Updated: Besides my Yamaha VX1100 Waverunner stalling I also cover engine light warning plus how to find error codes the dealer doesn't tell you about.

The unseasonably warm weather had me itching to try out my recently purchased used Yamaha Waverunner. The battery was dead (original), so I replaced it with a new one (easier said than done... Had to fill it with acid, let stand an hour, then charge overnight) and launched my VX1100 at a nearby ramp.

Yamaha VX1100 Deluxe - Waverunner won't startI passed through some algae on my way through the channel which didn't seem to have any impact and made it out to the lake. Waves! Hit the first one and felt exhilarated, both from the excitement and 50 degree water hitting my face :) Tackled a few more waves and then it dies! I tried to start it a number of times, and it would act like it was going to run, then die. Eventually it just wouldn't start at all.

To make matters worse, I drifted to a dock where a wave decided to push the Wave Runner under and ended up breaking my mirror! In 10 minutes I went from a great high to an extreme low!

I found that if I waited 30 minutes and tried to run it again, it would start right up, idle for 30 to 40 seconds, then act like it was starved for fuel and die. When I took the seat off, I found a lot of smoke coming out but nothing was burning and figured the smoke would be blown out of the hull if it ran correctly. I'm not a mechanic, but I had a few ideas: Water in the gas, loose electrical wiring, green security light was on (why?), clogged intake valve and bad plugs.

I know, you're wondering why I didn't test this out on dry land rather than putting it in the lake? I had read in the manual that the way you attach a garden hose and run water into the Waverunner was different than what you might expect, and if done wrong, you could get water in the engine! If the engine dies and water is still running, it floods - and - since the engine stalls, that was a very real possibility!

TIP! when searching for an online manual, there are a TON of lame sites that grab the official manuals, stamp them with their logo, and then charge you for something you can get for free! The way to get around that is by searching for your model number in Google's custom search using type .pdf. For example, I searched Google for VX1100 Manual and the results came up, then on the top right of the results, you'll see a gear looking symbol, click this and choose "Advanced Search" and on that page, find "File Type" - change it from any format to "Adobe Acrobat PDF (.pdf)". Now you can choose the actual manuals without having to pay the scrappers :)

I have a complete warranty on my Yamaha that covers anything, but I knew if I brought it in, I'd have to wait weeks to get it back; I took it out of the water, changed the plugs, fixed the mirror (easy fix there...) and found that the green security light going on when not running is normal. I had heard that fouled plugs were 98% of the problem with these machines and changed them just to be safe, but didn't really think this was the problem.

Yamaha Waverunner SmokeThe intake was free of weeds and figured if it were clogged, a warning alarm would have sounded, which never happened.

I checked most of the wires and just as I was about to check the last of them, I leaned on the rubber exhaust pipe shown in the picture and it completely disconnected! It had been disconnected but looked like it was attached and I had obviously missed it! Joy!

Turns out there should NEVER be any smoke in the hull and the engine was being stared for oxygen, much like I was when the fist cold wave hit me :) I simply reconnected the pipe, put my Yamaha VX100 Waverunner back in the water and it ran like a champ!

Boat problems are the worst, but if they turn out to be as easy as this was, it's going to be a great summer :)

Update: 6/17/12
My engine warning light is going on when I idle for long periods of time. In researching this, I found that a bad impeller can cause the engine to overheat (could also be that I'm using 10w30 and should move to 20W-40 or 20w-50.

On a side note: I came across this video and now determined to learn more about doing this to my waverunner :)

Testing the VX1100 2007 model Yamaha Jet Ski On the water with restrictor removed and a new solas concord 18/22 impeller !

The Solas concord impeller - yh series - pitch 18/22 yh-cd 18/22 runs about $250.

To remove the restrictor, do the following, but be warned, many say this makes your wave-runner extremely dangerous!:

Update: 6/23/2012
I'm still fighting a warning light and found out I might have put too much oil in the Waverunner. I checked the air filter (yes, air, not oil) and found it filled with oil along with the air filter box. Turns out that getting the right amount of oil in this unit is NOT easy! To do it properly, you need to run it hard for 20 minutes, then stop and check the levels. My mistake was filling it halfway between the empty and full mark when the engine was cold - what I should have done was fill it right to empty - sounds backwards doesn't it! Overfilling the way I did will not harm the engine but will foul up the plugs and impact performance as long as you catch the problem early.

