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Snowmobile Maintenance

Snowmobile Maintenance

The winter can be a great time to get out and enjoy a ride when you have your own snowmobile. If you are the proud owner of such a machine, you need to make sure you follow basic maintenance guidelines to keep it running in great condition for years to come. Let’s take a look at the top tasks of snowmobile maintenance every owner should perform on a routine basis.

  1. Maintain fluid levels: One of the most important elements of snowmobile maintenance is to check and replenish the necessary fluids of the machine. This includes all the essentials such as brake fluid, injection oil, coolant and engine oil. You want to check these fluids both at the beginning of winter before ride season officially starts up and about the halfway point of the season to make sure you aren’t getting dangerously low. If you neglect the fluid levels then you run the risk of damaging important areas of the snowmobile such as the engine, or you have issues like not being able to brake safely due to low brake fluid. Most of these fluid reservoirs will have fill lines to indicate how much fluid to add, but you can also check with the owner’s manual as to how much and what type of fluid is best suited to the particulars of your model. You also want to replenish all fluids at the end of the riding season to make sure you avoid damages during the off season.

  2. Check the drive belt: Another important element of snowmobile maintenance is to check the drive belt. If you ride your machine with a worn down belt, it can leave you stranded in the middle of a snowy ride with no way to get back. It can also lead to serious engine failure far costlier than the belt itself over time. You should check the drive belt for any signs of wear and tear or damages and replace it immediately if you find any signs.

  3. Inspect track for damages: The track is one of the most important parts of a snowmobile, but also one of the more vulnerable to damages. You should routinely check the track for damages, such as broken or damaged teeth on the chain connected to the track, or worn rails, to make sure it is in safe riding condition. If you find any damages, you should take care to repair them before the next ride. This will ensure a safe ride without further damage to your snowmobile.

  4. Change chain case oil: When it comes to snowmobile maintenance, changing the chain case oil is often overlooked. This is an important step in the overall maintenance of your ride. Most modern models have a chain case oil drain plug which makes it incredibly easy to drain out the old oil. If you never drain this oil and add new oil, you are basically riding around with a lot of extra dirt and metal slivers which could damage your ride over time. While you are there draining and replacing the oil for this area, it is a good time to look around for any signs of damage or missing parts. You should also check the chain tension while you are there. If the chain tension isn’t properly set, it can lead to a chain that slips off or grinding on the sprocket.

  5. Check lights: Another regular part of the maintenance of a snowmobile is to make sure the lights are in working order. The headlights on a snowmobile are essential to visibility during snowfall rides or dawn/dusk rides when you need extra visibility. The taillights are important also because they allow other riders to see when you are stopping so they can stop accordingly to avoid a collision. This is one of the easiest things to maintain on a snowmobile. Simply turn on the lights and make sure they all work. If there are any burnt out bulbs, it is usually easy to replace them following the steps in the owner’s manual.

  6. Inspect for damages: You should check the snowmobile regularly for any signs of damages. If you allow your ride to take on rust, lose bolts, or generally fall to pieces, you are cutting the overall life span of the machine to a great degree. You should always check your ride on a regular basis for any signs of damage and then make the necessary repairs to keep everything in top shape.

  7. Check steering: You should also routinely check the steering system as part of the routine maintenance. There are a lot of nuts, bolts, and screws involved in the overall steering system of a snowmobile. You will need to routinely check that they are all still there, they aren’t stripped, they are tight, and they are properly lubricated if needed. If there are any missing pieces, you need to replace them immediately before the next ride. You should also check the rails while you are at it for signs of wear and tear. If the rails are bare of their carbon carbide, you need to replace them promptly.

  8. Keep it clean: Finally, you should aim to keep the snowmobile clean. When you allow the ride to get dirty with an accumulation of dirt, moisture, debris, or brush from riding, you are simply opening up the chance for future damages to your snowmobile. Make sure you routinely clean the machine, and at least hose it down after every ride, to avoid as many issues as possible down the road.

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