If it hasn’t already in your area, snow is about to start falling. This means it’s time for snowmobile prep. After sitting all summer long, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of to make sure your machine is ready to go once the snow covered trails open up. Let’s take a look at a few tips and tricks that will have you prepared in no time.
Inspect Your Track
One of the most important pieces of snowmobile prep for winter is checking your machine’s track for any damage that may have occurred during the previous year. This means looking for cracks, missing chunks and perforations, as well as verifying it has the proper tension and hasn’t worn down to a dangerous level. Finally, make sure each and every part of the track is present and accounted for, including all clips.
Drive Belt Verification
Next up is your snow machine’s drive belt. This important piece of hardware is found under the hood, and like the track, you want to inspect for wear, cracks or signs that it’s starting to fray. If it looks questionable, it’s time to replace it. If it snaps on the trail, you could be in for a long walk home. This is such an important component that it’s worth having a spare on hand at all times to deal with any emergencies. While you’re in there, you should also check the tension and condition of fan belts and water pump belts (if so equipped), as part of your overall snowmobile prep.
Throttle Cable Condition
A snapped throttle cable will leave you stranded just as quickly as a bad drive belt, so a visual inspection of the cable’s condition is a must before the seasons starts. Make sure the cable moves freely and shows no signs of damage, and lube it up with a bit of oil to keep it that way during the coming winter.
After sitting for many months, it’s worth checking on the condition of the fluids inside your sled. Your biggest concern will be fuel — if you added stabilizer to the gas tank before storing the machine, then you should have nothing to worry about. However, it’s still worth taking a look inside the tank to see if there is any sludge or goop present, which would indicate the gasoline has broken down. If so, drain it: If you run it through, you can clog your fuel system pretty badly. Top off engine coolant and oil, if necessary, and take note of its last oil change, as it might be time for a fresh filter.
Don’t get buried under snowmobile prep this winter. Use this handy list of tips to get the season started on the right foot.
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Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.