Yamaha Air Filter

The dealer told me that I could reuse my filter by cleaning it with a cleaning solution and spraying oil on it designed to collect dirt. I did this, but I also ordered a new washable filter just to be safe. The filter at the dealer was $120! Yes, $120 for an air filter... I ordered it online for $80, saving myself $40 :)

Unfortunately, after all this, I still have an engine warning light. If I take this into the dealer, I'm afraid I'll end up paying a fortune, so I set out to find my own solution.

yahaha engine error code 19 warning

Turns out that by pressing the MPH / VOLT button for 8 seconds, you'll get a number that can be cross-referenced with the table below to find more information about the problem.

01 Normal
13 Pickup coil malfunction
15 Engine temperature malfunction
19 Incorrect battery voltage
23 Intake air temperature malfunction
24 Cam position sensor
29 Intake air pressure malfunction
47 Slant detection switch
48 Incorrect data transmission
55 Steering switch malfunction
112-123 Electronic control throttle malfunction
124-128 Throttle position sensor malfunction
129 Electronic control throttle malfunction
130 Salmon detected under unit
131-135 Accelerator position malfunction
136-139 Electronic control throttle malfunction
141-145 Electronic control throttle malfunction

If you don't see your code here, then you'll need to buy a Yamaha Diagnostic System (YDS) on eBay for around $125.

In my case, I had engine warning code 19 indicating incorrect battery voltage. It seems to fluctuate from 11.5 to 12.4 with the warning being triggered at 11.5. Still looking into exactly what is causing this, ErnestT over at PWCForum (fantastic place by the way!) states it's most likely a bad battery which should be load tested. He also states that I may have a loose connection to the battery, or a corroded lead on the connector at the rectifier/regulator. A bad rectifier/regulator is also possible, but unlikely. Note: when I removed the battery and tested voltage (didn't do a load test) it was 12.2 and after charging it, it shows 13.2.

Here is an image showing the location of the rectifier:
Rectifier / Regulator for Yamaha Waverunner

Further reading states that a hard bump can kill some batteries and just before it started going bad, I had hit some big waves :) ErnestT highly recommends the Odyssey PC625 Battery over at BatteryMart which offers free shipping. He states that with my Walmart battery, as with all batteries not designed for a marine use, is that the severe vibration from the Waverunner will destroy them very quickly.

Picture of the Wrong Battery for a Waverunner!

Everstart battery problems

I tried to return the battery to Walmart but there is only a 90 day warranty on the EverStart 16cl-b battery (shown above) which I purchased 100 days ago. Initially, I had explained to the garage employee that I was purchasing it for a waverunner and this is what he recommended but in the end, it came down to warranty. EverStart, right...

So, I ordered a real battery (Odyssey PC625) from BatteryMart for $98.50 - free shipping included. For what it's worth, I prefer to buy local and found that BatteriesPlus was down the road but when I called, I was told it would be $120 + core charge and it would take a day or two for the order to arrive.

Update: It took only two days for my Odyssey PC625-P to arrive fully charged from BatteryMart and it came packed perfectly. Below are pictures of the correct battery for a Yamaha Waverunner :)

Update: 5/1/2014 - I needed another battery for an additional Waverunner I just purchased and ended up buying a PC625 from BatteryStuff rather than BatteryMart which had a price increase since the last purchase. I bought the Odyssey Battery for $101.00 after using a $5 off coupon. Battery arrived on time and works great!

odyssey waverunner pc625 battery

yamaha vx1100 voltage regulatorYet Another Update - wouldn't it be nice if problems were simple?

Turns out the same thing is happening (Code 19) with the new battery, so I'm down to a bad voltage regulator / rectifier. Here are some picture of where the Yamaha VX1100 Waverunner voltage regulator / rectifier is located and what it looks like close up.

You can click on the thumbnail to see the full image.

As you can see, there is heat damage to the point that it has cracked. I'm guessing this is causing the problem and in the process of replacing it. I ran the unit for about three minutes top speed and then checked the regulator, is was extremely hot!

Also worth mentioning is that the volts registered 12.2 at a cold start and would climb to 13.0 and then started to drop rapidly down to 12.1. My guess is that once it gets hot, it starts malfunctioning.

yamaha vx1100 voltage rectifier connectorsyamaha vx1100 voltage regulator heat damageyamaha vx1100 voltage rectifier cracks

I'll update this once I have more information. By the way, the part is 6D3-81960-00-00 RECTIFIER & REGULATOR ASSY and runs $105.05 VX1100BH.

