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Mbarnes1976
05-18-10, 01:11 PM
Hi,

I just bought a 2003 Sea Doo Islandia. The Boat runs fine except for the engine's master alarm will go off shortly after I start the engine. I have checked the battery and Alternator and those are fine. (I initially thought it was a battery thing). What else could it be? The engine seems to be "missing" or back fireing. I have changed the spark plugs to see if that would help, No go, same issue. What else could it be? Has anyone heard of this before?

WAJetboating
05-18-10, 03:46 PM
The two most common reasons for beeps on the Mercury engines are low oil and water in the fuel/water separating filter.

1) Check the on-engine oil tank. It should be full to the top with oil.

2) Find the fuel/water separating filter on your engine. It looks like a standard automotive oil filter but has a sensor screwed into the end opposite the main inlet/outlet. When the water level gets high enough, the sensor starts conducting and the beeper sounds to let you know. Disconnect the wire from the sensor and unscrew the sensor (have a gasoline safe container below) to drain out whatever water may have accumulated, then put everything back.

Report back!

Mbarnes1976
05-18-10, 04:01 PM
I will check that today after work. (I'm not mechanically inclined but I will give it a try). I'll let you know.

WAJetboating
05-18-10, 04:18 PM
The on-engine oil tank is easy. With rags or paper towels handy, simply unscrew the cap. If the oil is all the way to the top, you're in good shape. If it's not, report back... you'll need to top it off and bleed out the air.

The fuel/water separator is easy, too. The sensor is in a plastic holder that just screws into the bottom of the filter. Find any wrench that fits it and unscrew it. Be prepared to catch and dispose of the fluid that drains out. This will eliminate any water that has built up inside (which is exactly what it's supposed to do). Screw it back in, reconnect the wire, and you're done.

Really easy. Don't let it scare you. Report back!

Mbarnes1976
05-18-10, 04:22 PM
I know the on-engine oil tank is full. I noticed that and I noticed that the big 3 gallon tank is full too. So that's good. I'll check the seperator. I really hope that is the problem. I just bought this boat and I really don't want any problems.

WAJetboating
05-18-10, 04:26 PM
I know the on-engine oil tank is full.

It can appear full even if it's not. The proper oil has a blue tint, and the translucent plastic of the bottle can appear blue everywhere even if it's not full. Open it up to make certain.

If it's not the oil nor the water, the next possibility is a bad head temperature sensor. Those are easy to test and replace, too.

IDJetboating
05-18-10, 06:08 PM
This is "WAJetboating" posting under a different username. My account is damaged somehow and some - but not all - of my posts are invisible at the moment. I've notified the Admins but haven't heard back yet.

In the meantime, hopefully you remember the suggestions I made. Please try them and report back. We'll get things working!

Mbarnes1976
05-18-10, 09:15 PM
It can appear full even if it's not. The proper oil has a blue tint, and the translucent plastic of the bottle can appear blue everywhere even if it's not full. Open it up to make certain.

If it's not the oil nor the water, the next possibility is a bad head temperature sensor. Those are easy to test and replace, too.

ok. i checked the fuelwater filter. no luck, seems full of gass. checked the on engine oil,full. i noticed that the continuous beeping starts about 15 seconds after i stick the key in and turn it to the right but i dont even have to start the engine. I It will just start beeping beeping and not stop. so annoying. any thoughts?

Mbarnes1976
05-18-10, 09:32 PM
ok. i checked the fuelwater filter. no luck, seems full of gass. checked the on engine oil,full. i noticed that the continuous beeping starts about 15 seconds after i stick the key in and turn it to the right but i dont even have to start the engine. I It will just start beeping beeping and not stop. so annoying. any thoughts?

another development. seems the beeping start 10 to 15 seconds after i turn on the main power. it will keep beeping. i dont think it has anything to do with the engine now. it has to do with a diagnostic of some sort. (initial self diagnostic perhaps?)

IDJetboating
05-18-10, 09:32 PM
ok. i checked the fuelwater filter. no luck, seems full of gass.

What drained out was probably a mixture of water and fuel. But if it didn't stop the beeping, we have more work to do.


checked the on engine oil,full.

