By following the steps and guidelines provided in this article, you can confidently assess the condition of your battery and take appropriate action to keep it charged and ready for your next adventure.