The temperature is falling, the leaves are dropping and soon, it will be time to pull your snowmobile out of storage and hit the trails. But before that happens, you’ll want to make sure your sled is ready to ride. Nothing will suck the joy out of bombing fresh drifts more than a broken machine, or one that is not running as well as it should.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE IT SNOWS
A good start to snowmobile season really begins the previous year, when it’s time to store your sled for the spring, summer and fall. Many problems can come from a snowmobile doing nothing at all for several months, especially in the fuel system. When you store a snowmobile, it’s important to run out the old gas, fill the tank with fresh fuel and add a fuel treatment to stabilize the gas. That will help protect your fuel tank from corrosion and prevent deposits that can block fuel passageways.
Then, before you take your first ride of the year:
Do a visual inspection
Sometimes big problems can come from missing the most simple maintenance. Do a walk around your sled. Did it sustain any “hangar damage” during the offseason? Is every nut and bolt tight? Are your handlebars properly aligned and turning fully?Do your throttle and brake levers move smoothly? Also make sure your brake lever doesn’t feel soft or go all the way to the handlebar.
Check tracks and suspension
After a basic walk around, there are some areas you’ll want to look at more closely. One of those is your track. Look for any missing lugs, cracks, tears or holes. Make sure your track tension is adjusted according to your owner’s manual. Also examine your rear suspension components. Make sure idler wheels aren’t loose or damaged, inspect slides (also called hyfax) to make sure they aren’t worn past the indicator line — replace them if they are. Greasing all zerks is also a good idea.
Inspect your skis
Damaged or misaligned skis or carbides can quickly wreck a day on the snow. Make sure bottom surfaces are smooth and straight.
Change your fluids
Make sure you have fresh oil in your chaincase. If you changed it before storage, you don’t need to change it again. In two-stroke engines, make sure your injection oil reservoir is full and has been changed within the guidelines of your manual. In four stroke engines, also change oil as needed.
If you filled your tank with fresh gas and stabilized it with fuel treatment before storage, you can run through that gas and fill with fresh fuel as needed. If old gas was not treated, it’s best to drain the tank and properly dispose of the fuel (adding it to your car or truck is generally just fine, as it will be diluted in a large fuel tank and not cause any harm). Then fill with fresh gas.
Check your spark plug and electrical system
Pull your spark plug to make sure it’s in good shape and replace it if needed. If your snowmobile has a battery, make sure it’s charged. Also make sure your lights are operational — it’s best not to find out on a dark trail.
MAINTAIN YOUR FUEL ALL WINTER
Even during riding season, it’s common for snowmobiles to sit unused for days or even weeks at a time. Using Sea Foam Motor Treatment in every tank is a sure way to keep your fuel system clean and your machine performing at its peak. Check out our video about how to use Sea Foam in a snowmobile for more tips on how to keep your sled in good shape.
SEA FOAM MOTOR TREATMENT will help your snowmobile start better and run smoother.