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Motorcycle Tips For Riders With Chops

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Snowmobile Maintenance Tips

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Appropriate snowmobile maintenance is much more than preparing the sled for the next season. To properly maintain your snowmobile, you must not overlook the pre-ride checklist, or after-ride care either. Additionally, every sled requires mid-season and end-season maintenance as well, known as summarizing. It seems there is always something to do on a snowmobile! If you want to learn more about these required maintenance tasks, you are in the right place.

How do You Maintain a Snowmobile?

To keep your sled in good shape year-round and ensure trouble-free miles, you have to follow the regular maintenance steps recommended by your sled’s manufacturer.

Keep in mind that a snowmobile’s design, engine, and features may vary from one model to the next. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you carefully check your sled’s manual before you do any maintenance on your sled. Manuals usually feature very detailed maintenance guides, describing the necessary tools and materials.

We’ve done the research and have compiled the most commonly required maintenance steps on snowmobiles under one roof. This could be a good starting point for you, but again, for the exact steps please check the manual!

Pre-Ride and After Ride Check

Pre-Ride Check

Thus, you may want to start every ride with proceeding with the pre-operation check. This is also known as the pre-ride inspection and usually means inspecting the following parts:

  • Body and storage compartment
  • Drive belt condition and tension
  • Track,  skid, and idler wheels
  • Skis, carbides, and steering
  • Brakes and throttle
  • Lights and switches
  • Heated carburetor valve (if featured)
  • Fuel and oil levels, air filter
  • Coolant level, chaincase oil level
  • Gear and clothing

Additionally, always carefully warm up the sled (not just the engine!) before even loading the sled on the trailer. Lack of or improper warm-ups often leads to broken belts or other internal damage.

Beyond the initial inspection, it’s also wise to clean and check the sled after each ride. Let’s see why this is necessary!

After Ride Care

The after-ride care on a snowmobile is probably the most overlooked type of maintenance. But if you are a responsible owner, you must take care of your sled after each ride!

First, start with a thorough cleaning to remove any debris, dirt, and salt buildup. Keeping your snowmobile clean is the most effective way to avoid rust.

After cleaning, you may want to give your sled a thorough inspection. Although manufacturers recommend checking sleds before operation, it makes sense to check key parts after rides as well. Why?

This is because if you notice something needs to be fixed or adjusted, you will have plenty of time to get it done before your next ride. You probably don’t want to spend your time adjusting the track alignment or drive belt tension when your riding buddies are waiting for you!

In a worst-case scenario, your sled has missing and broken parts that need to be fixed or replaced. These always require some time and replacement parts of course, which may need to be ordered.

That’s why you should check the sled immediately after your rides and perform the necessary maintenance tasks.  If you can only make time for this later, it’s still wise to do this a few days before your next trip.

It also makes the pre-ride check easier, since this way you will have to check much fewer parts then. (However, the pre-ride check can never be missed!)

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