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Simple Steering Issues for Waverunners

Hitting the waves on your jet ski is a great way to have some fun after a long day. If you are the proud owner of a Yamaha Waverunner jet ski, hitting the waves should be fun and easy with a well-maintained machine ready for action. There is nothing worse than hitting the water only to discover an issue with your steering brings the fun to an end. Let's take a look at some of the most common and simple steering issues for Waverunners so you can get back to the water.

What are some surefire signs that there is something wrong with the steering on your Waverunner? For starters, if you are riding and it feels like you have to turn with more force to get the jet ski to go where you want, there is a problem somewhere in the steering even though it will turn with enough force. If it won't turn in one direction yet turns in the other direction, you have a problem. Finally, if you can't turn it to either side no matter how hard you try, it is time to accept you have a steering issue and fix it before hitting the water.

Nozzle Binding

When looking at simple steering issues for Waverunners, it is always a good idea to consider the issue. For instance, if you find your handlebars don't offer free movement because it feels like something is tugging on them, you need to look at the nozzle binding area. There could be something simple such as a bent washer causing a lack of turning space in this area which is why it is catching. You should also check the nozzle binding to make sure the issue isn't that the actual binding is damaged.

Trim Needs Adjusting

This is one of the more common and simple steering issues for Waverunners. The common sign that this is the issue is if the jet ski will not turn in either direction. If the trim is set too high, the nozzle will end up hitting the back of the hull making it impossible to turn. This is usually an easy thing to fix and your owner's manual will walk you through how to adjust the trim, typically performed by using a manual trim adjustment bolt.

Steering Cable

A bad steering cable is usually pretty obvious to feel for on a jet ski. When trying to turn one direction, you will feel the steering cable push or pull, but the other direction will not have the same feel of the cable moving in a push or pull motion. Steering cables on a jet ski are pushed one way to turn left and then pulled the opposite way to turn right. If you don't feel the same pull or push in both directions, or if you feel no tension at all when moving the handlebars, then it is the steering cable. This can be remedied by installing a new steering cable using the owner's manual.

Retainer Clip

If your ski can turn one direction but not the other, it is likely an issue with the retainer clip. The retainer clip holds the steering cable in place. Since the cable works in a push-pull fashion with one motion being for one-directional turn and the other motion for the other direction, a broken retainer clip is easy to spot. This not only makes it harder to steer, but it also allows for water to enter the hull because of a leak. Luckily, this is easy to fix by purchasing and installing a new retainer clip. To check if the retainer clip is the issue, turn the handlebars and see if the cable is visible moving at the rear of the hull. If it is visible, you know the clip is bad and needs to be replaced.