Preventative Maintenance & Tips for Keeping Your Snowmobile On The Trail Instead Of Off
All of us snowmobilers are much too eager to hit the trails when the first snow comes around. But did you remember to maintain your sled during the off season? These are some helpful tips to remember to execute during the year and before you hit the trail when that first snow happens.
After the Season is Over:
- As soon as the snowmobile season is over, it is important that you try to run as much of the gas out of your tank as possible. The reason? Gas gets old, and old gas means problems. The older your gas and the more it sits around, the more likely foreign particles can get into it, and the less effective the gas becomes. If you do happen to have more than a half of tank of gas left in your sled, make sure you have the reservoir lid closed tightly, and you may want to remind yourself to add some dry gas before you take it out again next year. You can also add Gasoline Stabilizer if you're letting gas sit for the year.
- Cover it up. Dust and other things will attach themselves to the sled while it sits. Remember to use the cover that your sled came with to prevent scratches. Lost the cover? Buy a new one, or use old sheets and blankets. It's better than nothing.
- Buy a snowmobile lift to prop up your sled. This prevents the wheels from wearing into the track, giving you a bumpy ride and a bumpy track! Can't afford a lift? Try the redneck version: using a 2x4 piece of wood, prop it up between the back bumper and floor, and you have your own homemade lift =)
- This is not necessarily a maintenance tip, but it doesn't hurt to have a few dollies to move your sled around on. They come in handy and are very convenient.
- Start your sled up once a month during the off season and let it run for a few minutes. This helps to prevent any build up, plus, if you're storing your sled somewhere like a barn, it helps to keep the mice from building nests!
- Check to make sure your studs are still in tact, if you have them, and that there are no major holes in your track. If you need to do repairs, you have time to!
- Take care of any mechanical problems over the summer. You have plenty of time to get them fixed, plus it's warm out!
Pre-Season/Before Your First Ride:
- Check all of your fluids. Oil and gas are the most important. Make sure you have plenty of oil and a full tank of gas before hitting the trail.
- Be sure to have an extra belt, a tow rope, flashlight, map, and any other accessory you might need in case you become stranded.
- Don't forget to have your insurance and registration cards on you! (Depending on your state's laws)
- Let your snowmobile warm up before you go. Remember, it has been sitting for multiple months, only being run a few minutes at a time.
If you remember to take care of your sled during the off-season, the main things to remember pre-ride are fluids and emergency items. By following these tips and maintenance ideas, you will surely have a good season of riding! Bring on the snow!!!