Update: It's been a week now and the new voltage regulator came in. I installed it, took it out and the voltage read 14.5 to 14.7, which it never reached with the old rectifier / regulator. I also ran it twice as long and it never dipped below that - needless to say, I'm one happy camper :)

The Yamaha Waverunner Walmart battery wasn't the problem, but from everything I've read, it wouldn't hold up for long, so I'm glad I purchased the correct one even though in the end it was the rectifier.

Hopefully, this will be the last of my problems for the year :)

Another Update: I was out in the big lake yesterday evening hitting the waves (about 2 feet) having a blast (what a thrill!) and after about an hour the engine stared to sputter on me as if it was going to die; water in the gas or fouled spark plugs. The plugs looked bad, so I changed them out but it didn't solve the problem.

Turns out I've been getting small amounts of water in my gas and wondering on how to remove the water without having to drain the gas. There are a lot of suggestions out there, and a lot of people are making the mistake of putting standard rubbing alcohol in the tank.

Most dry gas you buy at the auto-parts store is made up of methanol or methyl alcohol which can deteriorate your o rings and fuel lines. Isopropyl alcohol does everything that methyl alcohol will without the the damage.

Isopropyl alcohol sucks up water because it's missing a water molecule and when added to gas that has water, it effectively removes the water from the gas. The rubbing alcohol that is 70% already has water and won't do you any good, you need the 98 or 99% found at the drug store. A popular brand name is Iso-Heet.

Another visitor suggested picking up a 32oz can of Klean-Strip denatured alcohol at Home depot will run you about $8 and contains 90-100% .

1oz of 98+% Isopropyl alcohol per gallon of gas seems to be the recommended solution.

Besides these small problems, this toy if worth every dollar! Once you're on a waverunner flying across the water, hitting the waves, it's as if a valve opens and drains every stressor you might have. To top things off, I've joined the Water Ballet Team and am becoming very proficient at it as can be seen in the picture below :) Truly an awesome experience!

2012 Water Ballet Team

Notes for myself: Spark Plug needed for my Wavrunner is a NGK spark plug CR9EB, 10mm Thread Size, 19mm (3/4") Reach, 5/8" (16mm) Hex Size, Gasket Seat, Resistor, Solid Terminal Nut, .028"-.031" (0.7mm-0.8mm) Gap, Heat Range 9

NKG CR9EIX spark plug cross reference (replaces) NKG:CR9EB along with CR9EIX, C9E, CR9E, and the CR9EVX.

  • Watercraft capacity:Maximum people on board: 3 person
  • Maximum load capacity: 240 kg (530 lb)
  • Dry weight: VX Deluxe 322 kg (710 lb)
  • Maximum fuel consumption: 28.0 L/h (7.4 US gal/h) (6.2 Imp.gal/h)
  • Cruising range at full throttle: 2.14 hour
  • Trolling speed: 1650 ± 50 r/min
  • Engine type: Liquid cooled 4-stroke, DOHC
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Engine displacement: 1052 cm
  • Spark plug: CR9EB
  • Spark plug gap: 0.7 – 0.8 mm (0.028–0.031 in)
  • Regular unleaded gasoline
  • Recommended engine oil type SAE: SAE 10W-30, 20W-40, 20W-50
  • Recommended engine oil grade API: API SE,SF,SG,SH,SJ,SL
  • Fuel tank total capacity: 60 L (15.9 US gal) (13.2 Imp.gal)
  • Engine oil quantity with oil filter replacement: 2.2 L (2.33 US qt) (1.94 Imp.qt)
  • Engine oil quantity without oil filter replacement: 2.0 L (2.11 US qt) (1.76 Imp.qt)
  • Engine oil total quantity: 4.3 L (4.55 US qt) (3.78 Imp.qt)

Waverunner III Notes - Spark plugs end up fouled after a few runs:

Running NGK BR8HS (4322) spark plugs in my Waverunner III and they foul out after about 3 runs. Considering buying some BR7HS for a hotter burn hoping that they don’t get black as often. Research said that the black spark plug is your friend and telling you that your Yamaha is running rich on the low end.

Another suggestion, and one that seems safer, is to check the Gap of the spark plug; if the gap is .35, bump it up to .40 which gives you a wider gap and corresponding hotter burn.

Another suggestion was to use iridium ngk plugs while another said that a projected tip spark plug will run hotter and helps fouling problems at low speed.

Some state that running hotter plugs can lead to expensive repairs down the road.

Note: I checked the gap on the plugs I recently purchased and they were at .20, so I'm increasing the gap .10 so that it's now .30 and will report back - I believe increasing the gap is the safest bet.

Also, see my tips on how to fix a Waverunner that won't go over 35 and how to stop water from accumulating in the hull of your Jet Ski.