How do I Fix the Starter on a Yamaha Wave Runner?


Yamaha's line of WaveRunners, a type of personal watercraft, first debuted in 1986 with the Marine Jet 500T. Since that time, the company has released dozens of makes and models. In 2011, Yamaha's WaveRunner lineup was still going strong, with nine different models released in that year alone. Because these machines are, like any vehicles, susceptible to minor technical problems, they may require regular repairs to keep at optimum condition. Yamaha offers a number of troubleshooting and repair tips within its WaveRunner owner's manuals specifically dealing with starter, with similar repair instructions across all Waverunner models.

Things You'll Need

  • 20A fuse
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Wire-bristle brush
  • Replacement battery
  • Standard wrench
  • Battery charger

Starter Motor Troubleshooting

  • Check the engine shut-off switch first located on the left handlebar. Ensure that the clip at the end of the engine shut-off cord is inserted. Otherwise, the starter motor cannot engage.

  • Check the main fuse if the starter still won't work located under the Waverunner's seat toward the front of the watercraft. The fuse is housed in an electrical box. Remove the electrical box cap by hand and remove the fuse. If the connection in the center of the fuse is broken, the fuse is blown. Replace with a new 20A fuse. Reinstall the electrical box cap and seat and try the starter again.

  • Remove and check the battery if the starter still won't work. It's located underneath the Waverunner's seat toward the back of the watercraft. Start by disconnecting the negative battery lead first, then the positive lead. Next, disconnect the breather hose and unhook the battery hold-down bands. Gently remove the battery from the watercraft, taking care not to tip it.

  • Inspect battery terminals. If they are corroded, attempt to remove corrosion by scraping it away with a wire-bristle brush. If corrosion remains, replace the battery with a new one of the same voltage. This varies according to WaveRunner make and model, and the specific battery type should be listed in the owner's manual. Tighten battery terminals with a wrench if they are loose.

  • Charge the battery fully using a separately-powered battery charger.

  • Reinstall the battery, taking care to connect hold-down bands, breather hose, positive lead and negative lead, in that order. Reinstall the seat.

  • Try the starter again. If the engine still won't turn over, the motor may be experiencing mechanical failure. Take the WaveRunner to a Yamaha dealer for major repairs.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rather than attempt major repairs outside the shop, Yamaha recommends that owners take the WaveRunner to a certified dealer with the specific knowledge and tools to repair the watercraft fully.
  • Batteries can release explosive fumes, so do not smoke while repairing the battery system.
  • To avoid burns from battery acid, wear eye protection and gloves.

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