OK, at least we know what it isn't! {grin}

Please describe the beeping EXACTLY. Is it a continuous tone? A repeating pattern of beeps with a pause in between? The number of beeps is important.

IDJetboating
05-18-10, 09:35 PM
another development. seems the beeping start 10 to 15 seconds after i turn on the main power. it will keep beeping. i dont think it has anything to do with the engine now. it has to do with a diagnostic of some sort. (initial self diagnostic perhaps?)

No, the Mercury engine doesn't do a beeping diagnostic like that. It's trying to tell you that something is wrong.

As above, please exactly describe the beeping. I have a couple of ideas but need to know precisely what the beeping sounds like - continuous, repeating pattern, beeps-then-delay, etc.

Mbarnes1976
05-18-10, 09:53 PM
What drained out was probably a mixture of water and fuel. But if it didn't stop the beeping, we have more work to do.



OK, at least we know what it isn't! {grin}

Please describe the beeping EXACTLY. Is it a continuous tone? A repeating pattern of beeps with a pause in between? The number of beeps is important.

it sounds like a loud alarm clock. beeeeep pause or a second beeeeep pause for a second, beeeeep and over and over i have counted more than 13 times before i hit the button to stop it. then, the light for that button stays on and every min, it beeeeeeps once. then another min it will beep again and so on. it will never stop it seems. i am at my boat right now checking things. email me at my personal email if you want me to give you my number so you can hear it. kickstop576@hotmail.com

IDJetboating
05-18-10, 10:10 PM
beeeeep pause or a second beeeeep pause for a second, beeeeep and over and over

From the manual for your engine:

"Throttle Sensor Failure - Continuous Intermittant Beeping - Engine Guardian System is activated. Power limit may restrict engine speed to idle."

This would also explain the "backfiring" you described earlier. The ECU doesn't know where the throttle is, so it cannot adjust the pulse widths being sent to the fuel injectors, leading to the wrong fuel/air ratio.

If it is the TPS, it's easily replaced - but it's typically expensive, perhaps $100-300. Irrationally high for a potentiometer (variable resistor), but you don't really have an option. You can test it first, though, before spending the money.

Have you tried running the engine significantly above idle once the beeping starts? Can you go above idle? What is your top RPM? Is the engine running smoothly through all RPM ranges?

Mbarnes1976
05-18-10, 10:39 PM
From the manual for your engine:

"Throttle Sensor Failure - Continuous Intermittant Beeping - Engine Guardian System is activated. Power limit may restrict engine speed to idle."

This would also explain the "backfiring" you described earlier. The ECU doesn't know where the throttle is, so it cannot adjust the pulse widths being sent to the fuel injectors, leading to the wrong fuel/air ratio.

If it is the TPS, it's easily replaced - but it's typically expensive, perhaps $100-300. Irrationally high for a potentiometer (variable resistor), but you don't really have an option. You can test it first, though, before spending the money.

Have you tried running the engine significantly above idle once the beeping starts? Can you go above idle? What is your top RPM? Is the engine running smoothly through all RPM ranges?

its possible you are right. once the intermittant beeping stsrts i have been able to run it higher than idle. it seems my engine runs smooth but it seems to back fire as well. my rmps usually go to 6 or 7k at top speed. i can go above idle but i usually stop the continuous beeping by pressing the button. after that, it beeps once a min.

WAJetboating
05-19-10, 02:14 PM
once the intermittant beeping stsrts i have been able to run it higher than idle. it seems my engine runs smooth but it seems to back fire as well. my rmps usually go to 6 or 7k at top speed. i can go above idle but i usually stop the continuous beeping by pressing the button. after that, it beeps once a min.

So you CAN run higher than idle? Then it's not the TPS. The ECU would hold the engine at idle if it thought the TPS was bad. The TPS might be misadjusted, but the ECU wouldn't know that and wouldn't beep because of it.

Do you have the LCD display that gives you additional engine info? Any indicators lit up?

Mbarnes1976
05-19-10, 02:57 PM
So you CAN run higher than idle? Then it's not the TPS. The ECU would hold the engine at idle if it thought the TPS was bad. The TPS might be misadjusted, but the ECU wouldn't know that and wouldn't beep because of it.

Do you have the LCD display that gives you additional engine info? Any indicators lit up?

