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Polaris Personal Watercraft Ignition and Starting Systems

Polaris personal watercraft are self-directed, fast, and powerful machines. You can make sure that your Polaris continues to ride the waves instead of needing a tow by taking care of the ignition system. With a wide range of Polaris personal watercraft ignition and starting systems, you can find the right parts to do just that.

What type of vehicles are considered personal watercraft?

For regulatory purposes, a personal watercraft is defined as any type of small-scale, less than 13 feet in length, motorized power board or other watercraft thats meant for one or two riders. More specifically, personal watercraft or similar two-coil recreational vehicles used exclusively on waterways, have an inboard motor. They are distinguishable from other types of water vehicles because the operator rides on rather than inside them.

What type of ignitions do personal watercraft use?

Most personal watercraft use a spark-ignition system that powers a water pump, which is the means of propelling the watercraft. Due to concerns about emissions from such engines, the EPA requires personal water craft models manufactured after 1996 to meet the average emission levels for a corporate fleet that reduce hydrocarbons by 75%. Theyre also required to have ignition-protected electrical devices installed to avoid sparks. Operators should also use the lanyard specifically designed for their Polaris personal water craft model and replace it once a year to ensure complete disengagement if youre dislodged from your personal watercraft during use.

How does a Polaris spark-ignition system work?

The ignition system for a Polaris personal water craft looks simple, but the inner workings follow a specific chain of events:

  • Pressing the Start button activates the starter.
  • The starter motor cranks the engine.
  • This movement sets the flywheel magnets in motion.
  • The magnets energize the LR voltage regulator and activate the CDI ignition module.
  • The CDI delivers DC voltage to the electronic Hall Effect sensors, causing them to watch for the timing magnet in the flywheel to pass.
  • As the magnet passes each sensor, it changes the resistance, causing the CDI to trigger a spark on its corresponding cylinder.
  • The engine stops when the Stop button is depressed or the safety lanyard is removed.
How do you determine problems with the spark-ignition system?

The main cause of ignition failure in Polaris personal watercraft is a weak battery. Symptoms of an ignition starter problem in your watercraft include:

  • The engine cranks with the safety lanyard removed, but wont crank when its inserted.
  • It cranks but fails to start.
  • The personal water craft starts, but doesnt run right; symptoms might include low power, power surges, rough idle.
  • The personal water craft starts, but wont cut off.