Jet ski vibration when accelerating

Why Is My Jet Ski Vibrating when I Accelerate?

Jet skis are a lot of fun to take out on the open water. There’s nothing more exhilarating than the feeling of freedom while enjoying a jet ski ride, but if you’re experiencing jet ski vibration when accelerating, you may start to wonder what’s wrong with your skis.

A clogged impeller or wear ring can get worn out, causing excess friction resulting in vibration. Malfunctions in the engine can also cause vibration when accelerating.

Cavitation, the phenomenon in which water pressure is greater than the structural strength of the jet ski, can also cause vibration.

As it turns out, there’s a lot that can go wrong when you’re out jet skiing, but thankfully, each of these problems can typically be diagnosed and fixed quickly so you can get back on the water as soon as possible.

The rest of this article will walk you through how to diagnose vibration issues while accelerating and what to do about them.

What Causes a Jet Ski to Vibrate?

Oftentimes, the main cause for a jet ski vibrating is an internal component that has come loose or is creating friction. Plugs and coils, for example, can lose tension over time, allowing your engine to rattle when it runs.

Parts that create friction are rubbing quickly against other parts, often leading to a vibration in the handlebars.

It’s worth noting that some degree of vibration is natural and to be expected in a jet ski. These watercraft are fast and powerful, and as you’re skimming the waves, you’ll expect to experience some vibration, especially if you’re pushing the jet ski to its max speed.

Engine Troubles

Some common causes that make jet skis vibrate when accelerating are engine related.

When a part isn’t secured, is clogged, or comes loose over time, then it allows the rapid vibrations from the engine to permeate through the hull, which you’ll absolutely start to feel in your steering.

Engine Mount

The engine mount dampens vibrations from the engine so that they don’t affect the pilot. If the mount is damaged or wears out over time, then the vibrations from the engine will start to be more noticeable through the hull.

Fuel Injectors

A fuel injector delivers fuel to the engine, supplying power to run the jet ski. When these fuel injectors become blocked, gas flow is restricted and the engine is unable to continue running smoothly.

You’ll notice the effect of a blocked fuel injector if you’re experiencing rough idling, trouble accelerating, or shuddering/vibrations coming from the engines. Sometimes, the fix is as simple as draining and cleaning your fuel tank.


This issue is rare, especially in newer models since they can limit or warn you if the engine is overheating, but overheating may be a cause for your vibration while accelerating if there’s a combination of other engine issues that are giving you trouble.

In particular, an older engine will be more susceptible to overheating if you’re overtaxing it on the water.

Gas and Oil

Getting the right fuel in your tank is important so that your motor can run properly and propel the watercraft with ease.

Remember that most jet skis need premium gas, and that you’ll want to top up before you take your jet skis out to make sure you’ve got fresh gas powering your jet skis. Stale fuel can cause rough idling and vibrating while accelerating.

Similarly, if the oil pressure is too low or you’re not staying on top of maintaining your oil levels, your engine will lack lubrication and have a harder time accelerating.

Oftentimes, you’ll seen an oil pressure warning alert on the dashboard if you’re having an issue, which is a sign for you to change the oil right away.

what is Jet Ski Vibrating


Cavitation is the phenomenon that causes water pressure to affect the structural integrity of your jet ski. If you’re overtaxing your jet skis or if your particular jet skis are vulnerable to cavitation, then you might notice vibration when making sharp turns, driving at high speeds, or quickly reducing speed.

Plugs and Coils

Plugs and coils can wear out over time, allowing the engine to move in a way that’s not intended.

To test whether you have a bad plug, you can perform the tightness test by removing each individual wire to see if you notice a difference in how much your jet ski vibrates. Depending on the age of your jet ski, it’s possible that the problem is as simple as a bad plug or coil.

Pump Draining

One good way to fix vibration when accelerating is to address any buildup of debris that may be stacked up in the pump or clogged on the shaft. Clean out the pump and test your jet ski to see if there’s any improvement in the performance and handling.

Impeller Issues

The impeller is another component that’s important while the jet ski is accelerating and can cause it to vibrate excessively when you’re picking up speed. A damaged or clogged impeller can cause issues with the power supply, making the jet ski vibrate unexpectedly.

To inspect and clean out the impeller, you’ll have to remove it entirely from the jet ski. While you’re got the impeller out, you should also check the wear ring for any damage or buildup of debris since this can also cause issues when accelerating.

Electrical Systems

Issues with jet ski acceleration that can be very hard to diagnose are malfunctions in the electrical systems. Modern jet skis run on advanced computers, and the slightest bit of damage to these components can cause malfunctions while accelerating that can make the jet ski vibrate.

If you can’t find the source of the issue yourself, it might be worth taking your jet ski into a local technician to see if there’s a problem with the onboard computer.

Addressing Issues with Vibration while Accelerating

For the most part, you can address vibration issues with a jet ski yourself as long as you’re careful. Refer to your owner’s manual if you need to take anything apart and be sure you know how to put it back together.

Draining and cleaning the pump should be your first step, since a lot of issues related to excess vibration are due to a clogged pump.

If you’re looking at the impeller, wear ring, or other engine components, you’ll need to do some dissection to clean out or replace faulty parts.

Clean out your fuel injectors if they’re clogged up and make sure you have the right sized fuel lines.

If you notice that a major component is malfunctioning, it’s probably best to take it down to the shop for repair by a qualified technician.

Jet Ski vibrating Problem

Final Thoughts

Oftentimes, the issue of a jet ski vibrating too much while accelerating is cause by blockages in the impeller or wear ring, which can be addressed by cleaning out these components; however, it’s also possible that something in the engine has come loose, allowing it to rattle and vibrate.

Do some investigation, drain and clean your pump, and clean your fuel injectors to see if that solves the issue. If not, it’s probably time to take your jet skis into a certified technician.

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