I do not have an LCD display. the only indicator is the beeping switch that beeps. I have checked all fuses, wiring etc.. I am at a loss so I brought it in for a diagnostic. I hope to get my boat back before the weekend but it might not happen.

WAJetboating
05-19-10, 03:02 PM
What you want is a Mercury shop that has a DDT (Digital Diagnostic Terminal). It plugs directly into the harness on your engine's ECU and gives an instant display of what the ECU thinks is happening. Since the ECU is causing the beeping, it will report its reason - and you'll be on your way to a solution pronto.

Mercury only sells the DDT's to certified shops. They cost around $2500, so not all shops have them. I'd be CERTAIN the shop has one or I'd go elsewhere, because the DDT will reveal what is wrong in seconds. Lesser shops will be fumbling around, charging you by the hour while they experiment.

Report back. I'm anxious to learn the cause.

Mbarnes1976
05-19-10, 03:15 PM
What you want is a Mercury shop that has a DDT (Digital Diagnostic Terminal). It plugs directly into the harness on your engine's ECU and gives an instant display of what the ECU thinks is happening. Since the ECU is causing the beeping, it will report its reason - and you'll be on your way to a solution pronto.

Mercury only sells the DDT's to certified shops. They cost around $2500, so not all shops have them. I'd be CERTAIN the shop has one or I'd go elsewhere, because the DDT will reveal what is wrong in seconds. Lesser shops will be fumbling around, charging you by the hour while they experiment.

Report back. I'm anxious to learn the cause.

I just called the Sea Doo shop and they are Certified and have that DDT you spoke about. I will report what they find.

Mbarnes1976
05-20-10, 01:28 PM
I brought my boat in to a certified Sea Doo repair shop. The repeating beeps is a malfunctioned circuit board behind the steering wheel. It's reporting empty fuel when my tank is full. They gave me two options, disable that feature (Because there is a gauge that tells me if the fuel is low) or replace the whole board. (451.00 + labor).

My question is why the heck did the install a fricken BEEP when there is a gauge that clearly shows when the fuel is low? Kind of redundant don't you think? What kind of idiot can't tell if the fuel is low by looking the gauge? :rant:

Anyway. I think I might have them just disable that function. It's cheaper and not needed. Oh and they said that it's just the beep for the fuel and not the engine so if something went bad with the engine the error would still beep (e.g. oil low etc..).

Now, they are investigating the engine because of the rough idle.

WAJetboating
05-20-10, 01:45 PM
No mention of that "feature" in the manual that I have found.

I agree, I'd disable it. I don't even have a fuel gauge anymore. My fuel sending unit in the tank finally failed after 8+ years, and rather than fix/replace it I removed the gauge and replaced it with an identically sized depth gauge. Looks factory stock and saved me cutting holes in the console.

I visually check the engine compartment every morning and evening, so I look at my fuel level at least twice a day anyway. I refill when I get below half a tank. So I really didn't "lose" anything by taking out the fuel gauge.

I agree you lose NOTHING by disabling that beep. In fact, I'd say it's better without it because it makes the beeps confusing (this thread is proof!). IMHO engine beeps ought to report ENGINE problems, not low fuel.

Report back on the engine roughness, please!

Mbarnes1976
05-24-10, 04:01 PM
The engine roughness is due to the need for a tune up. They will proceed with that and also give me the hours on the engine. They have to hook up the engine to a computer that tells them the hours. It would be nice to know and be a good selling point when/if that time comes. I should get my boat back before the end of the week. Just in time for the holiday weekend. :hurray:

WAJetboating
05-24-10, 04:22 PM
The engine roughness is due to the need for a tune up.

A "tune up", eh? I wonder what that means to them. I just did what I consider a "tune up" on my 240EFI and I'll bet a shop would have charged me $2000+ to do it (mostly labor). Did they tell you precisely what they think is wrong, what they're going to do, and how much it will cost?



They will proceed with that and also give me the hours on the engine. They have to hook up the engine to a computer that tells them the hours.

The DDT (mentioned above) tells them the engine hours.


It would be nice to know and be a good selling point when/if that time comes.

