Kawasaki 550 Jet Ski Troubleshooting

Updated July 20, 2017

The Kawasaki 550 jet ski, first manufactured in 1982, is a personal watercraft designed for single-person use. The 550 is powered by a two-stroke, water-cooled engine and features a fibreglass hull and bonnet. The 550 is an early model of jet ski, however, it proved to be a popular model because of its durability. As with any style or model, problems can arise with the 550 that will require a trained mechanic. However, some quick troubleshooting can be done to solve smaller issues.

Check the fuel level and refuel if necessary. Make sure you are using the proper gas/oil mixture and that there is no water in the fuel tank.

Remove the fuel filter screens and clean if blocked with any dirt or debris. Replace if necessary.

Inspect the spark plug and wipe clean with a dry cloth to remove any dirt or corrosion. Replace if necessary.

Check all wiring to make sure everything is firmly connected. Loose connections can cause issues with everything from steering to proper engine function.

Clear the jet pump of any weeds or debris while also making sure the cooling lines are free of any blockages. Blockages can cause low engine power or could cause the engine to overheat.

Inspect the battery to ensure it is providing sufficient voltage for the engine to start.

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About the Author

Sean Meyer has worked since 1994 as a reporter, editor and photographer for several weekly newspapers in southwestern Ontario, including "The Londoner," the "Guelph Tribune" and the "Waterloo Chronicle." His experience includes hard news and feature stories, covering a variety of subjects including politics, sports, recreation and the arts. He earned a diploma in journalism from Conestoga College in Ontario.