Get Your Snowmobile Ready for Winter
Keeping a regular snowmobile maintenance schedule helps you enjoy a season in the snow.
Snowmobiling is a great way to enjoy winter. But, like anything with an engine and moving parts, your snowmobile needs regular maintenance. Even though your machine may look fine, make sure it’s ready to give you a trouble-free season of fun on the snow. Upon inspection, if anything looks worn, damaged or even missing, make sure to repair or replace it before you ride.
Here’s an easy snowmobile maintenance checklist to follow before you hit the trails.
- Repair peeling decals, cracks in the body, cracked or deteriorated hood latches and windshield fasteners. Also check for tears or nicks in the seat covers.
- Make sure the drive axle and sprocket assembly are secure, and check for excessively worn slides, rust or failed shocks.
- Check the track for tears, missing lugs or missing track clips. If the track is torn, it needs to be replaced.
- Inspect the skis and runners for excessive wear and to ensure they're straight. If you have steel skis, make sure there are no holes and that they aren’t bent. Make sure plastic skis aren’t cut or gouged.
- Replace worn or damaged drive belts, and pack a spare whenever you ride.
- If your snowmobile has a fan or water pump belt as part of its cooling system, make sure the tension is correct.
- Check your throttle, brake, hydraulic and oil cables for excess wear or damage. Also, make sure these parts are fastened securely.
- Check injection oil, coolant, brake fluid (if you have hydraulic brakes) and chaincase oil levels and fill to specs in your owner’s manual. If any fluid levels are low, find the reason to avoid serious problems later.
- Drain old fuel before adding fresh gasoline. Gas left in your snowmobile over the summer will be poor quality and could make your machine runs poorly.
- Check exhaust springs and mounts to make sure they are all present and tight.
- Clean the carburetor. This can be done with a can of carburetor cleaner, some basic tools and detailed instructions from your owner’s manual.
- Lubricate all fittings as indicated in your owner’s manual.
- Make sure headlights and tail lights are in good working order.
- Check your owner’s manual for anything specific to your particular snowmobile.
Following these snowmobile maintenance tips can help you enjoy a great season on the trails. If you’re not sure how to perform any of these maintenance steps, check with a trained mechanic.
Remember to ride safely and always wear a helmet.