Old man winter is making his official entrance this weekend with the season’s first snow storm lumbering across the Midwest. Winter enthusiasts have been anxiously awaiting the chance to take their first snowmobile rides of the season, and the time has nearly come to execute plans and trail routes that have been laid out for weeks. Nothing will ruin a highly anticipated adventure more than a trail breakdown, so we put together some tips to have your sled ready the moment the snow falls in your area.
Inspect spark plugs and wire condition. Ski-Doo E-TEC engines require indexing if removed or replaced, so be sure to check your owner’s manual for proper instructions. Check clutches, the drive belt and suspension for wear and tear. Grease the suspension, skid, steering points and any other areas as needed if not done prior to storage.
Adjust Track and Check Skis
Check your track for proper tension, and make sure your bolts are tightened. Here’s a good visual on how this is done. Be sure and look for any gouges, cuts or corrosion on the skis and make sure the runners are straight.
Let There be Light
Make sure your electrical system is up to par. Check the ignition and look for any warning lights that can signal problems. Check high/low beam headlights and brake lights to ensure the bulbs haven’t burnt out.
Check Your Fluids
Engine Oil and Filter
If you’re riding a four-stroke and didn’t do it last spring, change the oil and filter.
Two-stroke machines should have the power valves checked and cleaned for oil deposits and overall condition. Drain and replace the gas/oil mixture if it wasn’t stabilized prior to storage.
If you’re not sure which AMSOIL synthetic snowmobile oil is right for you, check out these handy guidelines.
Check the fuel tank along with the fuel and oil lines for any cracks or leaks. Unless you used a stabilizer such as AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer, empty the fuel tank and replace with fresh fuel. Clean your carburetor and make sure it’s adjusted properly to prevent performance issues or breakdowns. AMSOIL Power Foam is excellent for cleaning carbs.
Chaincase Oil Change
This should be done annually, preferably in the spring after riding season is over. Chains and gears create metal particles that need to be removed from the fluid regularly lest they build-up and cause bigger problems down the trail. We have just the oil for this important step. AMSOIL Synthetic Chaincase & Gear Oil does the job, and this video shows how easily this task can be completed.
Get There and Be Prepared
Using a trailer?
Be sure everything is good to go with your hauler. Before you load up be sure to inspect tires, bearings, hitch, safety chains, axle, springs, bed, cover, lights and electrical components.
Prepare for emergencies
Anything can happen, so be prepared. It’s always a good idea to bring fire-starting materials, like a lighter, along with dry clothes, work gloves, water, an extra strap, granola bars, lip balm and any other essentials you deem necessary to have on hand if you end up stranded.