How to change the oil in your snowmobile

December 12, 2014

Changing the oil in your snowmobile can help extend your vehicle's lifespan year after year. Discover the step-by-step process for this simple, but important procedure.

How to change the oil in your snowmobile

Snowmobiles are a thrill to ride and for some, a convenient mode of transportation. Whether you use your machine a lot or a little, you will eventually need to change the oil. Changing the oil on your snowmobile is one of the most important types of maintenance you can do to it. It will ensure that the internal parts of the sled’s engine are lubricated and running smoothly. Neglecting to change your oil can result in serious damage to the engine, and it could cause an injury to you if the sled’s engine malfunctions on the trails.

Find your manual

Check your snowmobile’s manual for detailed information on how often to change your oil, and which oil to use. Most snowmobiles require an oil change approximately every 6,000 kilometres. Synthetic oil is the most common type used for snowmobiles and you should be careful to use the right oil, because semi-synthetic or mineral oil could cause damage to your engine.

What activity do you use it for?

If you use your snowmobile for racing or sport, it may be necessary to change the oil after every session. It’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer of your snowmobile for more details about changing the oil of your machine after sporting events or heavy use.

To get started, insert your key into the ignition and start up your machine. You’ll want to let it run for around 20 minutes to let it heat up. This will give the oil currently in your snowmobile time to liquefy.

Locate oil tank

Every snowmobile is different, but the oil tank is most commonly located behind the left front tire. If you have trouble finding yours, check your owner's manual for instructions. The tank should be marked with the common drop of oil symbol, or with the word “oil”. On the bottom of the tank, you’ll find two or three bolts. Get out your wrenches and see which one is needed for your model. Typically, it’s between 3/8-inch and a half-inch in diameter.

Loosen the all of the bolts on the bottom of the tank with your wrench and carefully remove them. Then, get a long oil pan and position it directly below the oil tank. Pull off the panel that keeps the oil in place and it should start to drain into the pan. This can take up to 30 minutes.

Once the oil is done draining, replace the panel and the bolts on the bottom of the tank. Then, look for a circular cap on the top of the oil tank and remove it. Pour in the correct oil for your snowmobile model and screw the cap back on tightly.

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