Suggestion: If your engine doesn't already make hours available to you, consider installing your own hour meter. You'll have a baseline now from the dealer's DDT readout, so by adding that to whatever your hour meter reads you will know exactly how many hours are on your engine without having to visit the dealer. I took my own advice and bought a "Tiny Tach" (~$50) for this purpose; I installed it last weekend but haven't run the engine since. I'll take some photos soon and post them so folks can see how I did mine.

Please keep us posted. I'm very interested to know how this "tune up" goes.

Mbarnes1976
05-24-10, 05:44 PM
The tune up is like a car tune up I guess. All new filters, plugs etc.. With everything (new spedometer, disabling the annoying low fuel beep, engine tune up, greese check, lube, and diagnostic) the bill is roughly $600.00. I didn't think it was that bad.

WAJetboating
05-24-10, 06:13 PM
All new filters, plugs etc.. With everything (new spedometer, disabling the annoying low fuel beep, engine tune up, greese check, lube, and diagnostic) the bill is roughly $600.00. I didn't think it was that bad.

OK, they're doing the easy external stuff. The two external fuel filters, maybe the oil filter, and six plugs would cost about $100 for you to buy. I don't know how much a "new speedometer" would cost but any OEM parts are expensive. Disabling the fuel beep can't cost much. Not sure what else is in their definition of a "tune up" since most engine functions are controlled by the ECU. I guess they could set the idle (a screw on the port side of the engine).

Overall, it sounds reasonable. I suggest talking to the actual tech who works on your engine and ask directly if they checked/filled the front and rear impeller lube. There are a few stories out there where the lube has been drained, and then someone forgot to refill it, leading to nasty consequences and plenty of finger pointing.

Have them return the old plugs, too. You can clean them up, regap them, and have them as a spare set.

Good luck, and report back!

WAJetboating
05-24-10, 06:14 PM
I just noticed in your original post that you had already changed the plugs. How is the dealer doing that a second time going to improve things?

Mbarnes1976
05-27-10, 12:15 PM
I got the boat back after paying 480.00 for the tune up and parts. I took it out on the lake with my family and friends. The engine beeped a long beep (Not even 10 min into boating) and I just got it back from the dealership. I turned the engine off and now, it won't start up again.

I'm very pissed. I called the repair shop and told them what happened and she said, "Well lets hope you didn't damage the engine."

I'm thinking ME!? WTF!? I just got it from YOU, you stupid B!$#! To further pour salt on an open bleeding wallet, another Islandia showed up and towed us back into shore (How embarrassing).

Does anyone know how to address the repair shop without going fricken crazy on them? I'm trying to be nice but I'm not going to eat this second repair.

I understand that parts break but only 10 min into getting from the shop and putting it in the lake, it breaks? How can that be explained!?

WAJetboating
05-27-10, 02:10 PM
"That's why I try never to take my boat to a stealership, er, I mean dealership."

With all due respect... I think this dealer has revealed themselves and their standards. It's time to get yourself a Mercury service manual (available on this site, as I understand it) and dig in yourself. This may be a VERY simple problem that just requires some time to diagnose. The manual is full of test procedures that will guide you, and that's exactly what the dealer will do - except that you'll pay their hourly rate while they do it.

Just my $0.02, YMMV, etc.

Mbarnes1976
05-27-10, 03:30 PM
Yeah, I know. However, I don't feel comfortable playing with a boat engine. I have a feeling the shop is going to repair this for free. I'm just waiting for the results from this diagnosis.

WAJetboating
05-27-10, 03:49 PM
I'd ask them, face to face, if they actually TESTED the engine when they were done with it. Just replacing parts and running it on a hose at idle isn't testing anything. Plenty of marine engines run great on the trailer because they are under no load at all. Even if you rev them up, very little fuel is flowing because it doesn't take much fuel to rev up an unloaded engine.

Put that boat in the water, though, and it's a whole different story. Now there's a load, and greater fuel flow, and all sorts of conditions that don't happen "on the trailer". And gee, how do you want to use your boat? In the driveway, or on the water? It's not a test unless it's done in the proper environment.

Unless they're on the water they'll likely complain about doing an on-water test. But you should remind them that the last time they "fixed" it, and took your money, it DIDN'T WORK and you had to come back. You don't want or need that happening again.

Report back!

