Identifying the most important parts of a snowmobile

December 12, 2014

Familiarize yourself with the key parts of your snowmobile so you can better understand and use your machine.

Identifying the most important parts of a snowmobile

When using a specialized machine like a snowmobile, it's always smart to familiarize yourself with the different parts of the device. This is not only so you can better understand what's happening with your snowmobile, but also so you can have a sense of whether something might be wrong with it in the case of a possible mechanical problem.

Let's take a look at some of the different key snowmobile parts:


The handlebars are your main connection to the snowmobile. They stabilize the rider as well as steer the vehicle.


The throttle powers the drive shaft and ultimately the rubber track that moves you forward across the snow. It does this by feeding fuel to the engine. You do this by squeezing the throttle lever on the handlebars.


This protects you from oncoming debris and wind, snow and ice. It also makes the front of the machine more aerodynamic.


You need to illuminate the path ahead of you, but you also need to be visible to other snowmobilers as well as anyone else who might be around, including animals. This is critical as snowmobiling often occurs in remote areas with little light. Headlights are left on in the daytime too, for the same reasons, and for any routes that take you through the forest, where light can be limited.


This covers and protects the engine and other internal pieces of the machine. You should always be sure to pop the hood and check the engine before any trip on a snowmobile.


The snowmobile's engine is the heart of the device. They come in two styles: two-stroke and four-stroke. Regular repair and maintenance is critical, and should be done by a qualified mechanic when possible.

Hull, tub or belly pan

The bottom of the chassis helps in several ways. It keeps the device up on top of deep snow, causing it to "float", and it protects the engine and other core components from any bumps or rocks or ice on the track.


The ski blades guide the snowmobile along the snow, gliding on the surface and pivoting to steer the vehicle. They usually have stabilizers running along them to reduce side motion.


The track of the snowmobile has to be suspended as it propels forward, just like car wheels. It keeps the track on the snow when in motion and also absorbs the shock of bumps and objects.

Instrument panel

Just like the dashboard of a car, the instrument panel tells you all the information you need to know, like speed, warning lights and the tachometer.

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