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Posted: 01/09/2023

Tips for Keeping Your Snowmobile in Good Shape

A snowmobile isn't just a fun recreational vehicle for snowy climates--a snowmobile can be a lifeline through otherwise inaccessible terrain and harsh winter conditions. As the globe turns and the weather shifts into the coldest months, the difference between a working snowmobile and a broken one can be the difference between life and death.

If you're an owner or just a snowmobile user, you should know the basics of keeping that machine in good working order. You never know when a little bit of knowledge can save you a lot of money (or, in the most extreme cases, it can even save your life).

How Does a Snowmobile Work?

A snowmobile's engine works just like any other gasoline-powered engine, but there are a few key differences that help it function in cold weather and deep snow.

First, the engine oil is typically thicker than what you would find in a regular car or truck. This helps to prevent freeze-ups and maintain proper lubrication in sub-zero temperatures.

Second, the carburetor has a larger diameter throat than a regular engine's carburetor. This allows more air and fuel to enter the engine, which is necessary to maintain power in cold weather.

Third, the spark plugs are designed to function in very cold temperatures. If you live in an area with particularly cold winters, you may even need a second set of spark plugs that are rated for even lower temperatures.

Fourth, the exhaust system is designed to exit above the snow, which helps to prevent snow from being drawn into the engine.

Tip 1: Check the Chain Case Fluid Level Regularly

The chain case is what lubricates the chain on your snowmobile. It's important to check the fluid level regularly and top it off as needed. This will help keep your chain from rusting and prolong its life. The chain case is located under the hood of your snowmobile, and most manufacturers recommend that you check it every time you fuel up.

Tip 2: How Are Your Spark Plugs?

Spark plugs are the heart of any engine, and the same is true for snowmobiles. Your spark plugs should be checked regularly to make sure that they're in proper working order. If you notice any signs of wear or corrosion, it's important to replace them with a new set.

Tip 3: Monitor Your Belts and Drive Chains

Your snowmobile's drive chain is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the track. The drive chain should be checked regularly and replaced if it's worn or damaged. You should also check the belt that connects the engine to the drive chain--it can dry up, crack, and require replacement as well.

Tip 4: Keep Your Fuel System Clean

Your snowmobile's fuel system should be checked regularly to make sure that it's in good working order and free of any debris or contaminants. You should also make sure that the fuel lines and filters are in top shape. If your snowmobile has a fuel injection system, check the injectors and make sure that they're properly adjusted.

Tip 5: Watch That Battery

Your snowmobile's battery is critical, and should be checked regularly to make sure that it is in good working order. Make sure you keep it charged and take off the cover so that you can clean it if necessary. A good battery will last 2-3 years, so if you're beyond that time frame, you might be due to replace it.

Tip 6: Keep an Eye on the Brakes

This might seem like an obvious tip, but you might be surprised how often brakes are overlooked on a snowmobile. Just as with a car or truck, it's important to keep an eye on your brakes and make sure they're in good working order. Periodically check the pads and shoes for wear and tear. If they're getting too thin, it's time to replace them.

Tip 7: Don't Forget About the Tracks

The component we all associate most directly with snowmobiles is the track, which is also the part that makes the snowmobile so good at handling rough terrain and heavy snow. Your snowmobile's tracks are what provide traction and stability. They can take a beating over time, so it's important to inspect them regularly for cracks or tears. If you notice any damage, replace the track right away.

Tip 8: Keep the Engine Clean

Snowmobiles are subjected to some of the most punishing conditions imaginable, and they can get dirtier than any other vehicle. This makes it even more important to keep the engine clean. This will help it run more smoothly and efficiently. Cleaning the engine is easy - just remove the spark plugs and spray some carburetor cleaner into each cylinder. Let it sit for a few minutes before cranking the engine (with the plugs still out). This will flush any debris or buildup out of the engine.

Tip 9: Inspect the Suspension System

Finally, don't forget about your suspension system! Over time, shocks can leak or become worn out. Periodically check them for leaks and make sure they're still functioning properly. If not, it's time for a new set of shocks.

Your Auto Part Source

Arnold Motor Supply has been a leading supplier of auto parts since 1927. Founded and based in Iowa, we have auto parts stores all over the midwest. Order auto parts online and you'll be notified via email once your purchase is ready for pickup at your local Arnold Motor Supply parts store. 

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