Winter is almost upon us and with it all the best winter activities – skiing, tobogganing, and making fresh tracks with your snowmobile. But before you can take your first ride, you’ll have to bring your sled out of hibernation and get it ready for an active, snowy season. While you should always consult the owner’s manual for maintenance, most snowmobiles operate in relatively the same way.
So here are a few easy steps you should always take to make sure everything is in working order, and more importantly, so you can ride worry-free all winter long:
- The Visual Inspection
In a well-lit area, make sure to check all the parts and see that nothing is loose, buckling, or cracked. The belts and idler wheels are the most common areas for wear and tear. If you have an older model, you should pay close attention to obvious areas of stress. Make sure to lubricate any lubrication points listed in the manual using a grease gun but be careful not to overdo it – it should just be visible outside the joint. It’s also a good idea to make sure your electrical system is functioning properly, that means high and low beams, brake lights, and warning lights.
- The Fluids
When bringing your snowmobile out of storage you should always check the gas, brake fluid, and coolant. Before adding more gas, make sure to drain any remaining gas that might have been left in the tank and deteriorated while it was stowed. This can have an affect on your snowmobile’s performance. If you need to add more brake fluid, always use the specific grade indicated on the master cylinder. You should also top off the coolant up to the cold mark.
- The Skis and Track
These are some of the most important features of your snowmobile. If your skis aren’t in proper working condition, it can be both costly and dangerous. Steel skis shouldn’t have any holes and plastic skis shouldn’t have any gouges or cuts. You’ll also want to make sure your runners are straight. If not, take them to the shop for a quick fix or use a vice to straighten them. As for your track, look for any missing, cracked, or torn lugs and track wear clips. Check your studs for wear and make sure they are tight. You’ll also want to adjust the tension and alignment, as needed.
- The Status of the Main Engine
The main cause of engine failures after taking a snowmobile out of storage is a dirty carburetor. Prevent this by cleaning it with some carburetor cleaner and a few basic tools. You should also check for damage to the throttle, the oil cables, the fan, and the water pump belt. There can often be cracks in these parts which can become problematic if not taken care of early.
- The Cleanliness
It’s an obvious one but it’s often overlooked – cleaning off any dirt, salt, leaves, or other debris that may have accumulated on your snowmobile. It’s simple and easy with a hose and a bucket of water. If you’re looking for something a little deeper, take it to a local car wash. You can also clean the seats with upholstery cleaner. Don’t forget to check for any clothes or plugs that you used to block off air intake and exhaust apertures while it was in storage.
Taking the right steps to maintain your snowmobile means you’ll have fun-filled winter adventures for years to come. Part of that means making sure you’re insured on every ride, contact one of our agents today to learn more about Lambton Mutual’s snowmobile insurance.