Whether you are buying any of the number of brands of PWCs on the market, there are certain pitfalls that need consideration. Here are some of the more important aspects to look out for when buying a used PWC.
- Is the seller in possession of the PWC and has sufficient proof of ownership? This is imperative, because without the documentation the buyer is not able to put the PWC into his name after the sale is concluded. There is no official license document for the PWC itself, but the trailer gets the registration certificate which is applicable to the particular PWC. Always be wary if the seller cannot produce the correct original registration certificate for the trailer. This is why it is important for the buyer to physically view the original documents (no copies) before continuing with the purchase. No evidence ownership and a COF should mean no deal!
- Once you have the documentation, check that the information correlates with the vin/chassis numbers on the PWC. If numbers look tampered with or are not present on the PWC, walk away immediately.
- When looking at the motor of the PWC particularly, look for rust and corrosion. Excessive corrosion could mean that the PWC was not rinsed and dried when used in salt water and rust appearing on the outside could spell more rust on the inside which can cause major engine problems down the line.
- If the seller says the PWC won’t start because the battery is flat, or for some other reason, the purchase should be put on hold. You would never buy a car without a test drive, and the same applies to a PWC. If you have a compression gauge and the know how to use it, check the compression. If there is a variance of more than 10 degrees between cylinders, further engine investigation might be needed by a professional PWC mechanic.
- Look for water leaks when the motor is running and the cooling system is actively using water. If leaks are present inside the hull coming from the head, the exhaust or any hoses, it could indicate prior damage, failing gaskets or cracked hoses that need attention.