Steps to be Winter-Ready!
Many of us love to run an ATV off-road in the summer months. But when the snow shows up, we have to switch gears a bit. When the temperatures start to dip, it’s a signal to prep your snowmobile for winter riding. We cover them all the details for you below.
The Mechanics of Prepping Your Snowmobile
Check the Spark Plugs
When we prepare our machines for service, we start with an inside to outside approach. One of the furthest inside items to check will be the spark plugs and wires. You’ll have to take off the outer bodywork to get into the engine area, then any covers protecting the spark plugs and spark plug wires. You should just need basic tools to remove the spark plugs, and once they are out you can inspect their condition. Replace dirty or worn spark plugs covered in soot. You can also check the spark plug wires for an breaks or cracks in the wire coverings and boots to ensure you’re not going to have any problems out on a ride. If you have any questions, be sure to consult your owners or service manuals. We know the Ski-Doo E-TEC engines require indexing if you remove or replace components.
Inspect Clutches and the Suspension
After you’ve checked your spark plugs and wires, move on to the clutches and suspension. The clutch, belt drive, and suspension should have wear indicators on each item that will give you a heads-up that they need attention. You can also look for any extra grease or oil indicating a seal needs to be replaced before the next riding season. After you clean and inspect everything, grease suspension components and the drive system slides. AMSOIL Synthetic Water-Resistant Grease offers protection for every lubrication point without the threat of water intrusion or corrosion. Remove any dust from the drive belt system also.
Adjust Your Tracks and Check the Skis
Look at more than the engine when you prep your snowmobile for winter. Clean, inspect, and grease the drive system, and check its tension. Also check that your tracks move freely, and all fasteners are tight. While you’re at it, check that all lugs are in good condition and aren’t too worn for a complete winter riding season.
Your skis should be free of gouges, cuts, and corrosion. Ensure the runners are straight and still have carbide on them. The carbide serves as an edge to allow the skis to bite into the snow and turn better.
Prepping Includes the Electrical System
Your electrical system is the next item on the list to check, clean, and repair if necessary. When you prep your snowmobile, check the ignition switch and look for any corrosion on or around the switch to ensure it won’t have trouble later on. Verify you don’t have any warning lights signaling a problem, and double check your high and low beams on your headlights. Look over your battery and the battery cables, and check that the connection is clean and secure. If you find corrosion, clean it off and then protect the connection and cable ends with AMSOIL Metal Protector. It will keep moisture from causing corrosion and later preventing your snowmobile to start and run properly.
Check Your Fluids When You Prep Your Snowmobile
Check Your Fuel System
Ideally you began to prep your snowmobile last season as you put it away at the end of last winter. You would have prepared the fuel system for storage with fresh fuel and AMSOIL Fuel Stabilizer. If not, you need to clean out the fuel tank and add fresh fuel back in the tank. Check all lines and fittings between the fuel tank and the engine to ensure there are no cracks present.
- On snowmobiles with carburetors, check and adjust the carburetor correctly, and ensure it doesn’t show any signs of wear.
- If your show machine has fuel injection, check to ensure there are no leaks, no worn O-rings on the injectors, etc.
If you need to clean the intake system, AMSOIL Power Foam will clean everything well and be ready for your trip. You can simply spray it into your intake and allow it to work its magic. If you need to clean the fuel system out internally, a bottle of AMSOIL P.i. Performance Improver will clean any stubborn deposits inside the fuel lines, injectors, and combustion chamber inside the engine. If you need to mix fresh 2-stroke oil and gasoline together, AMSOIL Interceptor Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil offers a perfect protective mixture to keep your snowmobile running smooth.
Check Your Chain Case Oil
Once the fuel system is squared away, it’s time to start replacing oil and checking fluid levels. The chain case may need to be changed completely or just topped off to ensure smooth operation. Change the chain oil annually. It’s best done at the end of the winter riding season. If you didn’t do it after last winter, now’s the time to change it. When it comes time to add oil back oil, AMSOIL Synthetic Chaincase & Gear Oil is your best option. It will keep any metal particles from the chain wear suspended until you change the oil out next time.
Check Your Coolant Level
If you have a 4-stroke snowmobile, your engine should be cooled by liquid instead of air. Replace your coolant if it has seen many seasons of riding, or just top off it the system is a little low.
AMSOIL Antifreeze & Coolant can be mixed in your current system without an issue, or you can use a fresh gallon to complete replace the old coolant in your snowmobile.
Change Your Engine Oil and Filter
The engine oil and filter should be changed and replaced after the riding season, but sometimes it’s overlooked by accident. If that’s the case from last year, prep your snowmobile by changing everything with AMSOIL 4-Stroke Power Sports Synthetic Motor Oil and a new AMSOIL EA Oil Filter. This ensures your engine will be ready for long backwoods trips off the beaten path. One of the best reasons to choose AMSOIL is their patented cold-flow technology that keeps oil flowing in the deep temperatures. You won’t have to worry about protection for your engine when it’s extremely cold.
Finishing Touches to Prep Your Snowmobile
Give the Machine a Bath
Hopefully the weather is still warm enough to wash your snowmobile with water. If you can wash it outside and allow it to drip dry, it’ll be a perfect opportunity to make it shine. If the weather has turned too cold for an outside bath, AMSOIL Miracle Wash is a great alternative to clean your machine. You can just spray it on and wipe it off. No water required.
Are Your Spares Ready to Ride?
At this point, your snowmobile is completely ready to ride the winter trails. Even so, as you prep your snowmobile, the unfortunate truth of riding is that breakdowns do happen. You may find comfort in keeping a spare set of spark plugs, plug wires, a spare drive belt, and a small toolset with your snowmobile. Beyond the tools and parts, keeping a set of work gloves, bungee cords, maybe a fire starter, and a couple granola bars in your spare kit is a good idea. Consider a set of dry clothes if you have the room available.
Once you have the snowmobiles ready to ride, the last piece is how you’re getting there. Double check your trailer. Bearings, tires, hitches, safety chains, axles, suspension springs, trailer bed, any covers, running and turn signal lights, plus any other electrical components. It’s a lot to check, but once you give a thorough onceover it’s ready to go all season.
Following these tips will have your snowmobile and winter riding season ready. If you’re unsure of what AMSOIL offers for snowmobiles, you can always check the Snowmobile Product Guide listed online. We’re your local AMSOIL dealer and can help you keep all of your snowmobiles and winter equipment running smoothly with maximum protection. You can feel confident that adding AMSOIL products will keep your equipment ready for the next year of riding too. Contact your local AMSOIL dealer at Buy Great Oil for every product you need to keep your power equipment in tiptop shape.