Snowmobile maintenance for safe and smooth rides

When it comes to safe snowmobiling, proper maintenance and tune-ups are critical for avoiding unnecessary breakdowns and accidents.

Snowmobile maintenance for safe and smooth rides

Pre-season

Each season you go out, your machine slowly deteriorates from all the bumps, bangs and general wear and tear. The engine is also working very hard to keep you moving, so it needs to be kept in check. What's more, it's been sitting around for the summer and fall, and issues can arise over time that aren't related to the actual engine running.

So when the snow falls, don't just jump on the snowmobile and expect to be able to ride it for another season. You have to get it tuned up and checked out before you hit the track. Check the owner's manual of your specific machine for the steps necessary at the start of the season. It will include information about changing the spark plugs, the headlights and tail lights, the breaks, skis and track, as well as the filter, the steering and the throttle.

Ongoing maintenance

After the initial tune-up, you'll need to keep your snowmobile in check all season long. Your owner's manual will include the proper fuel and oil requirements. Always follow these, as a little bit of prevention can save you a lot of trouble with your engine later. Also be sure to check spark plugs and other engine fluid levels. You'll also want to check the skis, carbides and track regularly for wear and tear. When checking the skis and track, look for excessive wear, but also check the ski alignment to ensure the best possible ride experience.

You should also be sure to check the suspension system regularly, making sure to check that the idler wheel bearings are all in good shape and the rubber isn't wearing. Also, open the chaincase and check that the chain is in good condition. Tighten the tensioner bolt until you can't go any further by hand, then reverse it by a quarter turn. The pads on your breaks should also always be in good shape. Replace them if they've worn excessively.

Keeping your snowmobile maintenance up to date not only protects you and the longevity of your machine, it reduces the environmental impact of your engine, as well as keeping the noise down. It can also save you money in the long-term by keeping fuel efficiency at its peak.

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