Mbarnes1976
05-27-10, 04:51 PM
Well, they called back. They said that the engine definitely overheated. She claims something got sucked up in the intake. I told her that we had checked that and it was clear. She is positive that there is a restriction and that is why it over heated and she is looking possibly pulling the engine to find out where the problem is. Ugh. I am just sick to my stomach at the though of more $$$$ being put into this boat.

New update:

The engine starts but it over heats still. She said that the engine sounds fine so that a relief. However, there is a restriction somewhere and she is going to take it to the lake and test it to see if they can remove the restriction. If they are unable to do it that way, they have to pull the engine and find out where the obstruction is. This will be an expensive repair.

I think being that I have only owned this boat for 2 weeks, after this repair, I think I might put it on ebay and sell it. I wanted to have fun this summer for once and I wasn't planning on dealing with a high maintenance boat. It's possible Minnesota just has too many weeds to have a jet boat. At least whoever buys this boat will have a fully repaired and beautifully kept up boat.

WAJetboating
05-27-10, 08:47 PM
I haven't had a Utopia, but it should have a hose fitting for backflushing the engine. I'd hook that up to a hose with lots of pressure, and turn it on/off lots of times while letting maximum water flow through it in between on's and off's.

The reason this might work is because the normal cooling water intake is a set of holes in the high pressure area of the jetdrive. IF something got sucked up in there, running water into the hose fitting will cause water to flow backwards out of the intake. This might flush out any obstructions. It certainly cannot hurt, and is WAY WAY better than having them pull the engine.

Remember, Mercury engines can handle water flow even when not running. Take advantage of that.

Weedy environments don't normally cause cooling blockages. The intake holes are about the diameter of a normal pencil - weeds just don't go in there. The usual culprit is sand, from running aground on a sandbar or backing onto a beach or something similar. If sand got packed in, but not too far in, hammering it with hose water might push it back out.

Other possibilties include the dealer kinking a hose, etc. while "tuning" your engine. While running it on the hose, see if you have any water leaks within the engine compartment. If they disconnected something to get better access to spark plugs, etc. it may not have gotten reconnected properly. Wouldn't be the first time.

There's a whole lot of things you can do short of pulling the engine. I'd do all of them.

By the way, how do they "know" it overheated? Does the DDT say that the ECU says so? Are they just guessing based on your description of the beep?

wdd5885
05-27-10, 08:48 PM
I agree with WA Jetboating, it sounds like a cooling system problem to me.

BigFunSports
05-30-10, 11:28 AM
Here is a link to the shop manual but it does not discuss ‘beeps’ (unless I missed it somewhere). If that link doesn’t work for you let me know and I will email a copy (it’s about 8MB).

http://articles.richardhartman.net/jetboating/Shop%20Manuals/2001-02.Speedster.Challenger.X20.pdf


Also try this link – there are more manuals here.
http://articles.richardhartman.net/jetboating/Shop%20Manuals/

If you get a guide for the error codes (beeps), please contact me. Thanks.

BigFunSports
05-30-10, 11:36 AM
I see that the forum appears to cut off the links.

Here is a link to the shop manual but it does not discuss ‘beeps’ (unless I missed it somewhere). If that link doesn’t work for you let me know and I will email a copy (it’s about 8MB).

http://articles.richardhartman.net/jetboating/Shop%20Manuals/2001-02.Speedster.Challenger.X20.pdf

Also try this link – there are more manuals here.
http://articles.richardhartman.net/jetboating/Shop%20Manuals/

WAJetboating
05-30-10, 01:12 PM
They are available here on this site, and the owners have asked that we refer to those.

BigFunSports
05-31-10, 12:10 AM
Sorry brother.....just trying to help. Also have the manual for the 240 EFI.

WAJetboating
05-31-10, 12:15 PM
Sorry brother.....just trying to help. Also have the manual for the 240 EFI.

If it was up to me, I'd point folks there too in the interest of helping them. However, this is not my site and we should honor their wishes - which is why I'm passing it on to you.

Thanks!

BigFunSports
06-01-10, 09:22 AM
How about this....for anyone reading this please feel free to contact me if you are looking for:

2002 SeaDoo X20/Challenger/Speedster Manual or the 240 EFI Motor Service Manual (M2 Jet Drive).

Just a fellow boater who struggled finding this information and is willing to share with other. Thanks.